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What the local Bobcat coverage thinks


The Bobcats must take at least 14 players, each off a different roster.

They could take a player off every roster if they choose.

If a team did not protect a restricted free agent, the Bobcats can take him. However, that player would then become an unrestricted free agent (with the caveat that he couldn't re-sign with the team that just lost him):

Player Position Team Comment

Jahidi White center-forward Phoenix The Suns will send a first-rounder and cash to Charlotte.

Jason Kapono forward Cleveland This will be tough on Paul Silas, because Kapono is his only reliable jump shooter.

Tamar Slay guard New Jersey Bernie Bickerstaff likes long players. Slay is a 6-foot-9 guard.

Richie Frahm guard Seattle Has shown he can play when given minutes -- which almost never come.

Predrag Drobnjak center-forward L.A. Clippers A hunch that the Bobcats would absorb this salary in a deal to acquire the No. 2 pick.

Brandon Hunter guard Boston A cheap salary for a husky guy who can rebound.

Erick Strickland guard Milwaukee A stand-up guy who could be a leader in the locker room.

Aleksandar Pavlovic forward Utah Defensively deficient, but the guy has talent.

Matt Carroll guard San Antonio Worth a look at an unguaranteed $620,000 salary.


Ronald Dupree forward Chicago

Courtney Alexander guard New Orleans

J.R. Bremer guard Golden State

Desmond Ferguson forward-guard Portland

Jake Tsakalidis center Memphis

Loren Woods center Miami

I was hoping they'd take Stack....not likely.

But.....hopefulyy they WON'T take Juan.

here is their top 100 available.

With input from writers around the NBA, Observer staff writer Rick Bonnell ranks players available in the expansion draft.

This is a subjective value ranking, based on ability, health, age and contract. The intent is to illustrate a player's value either to the Bobcats or in a potential trade, not which players are better. For instance, Indiana's Austin Croshere is "better" than Cleveland's Jason Kapono, but Kapono is inexpensive, and Croshere has a contract that far exceeds his productivity.

The contract numbers come from hoopshype.com and various NBA sources. In a few cases, exact salary numbers could not be found.

The Bobcats' cap will be two-thirds of existing teams' cap in their first season, which should be about $30 million. The Bobcats could exceed that cap while claiming players. Players Rick Bonnell has projected the Bobcats to take are noted with a asterisk.

1. Kerry Kittles, New Jersey

Still among the league's fastest players, and a career 38 percent shooter from the three-point line. But his jump shot can be maddeningly inconsistent, and his salary would be a big gulp for the Bobcats. Contract: One year, $9.8 million.

2. Chucky Atkins, Boston

Arguably the best point guard on this list, and furious at the Celtics for leaving him unprotected. But more useful as trade bait than as a mentor to a bunch of kids. Contract: Two years, total of $8.7 million.

*3. Jason Kapono, Cleveland

Nothing impressive about him except his jump shot, but that's enough. He could be this team's Dell Curry, which is crucial because the Bobcats will struggle to score. Contract: One year, $620,000

4. James Jones, Indiana

If the Bobcats are looking for the next Flip Murray, maybe this is the guy. A smart and mature kid trapped at the end of the Pacers' bench; Larry Bird called him the team's best shooter -- better than Reggie Miller. Contract: A team-option $620,000

5. Gerald Wallace, Sacramento

Arrived in Sacramento as a raw, but spectacular, athlete and figures to leave that way, too. He can't do much more than dunk, but at this price, he might be worth a look-see. Contract: One year, $1.38 million.

*6. Matt Carroll, San Antonio

If he improves his ballhandling, you'd have a backup shooting guard with toughness off the bench. Knicks coaches loved how hard he played and cut him with reluctance as Isiah Thomas churned that roster. Contract: One year, $620,000, reportedly unguaranteed.

*7. Richie Frahm, Seattle

A young guard with a very nice jump shot. He had a 31-point night on 10-of-11 shooting, but gets no playing time behind Ray Allen and Flip Murray. Could he be a find? Contract: Restricted free agent.

8. Antoine Walker, Dallas

Oh, what might have been. For all his skills -- and they're intoxicating -- Walker is more Billy Owens than Larry Bird. Is there a trade partner out there to absorb the salary? Contract: One year, $14.6 million

9. Keyon Dooling, Clippers

An incredibly athletic guard who can defend. He is miscast as a point guard and he doesn't have quite the size to be a shooting guard. Contract: Restricted free agent.

10. Jerry Stackhouse, Washington

He's missed so many games the past two seasons that it's tough to say what he has left. He still can break defenders down one-on-one, but you'd need to move him on to a veteran team. Contract: Three years, $24 million.

*11. Erick Strickland, Milwaukee

He's a hard-nosed and competitive guy who feels he's underutilized in Milwaukee. Can play either guard spot and could be a plus in Charlotte's locker room if he took to being a mentor. Contract: One year, $1.65 million.

*12. Tamar Slay, New Jersey

A young, long athlete who caught the eye of Bobcats coach/general manager Bernie Bickerstaff. He's a distinct possibility to be selected. Contract: Restricted free agent.

13. Vitaly Potapenko, Seattle

The best thing about him is his willingness to deliver and accept physical punishment; this is one tough big man. He's limited offensively and somewhat undersized at 6-foot-10, but he'd make a statement that the Bobcats won't be soft. Contract: One year, $6.2 million.

14. Anthony Johnson, Indiana

A.J. is a pro, even if he's nothing special at the NBA level. He would compete, he would mentor, and he would set an example of professionalism. Contract: One year (player option) at $932,000.

15. Troy Bell, Memphis

He played himself into the first round last year by excelling in the pre-draft camp, but couldn't pass Earl Watson as the Grizzlies' backup point guard. Contract: Two years guaranteed, total $2.9 million.

16. Eddie Jones, Miami

Remember when the Hornets refused to give Jones a maximum contract? Now you see why. Still a fine three-point shooter, but he's no longer the defender he once was. His contract is untradeable without taking junk back. Contract: Three years, $42 million-plus.

17. Brian Grant, Miami

One of the league's most rugged players; a power forward forced to play center. His body is wearing out and his massive contract no longer matches his value. Contract: Three years, $42 million-plus.

18. Christian Laettner, Washington

He still has a few years left, although back and Achilles' tendon aches have slowed him at times. Probably not a good fit for the Bobcats; he's moody and that drug suspension wouldn't sit well with owner Bob Johnson. Contract: One year, $6.2 million.

*19. Aleksandar Pavlovic, Utah

A born shooter, but his youth (20) and the language barrier (from Serbia and Montenegro) showed. He doesn't stick with defense and sometimes didn't listen to directions. Contract: Two years, $2.5 million.

*20. Ronald Dupree, Chicago

He's small for a power forward, but he has Kenny Gattison-like persistence under the basket. Contract: Restricted free agent.

*21. J.R. Bremer, Warriors

An obscure player who could end up being chosen. The Bobcats need players who can make a jump shot, and Bremer fits the description. Contract: Restricted free agent.

*22. Jahidi White, Phoenix

A very good rebounder and defender who can guard bigger centers, but he's an offensive liability -- poor hands, poor shot. A side deal -- with perks for the Bobcats -- could make this happen. Contract: One year, $5.9 million.

*23. Brandon Hunter, Boston

He has a Charles Barkley-type body and could be a superior rebounder with playing time. His offense isn't much when teams pay attention to him defensively. Contract: One year (team option) $620,000.

24. Ernest Brown, Boston

He's a big body with potential who has played overseas. It could be awhile before he's ready to contribute. Contract: Restricted free agent.

25. Eric Piatkowski, Houston

A shooter, which is valuable to the Bobcats because they're in such short supply. But there are younger, and cheaper, alternatives with the same skill set. Contract: Two years, $5.7 million.

26. Theron Smith, Memphis

An undrafted player out of Ball State who slashes to the basket with enough energy that he passed first-round pick Dahntay Jones on the depth chart. Contract: One year, $620,000

27. Brian Skinner, Milwaukee

He's a big body and a guy who isn't reluctant to do the dirty work. The Bucks saw him as a power forward and were pleasantly surprised how well he filled in at center. He can opt out of the final season on his contract. Contract: Two years, $2.4 million.

28. Ervin Johnson, Minnesota

A great locker room guy, he's equally comfortable starting or coming off the bench. But at 36, his best basketball is behind him. Contract: One year, $5 million.

29. Scottie Pippen, Chicago

Michael Jordan's sidekick wouldn't help an expansion team. He considered retiring because of age and injuries, and probably wouldn't take to mentoring young players. Contract: One year, $5.4 million.

30. Tony Delk, Dallas

Is he a point guard? Is he a shooting guard? Is he none of the above? Contract: Two years, $6.5 million.

31. Corliss Williamson, Detroit

A bull of a man who can score, but he's just not worth the price. Contract: Three years, $24 million.

32. Jerome Williams, Chicago

A jumping jack who never learned to do much else on a basketball court. He's severely overpaid for his productivity. Contract: Three years, $24 million.

33. Antonio Davis, Chicago

Was once a tough, if undersized, big man for Indiana. Toronto brought him in when the Raptors were in playoff mode, but he's aging and overpaid. Contract: Two years, $25 million.

34. Marcus Fizer, Chicago

One of the all-time busts in lottery history. He was a great college player who never translated to the NBA game. Contract: Restricted free agent.

35. Maurice Taylor, Houston

The Rockets would love for the Bobcats to take him because his contract is outrageous. He's a scorer at power forward, but a terrible rebounder for his size. Contract: Three years, $27 million-plus.

36. Scot Pollard, Indiana

The Pacers thought Pollard would compensate for the loss of Brad Miller. Didn't happen. Contract: Two years, $12 million.

37. Malik Rose, San Antonio

He hit the jackpot a few years ago, and now the Spurs would love to get out from under his contract. Still a tough hustler, but 6-7 power forwards can do only so much in the NBA. Contract: Four years, $25 million.

38. Ruben Patterson, Portland

He has more than enough personal baggage to be eliminated under the Bobcats' no-bad-guys policy. But he's a fierce enough rebounder/defender to be possible trade bait. Contract: Three years, $18 million-plus.

39. Reece Gaines, Orlando

The Magic discovered, after drafting him midway through the first round, that he might not be a point guard after all. Contract: Two years, $2.5 million-plus.

40. Charlie Ward, San Antonio

He's football-player tough (a former Heisman Trophy winner) and as clean-cut as the NBA gets, but a 33-year-old point guard has limited value to an expansion team. Contract: One year, $1.1 million.

41. Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, Cleveland

Try to say his name three times fast. A 7-footer floating on the fringes of the NBA. Contract: Restricted free agent.

42. Eddie Robinson, Chicago

He lost his way after leaving the then-Charlotte Hornets for the Chicago Bulls. He never learned to play defense in college, and he's not earning his paycheck with the Bulls. Contract: Two years, $14 million.

43. Ira Newble, Cleveland

One of the league's better defenders, but offensively he doesn't have much more than a 15-foot jump shot. Contract: Four years, $12 million-plus.

44. Kevin Ollie, Cleveland

The definition of a bad contract being peddled to the Bobcats. Cleveland foolishly paid a journeyman like he's a starter, and hopes Charlotte will inherit the mistake. Won't happen. Contract: Four years, $12 million-plus.

45. Jeff Trepagnier, Denver

A great first step and explosive vertical leap aren't all a player needs. Contract: Restricted free agent.

46. Austin Croshere, Indiana

Understand there's nothing wrong with Croshere. He's a versatile, if unspectacular, forward who is available because the Pacers vastly overpaid him. Contract: Three years, $27 million.

47. Rodney Rogers, New Jersey

Had a couple of nice years with Boston as a brawny forward. But the former Wake Forest star has had little impact in New Jersey. Contract: One year, $3.3 million.

48. Lorenzen Wright, Memphis

A fierce competitor of limited ability, he's best suited as a backup power forward. Instead, he's an undersized center. Contract: Two years, $14 million-plus.

49. Alvin Williams, Toronto

More a combo guard than a true point. His intangibles are exceptional; he's willing to say the tough things that leadership is about. He's had knee and ankle injuries that suggest he might be breaking down. Contract: Four years, $25 million-plus.

50. Jamison Brewer, Indiana

A fine athlete and defender who doesn't really know how to run an offense, but teammate Ron Artest absolutely loves this kid's intensity. Contract: Restricted free agent.

*51. Predrag Drobnjak, Clippers

A small forward's game in a big-man's body. He has a good mid-range shot, but he's not engaged as a rebounder. Contract: Three years, $10 million.

52. Bo Outlaw, Memphis

Still living off a huge contract from when the Magic chose to keep him instead of Ben Wallace. Still a solid defender and rebounder, but his foul shooting (.526) is a rally-killer. Contract: One year, $5.4 million.

53. Popeye Jones, Golden State

Admirable toughness and persistence, which would be a great example for an expansion team. But he's wearing out as a player. Contract: Unknown.

54. Adrian Griffin, Houston

A swingman, he all but disappeared from Houston's rotation under new coach Jeff Van Gundy. Maybe his 28 percent shooting had something to do with that. Contract: One year, $807,000

55. Primoz Brezec, Indiana

A Euro big man with a very nice shooting touch either facing the basket or on the turnaround jump shot. Not very athletic. Contract: One year, $1.55 million.

56. Matt Barnes, Clippers

He was called up from the minor leagues the second half of the Clippers' season. He's a good defender, but can't really shoot. Contract: Restricted free agent.

57. Eddie House, Clippers

A great shooter, but he's too short to be anything but a point guard. He's best used as instant offense off the bench. Contract: One year, $825,000

58. Jamal Sampson, Lakers

He works cheap so if they like him, he's worth adding. He blocks shots, but he's coming off ankle surgery. Contract: One year, team-option $695,000.

59. Dahntay Jones, Memphis

A big-time athlete at Duke who could be a tremendous defensive player if he learns how to guard without fouling. Not much there offensively at the NBA level. Contract: Two years, $2.4 million.

60. Jake Tsakalidis, Memphis

Has big, slow feet to go with his big body. Too bad, because he has a nice shooting touch. Contract: Restricted free agent.

*61. Loren Woods, Miami

A high-strung fellow, stretching all the way back to the hassles with teammates that pushed him out of Wake Forest. Contract: Restricted free agent.

*62. Courtney Alexander, New Orleans

Another of many players who tried, and failed, to take away David Wesley's starting spot with the Hornets. Talent is there, but he's never figured out how to make it work at the NBA level. Contract: Restricted free agent.

63. Lonny Baxter, Washington

He's undersized and a plodder, but there's a toughness and persistence about him that should keep him in the league. Realistically, he's a third-string power forward. Contract: One year, $620,000.

64. Penny Hardaway, New York

He was once a great player and is still a great shooter. However, his knee injury and age would likely eliminate him even if he didn't have a killer contract. Contract: Two years, $30 million-plus.

65. Allan Houston, New York

Was one of the 30 best players in the league, particularly as a jump-shooter. However, injuries and a massive contract make him virtually impossible to select, even as trade bait. Contract: Three years, $46 million-plus.

66. Milt Palacio, Toronto

Thanks to his quickness, Palacio is a serviceable reserve point guard. He can get to the basket, but he has little range on his jump shot. Contract: Unknown.

67. Eddie Gill, Portland

He beat out Omar Cook and Dan Dickau for the Trail Blazers' backup point-guard spot. Contract: One year, team-option $720,000

68. Aaron McKie, Philadelphia

He's a versatile, smart player who can play shooting guard or small forward and occasionally the point. But his durability is in doubt and his salary is high. Contract: Four years, $24 million-plus.

69. Moochie Norris, New York

On talent, he's no better than the fourth guard on a good team. So he's certainly not worth inheriting a fat contract. Contract: Three years, $12 million-plus.

70. DeShawn Stevenson, Orlando

A former preps-to-pros draftee in Utah, he's an explosive athlete who's still learning the game. He's turnover-prone, but effective in an up-tempo style. Contract: Restricted free agent.

71. Ryan Humphrey, Memphis

A mid-sized banger who was a bust in Orlando before being traded to Memphis. Coach Hubie Brown insists Humphrey can play, but he was outside the 10-man rotation. Contract: One year, $1.2 million.

72. Cezary Trybanski, New York

Can he play? Who knows? Having logged all of 101 minutes during the past two seasons, he's as obscure as an NBA player gets. Contract: One year, $1.75 million.

73. Britton Johnsen, Orlando

If this counts for anything, he dunked on LeBron James in summer league. Contract: Restricted free agent.

74. Zaza Pachulia, Orlando

Not a typical Euro, he's more a bulldozer than a finesse player. But he's still raw and awkward. Contract: One year, $620,000.

75. Greg Buckner, Philadelphia

Really a power forward trapped in a shooting guard's body, but he knows how to play. Bernie Bickerstaff prefers players who are long, and Buckner isn't that. Contract: Four years, $12 million-plus.

76. Marc Jackson, Philadelphia

Big, burly and strong, but he isn't particularly productive in the minutes he gets. Contract: Three years, $13 million-plus.

77. Qyntel Woods, Portland

He's quite an athlete at 6-8, but nobody will ever describe him as "heady.'' Once was pulled over for speeding, and lacking a valid driver's license, he tried to use his rookie trading card as ID. Contract: One year, $1.2 million.

78. Jumaine Jones, Boston

He was projected to be the Celtics' sixth man last season, but then a hamstring injury in training camp threw off his whole season. It's hard to say whether he has a future in Danny Ainge's makeover. Contract: Two years, $3.6 million.

79. Juan Dixon, Washington

He's tall enough at 6-3 and makes shots, but simply doesn't have the frame and bulk to defend NBA guards. Teams isolate on him as soon as he enters a game. Contract: One year, $1.1 million.

80. Josh Moore, Clippers

He's so huge he wears Shaq's size 22 sneakers. But he defines a long-term project, and doesn't work all that hard. Contract: Restricted free agent.

81. Maurice Carter, New Orleans

A spare part the Hornets picked up at mid-season. Contract: Restricted free agent.

82. Shandon Anderson, New York

If you extract the injured stars -- the Grant Hill types -- from the equation, Anderson might be the greatest waste of salary cap in the league. He's a swingman who has averaged double-figure points once in nine NBA seasons. Contract: Three years, $23 million-plus.

83. Howard Eisley, Phoenix

His contract would eliminate him anyway, but Eisley's skills are declining. He shot too much for a point guard last season, particularly since his field-goal percentage (37 percent) was the worst of his career. Contract: Two years, $13 million-plus.

84. Omar Cook, Portland

All the talk of this point guard's potential gets him second and third chances, but he's done little. Perhaps he's a late-bloomer, but it's possible the Trail Blazers will cut him this summer if the Bobcats don't take him. Contract: One year, $620,000.

85. Dan Dickau, Portland

A solid jump-shooter, but he simply lacks the foot speed to be a starting NBA point guard. Contract: One year, $893,000

*86. Desmond Ferguson, Portland

A small forward who worked his way up from the minor leagues. He's played so little that it's hard to judge his potential, but the Blazers liked him enough not to cut him. Contract: Restricted free agent.

87. Vladimir Stepania, Portland

He's 7-1, which is the nicest thing you can say about him. He has bad hands and is coming off a knee injury. Contract: One year, $1.1 million.

88. Rick Fox, Lakers

He says he'll retire if the Bobcats claim him. With plenty of restricted free agents available, there's no need for Charlotte to force Fox into the rocking chair. Contract: One year, $4.9 million.

89. Calvin Booth, Seattle

The Sonics would love for the Bobcats to inherit its mistake -- originally a $34 million contract for a jump-shooting big man without a reliable jump shot. Contract: Three years, $18 million-plus.

90. Jerome James, Seattle

He's a huge body (7-2, 272 pounds) with some offensive skills close to the basket. However, he isn't known to be a great worker, and his rebounding (less than four per game) isn't much for his size. Contract: One year, $4.5 million.

91. Lamond Murray, Toronto

A shoot-first, shoot-last, shoot-anytime-you're-in-the-gym type of wing player. Between an injured foot and then-Raptors coach Kevin O'Neill's distaste for his defense, Murray hasn't seen the court much lately. Contract: Two years, $10 million-plus.

92. Curtis Borchardt, Utah

Can you say "brittle?'' He has a chronic foot problem (prone to getting stress fractures) and suffered finger and wrist injuries this season. Contract: One year, $1.28 million.

93. Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Dallas

The Denver Nuggets were so infatuated with his athleticism that they gave him a huge contract. When he failed, the Mavericks took him in a package deal. The Bobcats won't extend this chain-mail mistake. Contract: Three years, $21 million-plus.

94. Danny Fortson, Dallas

The ultimate 'tweener. Tough as Fortson is -- and that's saying plenty -- he's still a center trapped in a small forward's body. And he makes a fortune. Contract: Three years, $19 million-plus.

95. Alan Henderson, Atlanta

A good guy who is vastly overpaid to be a mediocre power forward. Contract: One year, $8.27 million.

96. Evan Eschmeyer, Golden State

A center, he sat out all of last season with bad knees. Taking him would be charity work. Contract: Three years, $9 million-plus.

97. Michael Stewart, Boston

Had a few good seasons in Sacramento to earn a fat contract, then became a bench-warmer in Toronto, Cleveland and Boston. Contract: One year, $4.8 million.

98. Todd MacCulloch, Philadelphia

A once-solid center who might have to retire because of a nerve condition in his feet. Contract: Three years, $18 million-plus.

99. Alonzo Mourning, New Jersey

Although Mourning has retired because of kidney disease, his contract still counts on the Nets' salary cap. And there's no disability insurance on the deal. Contract: Three years, $17 million-plus.

100. Derrick Coleman, Philadelphia

Probably the worst chemistry-killer in the league. It's hard to imagine a more dangerous influence in an expansion locker room. Contract: Two years, $9.5 million.

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