Welcome Bobcats fans to the 7th edition of Bobcats Weekly!
Each week, Bobcats Weekly will examine the latest news, rumors, and game analysis (when the season starts)!
This week, I would like to point out a very sobering rule concerning high school players. See, the thing is that, even if the Charlotte Bobcats were to draft Shaun Livingston or J.R. Smith....they could still play college basketball even after being drafted on June 24th! This rule (stupid or not) comes from a little difference in how NCAA rules treat HS seniors and college underclassmen. That is, as I pointed out earlier, both potential Bobcats (Livingston and Smith) could stay in the draft....be selected...and STILL retain college eligibiliy. This can all happen IF Livingston or Smith don't sign or accept money from agents.
The good news (for Deng and Childress fans) is that once college underclassmen is drafted by an NBA team, they automatically lose college eligibility. Deng and Childress would have to pull their names from the draft by June 17th in order for them to be eligible to continue playing college ball. Countdown to June 17th -- 35 days. An interesting quote by Bickerstaff was reported concerning high school players. He said, "there's no way he'd use that high a pick on a player who might not play in Charlotte next season - If we weren't sure, I would not use (the fourth) pick.....we need the players here, particularly in our situation." This is an interesting quote because basically Bickerstaff is saying that even if a HS'er WAS available for them at #4, he wouldn't even consider getting him! (Even more hints that Bickerstaff is not looking at Livingston or J.R Smith...but, more towards the Deng's or Childresses) Bickerstaff also said that he'd consider drafting a prep player and wait to sign him, if the Bobcats had an extra pick late in the first round. "Then it would be like drafting a European and leaving him overseas -- and keeping his rights." Humorly, Bickerstaff also said that " it would be like an Eli Manning situation" when acknowledging if a young prospect out of HS were to ever "jilt" the Bobcats. He believes (like I do) that any player drafted fourth would choose NBA over college ball. "We have not heard anything about any of these kids not wanting to be with us. "It's not like Vancouver, with Steve Francis" forcing a trade in 1999 to the Houston Rockets.
Monday was the deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors to enter the draft. The NBA will release a list this week.
Grabbed from Rick Bonnel's write-up this week is this list, "As many as eight prep players who say they're turning pro could be chosen in the first round. Several of them -- Dwight Howard, Josh Smith and Sebastian Telfair -- have signed with agents or signed sneaker deals, voiding their college eligibility. But Livingston and J.R. Smith say they'll leave open the option of college ball."
With these new quotes from Bickerstaff, it looks like Livingston or Smith or the six other prep players who say that their turning pro won't be wearing Bobcats uniforms this year.