Less than two weeks before the 2011 NBA Draft, Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats re-shuffled the front office a bit to make room for former Oklahoma City Assistant GM and Portland GM, Rich Cho to the same position. As a result, Bobcats' GM Rod Higgins has been promoted to team president. In perhaps the most important draft in the team's short history, Cho provides an analytical background storied with trades and draft picks instrumental in both the Thunder and Trailblazers' success. Under his front office tutelage, he's overseen Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka - all key players for Oklahoma City's playoff run this season and he initiated the trade of Gerald Wallace to Portland that yielded the Bobcats with a second first-round pick and cap space.
Prior to Cho, Charlotte hasn't had the greatest of luck in the NBA Draft, in fact, they've been one of the worst drafting teams ever since their inception in the 2003-2004 season. Their best value pick was in their first pick as a franchise when they selected celebrated college big man, Emeka Okafor second overall after trading up with the Clippers. The next year, point guard Ray Felton was added to the mix, but neither stand with the franchise today. In the five drafts since then, the Bobcats only nabbed one starter, point guard D.J. Augustin.
Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw are two aging products in the frontcourt, but gave the team the most production last season, combining for 40 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists a night, but their lack of depth between Tyrus Thomas and Dante Cunningham, that exposed Charlotte. In the backcourt, Augustin used his size and court vision to penetrate and set up teammates, but his size hindered his ability to finish around the basket and slow down opposing point guards. Gerald Henderson, a 2009 first round pick, missed action with a knee injury, and didn't come on until Gerald Wallace was traded to Portland. However, Henderson will need 4-6 months of recovery time after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip and its unsure if he will be ready for training camp.
With an overall lack of talent and lack of depth hurting the team, expect Cho and the Bobcats to draft impact players at No. 9, No. 19, and No. 39. It's also possible that Charlotte could look to package No. 9 and No. 19 to move up in the draft, but more likely that they will stand pat and begin to fill up some of the gaping holes on this roster.