Expanding and contracting

Originally Published: March 10, 2004
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
Given the parameters Charlotte Bobcats general manager and head coach Bernie Bickerstaff has set up, what might the expansion draft look like in June?

Bickerstaff isn't talking, but Insider, drawing on several interviews with Bernie B. and other GMs around the league, is willing to take a shot.

Bickerstaff made it clear that the team is looking for young, athletic players. It will shy away from veterans in the expansion draft, especially those with huge contracts. While, theoretically, the team could nab high-priced veterans like Keith Van Horn, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Penny Hardaway, Raef LaFrentz, Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel in this draft, Bickerstaff has made it clear the team would only spend that kind of money on a player that "makes a real difference."

When asked to clarify, Bickerstaff stated that only a handful of players in the league (read: Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett) qualify as "difference-makers."

That means the Bobcats are going to be looking for deals that land them draft picks, young players with a chance to develop, and/or players with low-priced contracts or team options that Charlotte can quickly clear off the books to make room for free agency.


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Chad Ford | email

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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