On The Clock: Pick # 9 – Charlotte Bobcats

Jonas ValanciunasThe Charlotte Bobcats are not very good, and probably won’t be for a while.  And when you consider that losing Joel Przybilla and Kwame Brown hurts them, it’s a safe bet to say they need size.  Tyrus Thomas isn’t going to man the paint by himself. 

The question then becomes, where do you get the size?  Do you go with a guy like Tristan Thompson out of Texas?  What I can’t get past, considering how our mock draft has gone, is that he’s a 6’9″ post player who will likely have some issues getting his shot off against bigger defenders in the NBA.  I also know that this draft is very short on impact players, so I’m not going to sit here and justify anyone’s immediate impact on any team because, quite frankly, none of these players past the second pick is good enough to do that. 

So looking at the board and knowing that the ninth pick puts the ‘Cats squarely in the “fingers-crossed” category of players (and knowing I can’t trade out of a mock draft), I’m going to gladly accept the gift that has been given to me.  

With the 9th pick in the Bloguin mock draft, the Charlotte Bobcats select Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania.  I don’t think he’ll actually be on the board by #9 when that pick rolls around tonight, but if he is, there’s no doubt Rich Cho will jump on him in a heartbeat.

Yes, I am very well aware of the buyout situation that could keep Valanciunasoverseas for another year or two.  But there’s no one else out there with his kind of promise at that size.  And the extra year or two overseas will help the kid put some weight on, maybe lift a weight or two, and add some toughness to what seems to be a pretty nifty offensive game. 

By all accounts, Valanciunas has the skills to operate around the basket.  He’s got a soft touch and he’s not afraid to mix it up for a rebound or two.  You can try to scout the kid through YouTube videos, which will show you a few nice things like decent quickness, the ability to catch and finish, and a good shooting touch.  But they won’t show you the deficiencies in his game. 

Again, he’s a skinny kid that will get muscled around quite a bit right now.  But if you’re willing to wait for him, then that’s something that can be corrected.  And since the Bobcats aren’t really a threat to crack the playoff rotation yet, there’s no need to rush him.  If he’s there at 9, you take him and let him sit overseas for a little bit to get better.  If he’s not, then hopefully you can trade out of that slot and get a big guy that way. 

Now on the clock are the Milwaukee Bucks with the tenth pick.

Photo: Daylife.com