Rumor: Bobcats shopping Michael Kidd-Gilchrist due to belief they can draft Otto Porter

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There are already plenty of rumors and reported trade talks surrounding teams with lottery picks in Thursday night’s draft, and there will be many more to materialize before teams are officially on the clock.

We advise taking the vast majority of them with one or more grains of salt, including this latest one involving the Charlotte Bobcats.

From Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops:

The Charlotte Bobcats are shopping Michael Kidd-Gilchrist around the league, confident they will be able to replace him with Otto Porter of Georgetown with the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s draft.

The reason the Bobcats braintrust of Rich Cho and owner Michael Jordan believe Porter will be available is because, SheridanHoops has learned from league sources, the Washington Wizards are determined to draft Anthony Bennett of UNLV with the No. 3 pick.

A second league source said the Bobcats have been working the phones, gauging the interest level among teams for the 2nd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

There are several things in play, here.

The notion that Bennett going to Washington with the third overall pick isn’t at all a crazy one. It’s believed that the Wizards are deciding between Bennett and Otto Porter with that pick, and at least one oddsmaker has it at even money that Bennett will land in Washington.

Most mocks have Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore going one and two, so if the intel the Bobcats have on Bennett is correct, they can nab Porter at four if they so desire.

But does that really make Kidd-Gilchrist expendable? He showed flashes at times during his rookie season, even though his averages of 9.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and nearly a blocked shot in 26 minutes per game didn’t set the stat sheet on fire.

The only way this makes any sense for the Bobcats is if they believe they can get talent in exchange for Kidd-Gilchrist that’s capable of producing more immediately in order to improve in the win column as early as next season. Pairing a more proven player with someone like Porter (if it all works out the way the Bobcats believe it might) then makes parting with Kidd-Gilchrist slightly more understandable.

But it’s worth noting that giving up on high lottery picks the year after you draft them is pretty much the opposite of the correct way to build a winning franchise, and that type of thinking is a perfect example of why Charlotte has seen the postseason just once in the last nine years.