Why are we look at a 6\'11 dude that plays like Premo I guess Bernie is taking a strong look at everyone I would be pissed if we drafted Marcus Williams to tell you the truth.Fifty-million foam-rubber index fingers can\'t be wrong: Everybody wants to be No. 1.
Except tonight, when the NBA holds its annual draft lottery, it might be just as fine finishing second, third or even sixth. This is a draft with no LeBron James or Tim Duncan. You\'ll get a good player, but if you\'re drafting No. 1, you\'ll likely have to pay him like a great player.
\"This is about who you like. I don\'t think anybody is a flat-out No. 1\" pick, said Charlotte Bobcats coach-general manager Bernie Bickerstaff, whose team\'s fate will be decided in a weighted draw tonight at 7:30 (ESPN).
\"It\'s (team) needs and who you like. It doesn\'t mean those guys won\'t stick (as NBA players) because they\'re very good. But normally, you have a clear-cut guy\" at the top.
The Bobcats could choose from first through sixth in the June 28 draft, after finishing tied with the Hawks for the third-worst record in the NBA (26-56). Based on the odds of that weighting system, they\'re most likely to have the fifth pick (29.04 percent), but they also have a nearly 43 percent chance of getting one of the top three.
Any one of five players seems a viable candidate to go first overall: Texas\' LaMarcus Aldridge, Louisiana State\'s Tyrus Thomas, Gonzaga\'s Adam Morrison, Connecticut\'s Rudy Gay or Italian pro Andrea Bargnani. That doesn\'t mean those guys are sure bets to go top-five because others -- Washington shooting guard Brandon Roy or Connecticut point guard Marcus Williams, for instance -- could slip in.
If a team favors a big man, Aldridge or Thomas figures to be the guy. If a team is more in need of perimeter scoring, Morrison, Gay or Bargnani fills the bill.
The Bobcats need a wing scorer, but that doesn\'t lock in their pick. Bickerstaff said he wouldn\'t turn his back on a superior talent, purely to draft for need, because most draft prospects aren\'t ready to deliver immediately at the NBA level.
\"Our need is to add talent,\" Bickerstaff said of the situation entering Season 3. \"What we project as a need -- more perimeter shooting -- is not guaranteed by who we would take as a draft pick.\"
That\'s consistent with how Bickerstaff approached last season\'s draft. His two best players in the first season were power forward Emeka Okafor and point guard Brevin Knight. Having Okafor and Knight didn\'t keep him from drafting a point guard (Raymond Felton) and a power forward (Sean May) with lottery picks last spring.
It\'s clear Bickerstaff still feels his roster is at that formative stage, at which upgrading talent at any position is of value.
\"If you aren\'t sure\" what gets you over the top, Bickerstaff said, \"then there\'s nothing wrong with duplicating\" talent.
Bickerstaff said he doesn\'t know who he\'d choose with the No. 1 pick, so he certainly hasn\'t lined up 1-through-6. He plans to be thorough; for instance, he might audition Williams, even though the Bobcats are loaded at point guard, just to examine whether Williams and Felton could fit together.
The Bobcats won\'t hesitate to over-prepare, because Bickerstaff anticipates some jockeying once the draft order is established tonight.
\"We\'ve got to make sure about our due diligence,\" he said, \"because if someone offers us something to move down a bit, we could conceivably do that if they make it worth our while.\"
Bickerstaff hasn\'t decided whether he\'ll coach next season, but it sounds as if he\'s leaning in the direction of one more season on the bench before becoming GM exclusively.
Just back from Italy, Bickerstaff recently scouted 6-foot-11 Bargnani: \"He has good size, an excellent first step and he can really shoot. Right now I think he\'s a (small forward). He needs to learn to play with his back to the basket, which he doesn\'t do right now.\"
Forward Gerald Wallace will be in New Jersey tonight, representing the Bobcats at the lottery. As someone who\'s used to influencing the outcome, Bickerstaff doesn\'t enjoy the game-of-chance element of the event.
\"It\'s terrible because you\'ve got no control,\" said Bickerstaff. \"You want to take responsibility for what\'s happening, and that\'s stupid, but your stomach still churns.\"
NBA Draft Lottery | 7:30 p.m., TV: ESPN
The order for the first 14 picks of the June 28th NBA draft will be determined tonight. The Charlotte Bobcats can finish anywhere from first to sixth.
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