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Blogcat's Take, 6/27 - The Post-Draft Edition

Man, after the last 48 hours, my head is spinning right round—like a record, baby, right round. Trades! Draft picks! Sleeved Jerseys! During the draft I was so wired and discombobulated that I was basically reduced to trolling Rick Bonnell on Twitter (actually, I’m “reduced” to doing this on a daily basis due to the staggering volume of useless quotes Bonnell tweets out—this time I just happened to be discombobulated as well):

Now that the dust has settled and my bowels have loosened over the brief scare I got when I heard that Luke Ridenour was returning to Charlotte, I need to organize my thoughts. As usual, this requires an extremely boring-looking chart. Below are last season’s win-shares of the players we’ve traded compared to the win-shares of those we’ve acquired, roughly lined up by position (courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com):

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*No actual footnote here, just…Jesus, -.9!

At least on paper, we just added 5 wins through trades. That’s pretty darn good, yo. And those stats are with Batum playing on a bum-wrist and having his worst output in 3 years. They’re also with Lamb and Hawes playing on their bums on the OKC and LA Clipper benches, respectively; there’s actually a good chance we bought low on all of them. There’s also a good chance that all three combine to sink more 3-pointers on opening night than Stephenson did all year. Watching the Hornets might have just become a lot less abhorrent.

Are there reasons to be angry and/or apprehensive? Christ on toast crust, of course! Just look who we’re talking about: Hornets GM Rich Cho just praised draft pick Frank Kaminsky as a “versatile big who can play multiple positions.” Is there such a thing as a versatile big who can only play one position? There’s a growing pile of quotes like these to suggest that in terms of savvy managers, Cho is a few beers short of a six-pack. Thus, the worst-case scenario for this recent trade sequence is really foul: Lance Stephenson might find his game again now that he’s left Charlotte, Lamb might not have any game to begin with, Batum might just be a 1-year, $12.2M rental, and Vonleh might do the one thing that would make our impression of him worse than it already is, which would be to blossom in Portland. But a lot of these variables aren’t going to play out immediately, and so just in terms of how we’re starting the 2015-16 season compared to how we ended last season, I’m cautiously optimistic (or at least optimistically cautious).

As for Kaminsky, my college basketball viewing literally consisted of the NCAA championship game last year, period, so I’m not qualified to be outraged (not that that stops Tom Sorenson). But I understand that the Hornets might have disgraced themselves by picking Kaminsky instead of Justise Winslow, and I’m totally prepared to believe that. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Hornets just stupidly passed on the greatest Winger since Kip. On the other hand, ESPN.com’s Frank Pelton did a statistical projection of each rookie’s expected 5-year WARP, and it’s worth noting that Kaminsky was ranked #5, while Winslow was way the hell down at #27. But even if you think that advanced metrics are the work of Satan, you have to be a little nervous that more than one scout has compared Winslow to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Hey, I’m a charter member of the MKG fan club; when—not if—MKG crushes his spleen his while diving for a loose ball, I’ll gladly donate mine if it will keep him on the Defensive Player of the Year ballot. And even for me, the thought of seeing two of him on offense at the same time is only slightly less terrifying than seeing those two twins from The Shining. Plus, don’t forget that Al Jefferson is now in the final year of his deal, not to mention that anywhere from 1-3 body parts might fall off him by December; Kaminsky might be a good insurance policy for Big Al. Truthfully, I’m far more disgusted by jerseys with sleeves than I am by Frank the Tank.

There, I feel much better now. Good enough to go troll Bonnell, in fact.

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