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Charlotte Bobcats 2012 Draft Preview
By John McMullen, NBA Editor

As good as Michael Jordan was a player that's how bad he's been as an executive.

M.J. and Rod Higgins built a team that finished with the worst winning percentage in basketball history last season.

Despite that egregious milestone, the Bobcats fell from No. 1 to the second overall pick in the draft lottery, meaning Kentucky star Anthony Davis is off the table for new coach Mike Dunlap, the former top assistant under Steve Lavin at St. John's.

Teaming Davis with Bismack Biyombo could have really elevated the Bobcats' defensive standing in a hurry. Now if it stays put, the team will likely choose between a trio of players in Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson, Davis' teammate at Kentucky, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes, a player only in the mix because Jordan is a fellow Tar Heel.

Since new general manager Richard Cho, the former GM in Portland and assistant GM in Oklahoma City, is likely calling most of the personnel shots now, expect the Bobcats to trade down with Cleveland, which possesses the fourth and 24th overall picks.

The Cavs have their eyes on Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal, meaning Charlotte could slip down to four, still get one of the players it desires while picking up another asset.

The Bobcats already made a significant personnel move on Tuesday sending forward Corey Maggette to Detroit for high-scoring guard Ben Gordon and a future first-round draft choice.

The two teams swapped their highest-paid players, with the Bobcats gaining a pick for Gordon's lengthier contract.

"With this trade, we have acquired two things we covet in our plan to build this team," said Higgins, the team's president of basketball operations. "By acquiring a young and proven talent in Ben Gordon and a future first-round draft pick, we have both addressed our need for three-point shooting and acquired an additional asset to help continue to improve our team in the future."

Gordon has another guaranteed year for over $12 million, plus a player option for 2013-14 at over $13 million that he is likely to exercise. Maggette has only one year remaining on his deal at just under $11 million.

Players under contract: F: Tyrus Thomas; C: BJ Mullens; G: Kemba Walker; G: Gerald Henderson; G: Reggie Williams; C: Bismack Biyombo. G: Ben Gordon

Free agents: C: DeSagana Diop (early termination option); G: Matt Carroll (early termination option); G: DJ Augustin (restricted); F: DJ White (restricted)

Recent Draft History: 2011: Kemba Walker (9), Tobias Harris (19), Jeremy Tyler (39) 2010: No picks 2009: Gerald Henderson (12), Derrick Brown (40), Robert Vaden (54) 2008: D.J. Augustin (9), Alexis Ajinca (20), Kyle Weaver (38) 2007: Brandan Wright (8), Jared Dudley (22)

Draft picks: 1st round (2nd overall), 2nd round (31st overall)

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