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News » Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2009-12-02

Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2009-12-02

Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2009-12-02That future first-round pick the Bobcats still owe for drafting Alexis Ajinca in 2008 looks like a worse deal all the time.

In his second season, the French 7-footer sat out 10 of the Bobcats' first 16 games despite the Bobcats' burning need for backup help at power forward. Ajinca isn't strong or bulky enough to be an NBA center, so he must play power forward.

Except he also might not be strong or bulky enough to play in the post as a power forward. Or quick and decisive enough to guard along the perimeter. So on Monday the Bobcats sent Ajinca to the NBA's Development League for the second straight season.

Coach Larry Brown said Ajinca needed the playing time, and he'd been passed in the rotation by Derrick Brown, a 6-7 rookie forward chosen in the second round. Brown maintains that Ajinca is improving and it's reflected in his practice performance, but his liabilities remain obvious.

"I think he has trouble guarding people out on the perimeter, and his (lack of) strength is an issue when he's on the post," Brown told the Charlotte Observer. "He's night-and-day ahead of last year, and he's great in practice."

The Bobcats owe a future first-round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves as compensation for the deal they made with the Denver Nuggets to acquire the pick (20th overall) they used on Ajinca. That pick is protected on a sliding annual scale. If the Bobcats' first-round pick isn't top 12 in April, they owe it to Minnesota.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats exercised an option in October that guarantees Ajinca about $1.47 million for next season.

CELTICS 108, BOBCATS 90: Coach Larry Brown said he's never seen worse effort since taking over as Bobcats coach at the start of last season. They gave constant layups to the Celtics, allowing 55 percent shooting from the field, and shot just 41 percent.

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Added: December 2, 2009


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