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News » Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2009-10-31

Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2009-10-31

Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2009-10-31The Charlotte Bobcats just upped the ante on their development of French big man Alexis Ajinca.

In the days before the 2008 draft, the Bobcats projected there'd be an uncommon abundance of big men available in the late teens and early 20s. They acquired the 20th pick from the Denver Nuggets, figuring they'd do no worse than one from a list of J.J. Hickson, Roy Hibbert or Ajinca.

They ended up with Ajinca, who's done the least of the three. And they've just extended Ajinca's time in the NBA by at least a season. Late Thursday the Bobcats exercised the third-season option on Ajinca's rookie-scale contract, guaranteeing him about $1.37 million next season.

It's probably the right thing to do, since they knew Ajinca -- a skilled but frail 7-footer -- would take time to develop. But he isn't in the regular-season rotation, following plenty of chances in the preseason. And while $1.37 million doesn't sound like much, by NBA standards, the Bobcats must manage their payroll carefully with the salary-cap and luxury-tax numbers shrinking.

Regardless of salary, Ajinca could be an expensive investment for the Bobcats. They promised the Denver Nuggets a future first-round pick for the 20th pick they used on Ajinca. That pick -- which has a sliding scale of protection -- has been traded on to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

BOBCATS 102, KNICKS 100 (2 OT): The Bobcats blew a 21-point first-half lead with one of the long scoreless spans that could haunt this team all season. But point guard Raymond Felton had one of his best games (22 points, nine assists and eight rebounds), scoring on three huge drives in the extra periods.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 31, 2009


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