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(Photo Credit: zimbo.com)

Bobcat From: 2009-2011

Bobcats Stats:

  • 2009-2010: 21.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, .423 FG%, .334 3P%
  • 2010-2011: 18.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.6 APG, .411 FG%, .337 3P%

Stephen Jackson’s stint with the Bobcats is really similar to Jason Richardson’s.  He didn’t even play two full seasons in the Queen City, but he’s still probably the best scorer the Bobcats have ever had.  Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace formed a deadly combo on the wing that birthed Charlotte their first, and only, playoff bid in franchise history.

Early into the 2009 the Bobcats sent Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic to Golden State in exchange for Stephen Jackson and Acie Law.  Jackson had the best season of his career in 2009 in which he set career highs in points and rebounds.  In January of 2010 Jackson set a franchise record when he dropped 43 points on the Houston Rockets.

It’s a shame the Jackson-Wallace tandem didn’t get to stay together longer.  It just wasn’t great timing.  Gerald Wallace was becoming injury prone and starting to regress, so the Bobcats wanted to get something for him in exchange while hiss value was still high.  After Wallace was traded Jackson got frustrated and failed to lead Charlotte back to the playoffs by himself in 2011.

On the night of the 2011 NBA Draft the Bobcats traded Jackson to the Milwaukee Bucks in return for the seventh overall pick, which they spent on the Congolese forward/center Bismack Biyombo.  Despite being here for such a short amount of time “Captain Jack” still lands in the top three, and I was tempted to give him the number two spot.  He’s certainly one of the greatest players in franchise history.

Updated List:

  • 10 – DJ Augustin, PG
  • 9 – Boris Diaw, PF/C
  • 8 – Primoz Brezec, C
  • 7 – Kemba Walker, PG
  • 6 – Gerald Henderson, SG
  • 5 – Raymond Felton, PG
  • 4 – Jason Richardson, SG
  • 3 – Stephen Jackson, SG/SF

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(Photo Credit: nba.si.com)

Record: 1-1

Game 1 vs. San Antonio Spurs: L, 69-68

Game 2 vs. Dallas Mavericks: W, 86-80

Grading the Players (who matter)

Michael Kidd Gilchrist:

Vs. Spurs: 12pts, 4reb, 2ast, 6-12 FGM-A, 0-2 3PM-A

Vs. Mavericks: 11pts, 3reb, 1ast, 4-4 FGM-A

With one year in the pros under his belt, MKG was expected to come into the summer league and be a man amongst boys.  He hasn’t exactly dominated like many Bobcats fans were hoping he would, but he’s still been pretty good so far.  He’s continuing to play with a lot of energy and playing very good defense.  Today against the Mavericks he had a sick block in transition then went down on the other end of the floor and hit a jumper from about 20 feet.  That was easily his best stretch so far in summer league action.  What MKG is really working on right now is his outside jumpshot.  Through two games it still looks ugly but I do believe he’s getting it off quicker.  He made two attempts from the outside against San Antonio and made both his attempts from the outside today against Dallas so the shot is showing flashes.  For someone who works as hard as MKG it should only continue to improve from here on out.

Player Grade: B-

Jeff Taylor:

Vs. Spurs: 24pts, 2reb, 0ast, 9-17 FGM-A, 2-5 3PM-A

Vs. Mavericks: 19pts, 5reb, 1ast, 6-13 FGM-A, 2-5 3PM-A

Jeff Taylor is another player who’s already played one year in the league, so he too was expected to be one of the better players in the summer league.  So far he’s been that and then some.  Jeff Taylor has without a doubt been Charlotte’s best player so far.  He carried the team vs. the Spurs and hit a clutch three pointer to give Charlotte the lead with 12 seconds in the first game, only to watch one of his teammates give up an easy basket on the other end to lose the game.  He just seems so much more polished then the rest, but he should be.  Keep in mind he played four years of college ball, so he’s 24.  Taylor is showing signs that the Bobcats really got a steal when they selected him in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Player Grade: A

Bismack Biyombo:

Vs. Spurs: 3pts, 11reb, 1ast, 2blks, 1-3 FGM-A

Vs. Mavericks: 8pts, 7reb, 0ast, 1blk, 2-3 FGM-A

Oh, Bizz.  It’s hard not to be rooting for Biyombo.  He’s a gym rat who has an awesome personality and seems to be a lockerroom favorite.  He’s also still very much a project and it continues to show.  I tweeted this earlier, and I’m going to say it again.  Biyombo has the worst hands I’ve ever seen.  He simply can’t hold onto the ball, he turned it over four times against the Mavericks today.  He still looks good on D, he’s blocked a few shots and he’s snagging rebounds but he’s so weak offensively.  He did hit a nice hook shot in the game against the Spurs and looked better offensively in the second half today against the Mavs, but I’m still starting to get concerned about him.  He’s only 20, but I was really hoping he would have “improved” more than this by now.

Player Grade: C-

Cody Zeller:

Vs. Spurs: 8pts, 5reb, 2ast, 1blk, 4-9 FGM-A

Vs. Mavericks: 21pts, 13reb, 1ast, 6-12 FGM-A

Charlotte drafted Cody Zeller to be a stretch four.  When he air balled his first two jump shots against the Spurs I think we all began to shake our heads a little bit.  After the rough start he began to show some flashes though and ended up having a decent outing.  Today against the Mavericks he absolutely dominated and was the best player on the floor.  It was beautiful.  Zeller was scoring from everywhere on the floor.  He was knocking down outside jumpers, and taking it the hoop.  A man of his size simply should not be as athletic as he is.  He was great on drives today and drew fouls, where he proceeded to go 9-9 from the charity stripe.  He also snagged 13 rebounds.  I can’t get over how well he moves off the ball, both offensively and defensively.  It’s really early, and I don’t want to overreact, but we could have a special talent on our hands.

Player Grade: A-

What’s been Bad:

  • PG Play: PG play was one of the main reasons Charlotte lost the Spurs game, this team seriously misses Kemba.  Jerome Dyson jacked up way too many unnecessary shots and Cody Zeller didn’t get near enough touches.  PG play was better today against the Mavs.  Dyson didn’t take as many bad shots and Brandon Triche also did some nice things.  Hopefully it continues to improve so Charlotte can have a shot to win the whole Summer League.
  • Free Throw Shooting: this was the main reason the Bobcats lost to the Spurs.  The Bobcats shot an atrocious 8-18 (44.8%) from the charity stripe in this one.  It wasn’t much better against the Mavericks either 26-39 (66.7%).  There’s no excuse in this, it has to come up.
  • Three Point Shooting: Jeff Taylor has been Charlotte’s only consistent threat from beyond the arch, and he’s only 4-10 there through both games.  Troy Daniels has been a disappoint so far, as he only shot 1-3 on three pointers in both games.  The Bobcats shot 4-16 (25%) from downtown against the Spurs and 4-11 (36.4%) today against the Mavericks.

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(Photo Credit: zimbo.com)

Bobcat From: 2007-2008

Bobcats Stats:

  • 2007-2008: 21.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.1 APG, .441 FG%, .406 3P%
  • 2008-2009*: 18.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, .441 FG%, .458 3P%

* – Only played 14 games in the 2008-2009 season before being traded.

When the Charlotte Bobcats sent Brandan Wright to Golden State in exchange for SG Jason Richardson it instantly became arguably the biggest trade in Bobcats History.  Richardson was still young at the time and in his prime, just two seasons before becoming a Bobcat he was one of the most lethal scorers in the NBA when he averaged 23.8 PPG for the Warriors.

This was a huge move for the Bobcats.  By the time Richardson was acquired Gerald Wallace had already established himself as one of the best SF’s in the NBA, so Bobcat faithful were hopeful a duo of Wallace and Richardson could form one of the most lethal wing combinations in all of the NBA.  When you also factor the young Raymond Felton into the equation it looked as if Charlotte was on the brink of turning the corner and becoming one of the more dangerous young teams in the entire NBA.

Richardson wasn’t exactly a disappointment in Charlotte.  He and Stephen Jackson are still the only players to ever record a season in which they averaged 20+ PPG.  Richardson just never really meshed well; the team never took that next step with him as their go-to guy.  In fact, Charlotte’s record actually got worse from the previous year in Richardson’s only year in Charlotte.

However he’s still one of the five best Bobcats ever, even in limited time in Charlotte.  He’s the second best SG and true scorer the Bobcats have ever had.  One of my favorite Bobcats games ever is still when Richardson lit up the Celtics in Boston, scoring 34 points and handing the Celtics only their fourth loss of the year at the time.

In December of 2008, 14 games into the season, Richardson was shipped to Phoenix in exchange for a package of Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary.  Richardson’s stats had declined from the previous year and it simply seemed like he didn’t care to be a Bobcat any longer.

 Updated List:

  • 10 – DJ Augustin, PG
  • 9 – Boris Diaw, PF/C
  • 8 – Primoz Brezec, C
  • 7 – Kemba Walker, PG
  • 6 – Gerald Henderson, SG
  • 5 – Raymond Felton, PG
  • 4 – Jason Richardson, SG

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(Photo Credit: zimbo.com)

Bobcat From: 2005-2010

Bobcats Stats:

  • 2005-2006: 11.9 PPG, 5.6 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG, .391 FG%, .358 3P%
  • 2006-2007: 14.0 PPG, 7.0 APG, 3.4 RPG, 1.5 SPG, .384 FG%, .330 3P%
  • 2007-2008: 14.4 PPG, 7.4 APG, 3.0 RPG, 1.2 SPG, .413 FG%, .280 3P%
  • 2008-2009: 14.2 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.8 RPG, 1.5 SPG, .408 FG%, .285 3P%
  • 2009-2010: 12.1 PPG, 5.6 APG, 3.6 RPG, 1.5 SPG, .459 FG%, .385 3P%

I recently wrote that I believe Kemba Walker is the best PG we’ve ever had.  I still do.  However Kemba needs to play another season or two like he did last year before he jumps Felton on the list.  Felton was and still is an above average PG, nothing more or nothing less.  Many Bobcats fans are still resentful towards Felton because before the 2005 NBA Draft, it was reported that the Bobcats could have traded the 5th and 13th picks to Utah in exchange for the third pick.  With the third selection they could have taken either Deron Williams or Chris Paul who both were, and still are, top-5 NBA PG’s.  Instead the Bobcats kept both picks and took Raymond Felton and mega-bust Sean May.

You can’t hold that against Felton thought.  He was still one of the best players in franchise history and played a huge role on the Bobcats for five years.  Felton was a good floor general who was pretty good at each of scoring, passing and rebounding.  Felton’s best season for the Bobcats was probably 2007-2008, in which he set highs in points and assists for his Bobcats tenure.

Felton played a huge role in each and every year he was a Bobcat, including the playoff year in which he spent time at PG with DJ Augustin.  At the end of that season it was well apparent that Felton was never going to become great, so the Bobcats decided to let him become a free agent and give Augustin a shot at running the team.

In July 2010 Felton signed to play for the Knicks.  He was having his best season ever until he was traded to Denver as a part of the package New York sent to land star Carmelo Anthony.  Then on the night of the 2011 draft he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.  He played one year for Portland then in July 2012 he signed a contract to go back to New York and he was their starting PG last season.

Updated List

  • 10 – DJ Augustin, PG
  • 9 – Boris Diaw, PF/C
  • 8 – Primoz Brezec, C
  • 7 – Kemba Walker, PG
  • 6- Gerald Henderson, SG
  • 5 – Raymond Felton, PG

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(Photo Credit: bleacherreport.com)

Bobcats Stats: 2009-Present

Bobcats Stats:

  • 2009-2010: 2.6 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, .356 FG%, .211 3P%
  • 2010-2011: 9.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, .454 FG%, .194 3P%
  • 2011-2012: 15.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, .459 FG%, .234 3P%
  • 2012-2013: 15.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.6 APG, .447 FG%, .330 3P%

At the number six spot is another current player, who’s also a free agent, in SG Gerald Henderson.  After a disappointing rookie season in which he could barely even get on the floor Henderson has proceeded to establish himself as one of the better SG’s in the entire NBA, in my opinion he’s in the top-10.  Henderson has a smooth jumper and is one of the best post-up SG’s in the entire NBA.

I also don’t believe Henderson has reached his ceiling yet.  His first three years his three point jumper was nonexistent, but in this past season he showed he can be dangerous from behind the arch after shooting 33% on three point attempts.  Henderson is also a great defender and solid rebounder.

The product out of Duke was taken 12th overall by Charlotte in the 2009 NBA Draft.  Gerald Henderson’s career high in points is 35 which he has done on two different occasions.  His career high in rebounds is 10 which he has done three times and his career high in assists is 8 which he has done twice.

I’m praying the Bobcats resign Henderson to a three of four year contract.  He deserves it.  He may or may not be the team’s starting SG of the future, but if he isn’t he still could be one of the best sixth men in the entire NBA.  When Henderson reaches his ceiling I think he can be a 17-18 PPG scorer for years to come.  He loves Charlotte and loves his teammates, hopefully he’ll get resigned and continue to rise up this list.

Updated List:

  • 10 – DJ Augustin, PG
  • 9 – Boris Diaw, PF/C
  • 8 – Primoz Brezec, C
  • 7 – Kemba Walker, PG
  • 6 – Gerald Henderson, SG

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(Photo Credit: bigstory.ap.org)

Bobcat From: 2011-Present

Bobcats Stats:

  • 2011-2012: 12.1 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.5 RPG, .366 FG%, .305 3P%
  • 2012-2013: 17.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, 3.5 RPG, .423 FG%, .322 3P%

He’s only played two years, but that’s all Kemba Walker has needed to find himself pretty high up on this list.  After an up-and-down rookie year, the Bobcats handed the reigns as starting PG over to Kemba in his second year and boy did he ever deliver.

He completely elevated his game in his second campaign and saw improvements in every statistical category.  Kemba is as quick as any other PG in the NBA off the dribble and really improved his jump shot last year.  He’s still young but he has all the potential in the world and in my opinion he’s already the best PG we’ve ever had.

I remember in the 2011 draft I was praying we would spend one of our top-10 selections on the UConn star and I was ecstatic when he fell into our hands with the ninth overall selection.  He was definitely disappointing as a rookie, but he was fighting for minutes with DJ Augustin on the worst team in NBA History.  Last year head coach Mike Dunlap made him much more of a focal point and Kemba looked like a completely different player.  He still needs to work on his outside shot, if it can continue to improve he has potential to jump into the top-10 as far as PG’s in the NBA goes very soon.

I expect even more improvement this year.  He hasn’t had a legitimate offensive post-threat to play with yet in his tenure with Charlotte.  He now has Cody Zeller and Al Jefferson.  His assists numbers should really make a big jump after these recent additions.  After seven years of inconsistent play from Raymond Felton and DJ Augustin I believe we finally have a franchise PG in Kemba.  He’s only going to get better, by the end of next season he could realistically move into the top-five on this list.

Updated List:

  • 10 – DJ Augustin, PG
  • 9 – Boris Diaw, PF/C
  • 8 – Primoz Brezec, C
  • 7 – Kemba Walker, PG

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(Photo Credit: fantasybasketballleagues.com)

Just one day after making the biggest free agent signing in Charlotte basketball history the Bobcats have announced another signing today.  Just a few minutes ago Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported on twitter that the Bobcats have resigned Josh McRoberts to a two year deal worth six million dollars including a player option in the second year.  This simply means that McRoberts can return to Charlotte to finish off his second year if he wishes or could seek a new contract.

After drafting Cody Zeller just a little over a week ago and signing Al Jefferson a day ago, the Bobcats frontcourt has seen a major recent overhaul.  McRoberts projects to be Cody Zeller’s backup at the PF position.  McRoberts played the best span of basketball of his career last year in Charlotte.  He played 31 games for the Bobcats and started 26 of them; he averaged 9.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 2.7 APG.

My Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of this move.  McRoberts played great down the stretch for us last year and I think he has potential to be one of the best backup PF’s in the NBA.  He’s an exceptional passer and moves very well to be his size.  He’s also good at rebounding, setting screens and has a decent mid-range jump shot.

Ever since the end of the last season I’ve been saying it’d be smart to bring McRoberts back on a two of three year contract where we pay him two of three million dollars per year and that’s what we’re doing.  Let’s make sure his play down the stretch last year wasn’t a fluke.  I don’t think it was and this is another guy who I think genuinely wants to be in Charlotte.  You could tell by some of his interviews last year he loved his teammates and the area.

This is a great move; I’m thrilled “McBob” will be back.  Only thing left now is to resign Henderson and we can call it a day.  Welcome back to the Queen City, McBob!

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(Photo Credit: usatoday.com)

This morning ESPN’s Mark Stein reported that the Charlotte Bobcats have signed Al Jefferson to a three year deal worth an estimated 41 million dollars.  This is obviously a huge move for the franchise, it’s the biggest free agent signing in franchise history and Al is now probably the best post-player the Bobcats have ever had.

Al will obviously come in and start at center right away.  I’m also hoping the Bobcats will ask him to be a mentor to some of our younger front court prospects such as Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo.  Charlotte’s chances to land Andrew Wiggins decreased today, but they were never that high anyways.  Charlotte will still more than likely have a top-10 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

My Thoughts

I recently wrote how I was opposed to bringing in Al Jefferson.  I still am.  I’m still far from a fan of this move, but it’s not as bad as it could have been.  The deal itself isn’t bad.  It’s three years instead of four and we’re not giving him the full 15 million per year. 

This move isn’t all of a sudden going to set us over the hump and get us back into the playoffs.  We could still have multiple top-20 selections next year to add more building blocks.  I agree you can’t tank forever, but we’re completely going away from our bread and butter a year too early.  Cho’s plan was supposed to be to build through the draft and acquire young assets, and then once we have a good foundation set in place you can try to sign big-name free agents.

We’re off to a decent start as far as young players go with Kemba Walker, MKG and Cody Zeller but our young foundation is far from finished.  We were still multiple building blocks away from rounding out our young core.  With this move we just decrease the caliber of the players we’ll have in our future young core.

This is still the biggest move in franchise history, so it’s hard not to get just a little excited but when you really think about it, it just doesn’t make much sense with the rebuilding plan Cho has brought.  It’s easy to tell I don’t like this move, but I’m a believer in Rich Cho so I’ll support them in whatever direction they go.

How Big Al fits in Charlotte

As I’ve already mentioned, this is the biggest signing in Bobcats History and he’s probably the best frontcourt player we’ve ever had now.  He’ll instantly be the go-to player on offense.  He can also hopefully be a team leader on the floor and in the lockerroom.  A veteran presence was needed; Gerald Henderson was probably the closest thing we had to one last year.

Expect an increase in Big Al’s numbers next year.  The Bobcats will call on him considerably more than Utah did.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he averages of 20 points per game next year, he’s also going to be the first true center we’ve had since 2010.

Bobcats Amnesty Tyrus Thomas

It’s also been recently reported that the Bobcats are going to amnesty Tyrus Thomas July 10th who was scheduled to make around 9 million dollars each of the next two years.  Now this is a move I think we all can get behind.

Thomas had one of the worst contracts in the NBA, so I’m thrilled we’re finally getting rid of that because he was a worthless player.  Hopefully they’ll use this money to go out and resign Gerald Henderson, a move I think we absolutely have to make.

Conclusion

I don’t like the Al Jefferson signing, but there’s nothing we can do about it now.  Again, I believe in Rich Cho.  He knows what he needs to do to build a championship winning team here in Charlotte.  I can’t wait for the season, welcome to the Queen City, Big Al!  Now let’s get this Henderson deal done.

 

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(Photo Credit: nba.com)

Bobcat From: 2004-2007

Bobcats Stats:

  • 2004-2005: 13.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.8 BPG, .512 FG%
  • 2005-2006: 12.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.4 BPG, .517 FG%
  • 2006-2007: 5.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.4 BPG, .445 FG%
  • 2007-2008: 1.9 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.2 BPG, .395 FG%

Some of you may be surprised to see Primoz Brezec on the list this high up, but for two years he was arguably the best big man we ever had (I consider Emeka Okafor more of a PF/C).  Primoz went in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft to the Indiana Pacers with the 27th overall pick.  For three years he played there but got little expansion time, so in the Bobcats 2004 expansion draft they picked him up and made him their starting center.

That 2004-2005 season in Charlotte was easily the best of Primoz’s career.  He set career highs in almost every major statistical category.  He scored at a high rate and was a good rebounder.  However with the second pick in the 2004 NBA Draft the Bobcats selected Emeka Okafor.  The Bobcats couldn’t really play both at the same time because the paint would get clogged, Okafor got off to a great start and his role increased while Brezec’s was diminished.

He had another solid season in 2005-2006; the proceeding season is when he really dropped off.  In 2004-2005 he played over 31 minutes a game, that dropped slightly in 2005-2006 to 27.4 minutes per game.  In 2006-2007 it dropped all the way to 14.4 minutes per game.  His stats obviously saw a major decrease as well, by now Okafor was the superior player and Brezec only came in in short stints to give him a rest.

In the following season the Bobcats traded Primoz Brezec and Walter Herrmann to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Nazr Mohammed.  Because of his first two seasons with the team I think Brezec should be on the list, he was actually a really good player for Charlotte in the early years of the franchise.

Updated List:

  • 10 – DJ Augustin, PG
  • 9 – Boris Diaw, PF/C
  • 8 – Primoz Brezec, C

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(Photo Credit: nba.com)

Bobcat From: 2008-2012

Bobcats Stats:

  • 2008-2009: 15.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.9 APG, .495 FG%, .419 3P%
  • 2009-2010: 11.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.0 APG, .483 FG%, .320 3P%
  • 2010-2011: 11.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.1 APG, .492 FG%, .345 3P%
  • 2011-2012: 7.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, .410 FG%, .267 3P%

Boris Diaw was first acquired from the Bobcats in December of 2010 in a trade where Charlotte sent Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley, and a future second round pick to the Phoenix Suns for Raja Bell, Sean Singletary and Diaw.  Diaw got off to a great start in Charlotte, 2008-2009 with the Bobcats was probably the best span of his career.  He was used as a stretch big that could make shots from the outside.

Diaw followed that up with two more solid seasons with Charlotte.  He played a vital role as a starter on the Bobcats 2010 playoff team.  Diaw is arguably the most versatile big man the Bobcats have ever had.  He could play multiple positions and there wasn’t really anything he couldn’t do.  He was a good scorer who could knock down shots from the perimeter, he grabbed rebounds at a decent rate and he was an exceptionally good passer for a big man.

When the Bobcats went into full-tank mode in the 2011-2012 season it’s obvious Diaw didn’t want to be there anymore.  His stats saw a major decrease, so the Bobcats waived him.  He was later picked up by the San Antonio Spurs and he was actually a pretty large contributor for them on their playoff run this year.

Diaw is on this list because he’s the most versatile and best stretch big man Charlotte has ever had.  Hopefully Cody Zeller will soon claim these honors but obviously he’s yet to play an NBA game so we’ll just have to wait and see.  At the end of the day, Diaw had three really solid years for the Bobcats so he cracked my list of the 10 best Bobcats ever, coming in at number 9.

Updated List:

  • 10 – DJ Augustin, PG
  • 9 – Boris Diaw, PF/C
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