Williams shows Charlotte what might have been
A drafting mistake seven years ago surely resonated Sunday, with the Bobcats blowing a 16-point lead to lose to the Nets 104-101.
In 2005, then-general manager and coach Bernie Bickerstaff was offered a deal by the Trail Blazers. Portland wanted the fifth and 12th picks the Bobcats possessed and were offering up the third pick, which would have given Charlotte their preference between point guards Deron Williams and Chris Paul.
Had he made that trade, Bickerstaff preferred Williams over Paul. However, Bickerstaff thought Nos. 5 and 12 were too high a price for moving up to No. 3.
Unfortunate. Williams, now with the Nets, scored a career-high 57 Sunday, one short of tying the greatest scoring game by an individual opponent in Bobcats history. The two players the Bobcats chose in 2005 — Raymond Felton and Sean May — are both long gone, and left without any compensation to the Bobcats.
Maybe Williams wouldn’t be in Charlotte anymore — he did force his way out of Utah (the Jazz originally drafted him) — but it’s obvious Williams would have been the best player in Bobcats history right now, regardless of how long he stuck around.
-The loss to the Nets was the first time in 22 games the Bobcats reached 100 points scoring. It also broke a four-game streak of double-digit losses in which the Bobcats never finished closer than 14.
-Rookie Kemba Walker, a major endorser for Under Armour, played Sunday in a pair of blaze-orange sneakers that can best be described as highway reflector cones.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“I’m used to getting double-teamed on pick-and-rolls. Refreshing not to.” — Nets guard Deron Williams, on how long it took the Bobcats to take special defensive measures to get the ball out of his hands.