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Report: Kemba Walker pitched Bobcats on, recruited Al Jefferson

Jul 13, 2013, 2:00 PM EST

Brooklyn Nets v Charlotte Bobcats Getty Images

In 2011-12, the Bobcats could have won 12 more games – in a 66-game schedule, no less – without sacrificing any lottery positioning. The Magic out-tanked Charlotte last season, but both those teams were so far below the rest of the NBA, the Bobcats still could have won a couple more games without relinquishing any lottery odds.

Charlotte can stand to get a little better, raising its level from embarrassment, and still remain in position to get the high draft picks necessary to rebuild.

That’s where Al Jefferson comes in. He can upgrade the Bobcats’ woeful power positions without taking the team out of the Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes.

But how did Jefferson get to Charlotte? Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:

According to a source familiar with the situation, Walker identified Jefferson, a low-post scorer, as the unrestricted free agent best suited to filling a team need. So the team encouraged him to reach out to Jefferson in the offseason to gauge his interest.Walker and Jefferson share an agent, Jeff Schwartz, so they had a connection. When Walker ran into Jefferson in New York, he lobbied Jefferson to consider the Bobcats, with Jefferson’s contract expiring with the Utah Jazz.

Kemba Walker’s lobbying might have helped, but I suspect the three-year, $41 million contract Jefferson received – seemingly more money than he could have received elsewhere – played a bigger role.But if Charlotte wants to feed the perception Walker is responsible, that make sense. Isn’t that the whole point of signing Jefferson, anyway? Convincing the Bobcats players to have some faith in the team while it’s dreadful.

  1. tigers182 - Jul 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    Where was he when they drafted Fuzzy Zeller?

  2. saint1997 - Jul 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    This team just first and foremost need to establish and identity. It will be interesting to see where they pick in 2014, because if they have the first two picks then they’d likely trade MKG

  3. sportsnut101 - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    They will get nothing for mkg. He only plays def. he can’t shoot they wanna remake his shot wow

    Shows u they teach u nothing at Kentucky

  4. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Stop calling it tanking when it’s not. You don’t tank into the worst record in NBA history. You just suck into it.

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