30. Charlotte Bobcats | Future Power Rating: 382
PLAYERSMANAGEMENTMONEYMARKETDRAFT78 (30th)45 (26th)142 (9th)18 (28th)99 (1st)
We had the Bobcats ranked last for two years before they bottomed out last season. Now that they've cratered … well, we still have them in last. But encouraging signs are on the horizon, and they may not be in this position for too much longer.
The biggest reason the 'Cats stayed at No. 30 is a lack of talent -- rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist seems like the only potential star here -- and so they still rank last in the players category. But that will change in coming years -- between their own picks and future first-rounders from Portland and Detroit, we have them rated first in the draft category. The only drag is a protected pick owed to the Bulls, one that could blow up on them if they don't become good in a few years.
Financially, Charlotte's position has improved considerably. The Bobcats essentially bought a likely lottery pick from Detroit when they agreed to take on Ben Gordon's leaden contract, yet still have plenty of cap room going forward. Finding somebody who will take it may prove more challenging, as we rated this market 28th because of its lack of fan support and losing history. That can change, however; this city has supported better Charlotte teams in the past, and while it's a small market it's at least not a cold one.
The Bobcats also have some professional management in the well-regarded Rich Cho, who has steered them away from some of the disastrous short-term gambles that were commonplace in the Larry Brown era. Baby steps, but they won't be 30th for much longer.