Charlotte, which holds the No. 2 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, traded Corey Maggette to the Pistons Tuesday night for Ben Gordon and a future draft pick. The Bobcats are in dire need of offense, which is why drafting Florida guard Bradley Beal 2nd overall seemed to make sense. But now with 29-year-old Gordon – a prolific 3-point shooter – they can draft to fill another need: small forward. (The Gordon trade works out great for Washington – they get the shooter they need, Beal, with the 3rd pick.)
Which is why Michael Kidd-Gilchrist makes so much sense for Charlotte 2nd. (Hey Jordan, do you see a little Pippen in MKG?) Thomas Robinson also make sense, but only if you’re going to amnesty Tyrus Thomas. Last year’s 1st round pick, trash-talking Bismack Biyombo, is really a power forward, as is Thomas. And Byron Mullens, whom they acquired from OKC, is a 7-foot PF/C who floats to the perimeter. Thomas Robinson would be the best player in that quartet, but how many power forwards do you need on the roster when you have no small forwards?
Charlotte could of course swing another trade to slide down a spot or two and get MKG. With 36 hours until the draft, here’s how I THINK the lottery will shake out:
1. New Orleans – Anthony Davis, Kentucky
2. Charlotte – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
3. Washington – Brad Beal, Florida
4. Cleveland – Harrison Barnes, UNC
5. Sacramento – Thomas Robinson, Kansas
6. Portland – Damon Lillard, Weber St.
7. Golden State – Dion Waiters, Syracuse
8. Toronto – Austin Rivers, Duke
9. Detroit – Andre Drummond, UConn
10. New Orleans – Jeremy Lamb, UConn
11. Portland – Tyler Zeller, UNC
12. Milwaukee – John Henson, UNC
13. Phoenix – Terrence Ross, Washington
14. Houston – Royce White, Iowa State
Acquiring Maggette is a nice start to dumping bad salary off Detroit’s books. Chubby Charlie Villanueva will be the next to go.