Tonight will be one of the more unusual nights in Bobcat history -- and it also has potential to be one of the best.
First of all, the team will officially announce at 6 p.m. that it will change its nickname from "Bobcats" to "Hornets," adopting the name of the NBA team that played here from 1988-2002. As I wrote in my 10-point plan for the team to squeeze all of the juice out of this nickname, it should also adopt the old teal-and-purple color scheme and speed up the process. There's no way this should take 18 months to get finalized -- you, me and a couple of good lawyers could get it done in six, I bet.
Only a couple of hours after that, the Bobcats will make their annual appearance in the draft lottery (8:30 p.m., ESPN). They are going to pick anywhere from No.1 to No.5, depending on how the ping-pong balls shake out.
Their odds of getting the No.1 pick are 19.9 percent. Their odds of getting the No.4 pick are the highest, at 31.9 percent.
But what if the team changes its nickname and then, two hours later, wins the lottery? The NBA gods owe the Bobcats one, after all -- they missed out on Anthony Davis last year despite having the best odds of getting the No.1 pick possible (25 percent). They had to settle for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist instead, and that was quite a drop.
So this is a good day to do this. If the Bobcats lose in the lottery as usual, well, that's just the Bobcats' rotten luck. We can all somehow blame it on Bob Johnson. But if they win, hey, they've only been the Hornets for a couple of hours and they're already doing things right!
As for the pick itself, right now without studying it too closely my gut reaction would be to go for Nerlens Noel if the Bobcats get that No.1 pick. I know he has a lot of the same skills as Bismack Biyombo and that he's coming off a bad injury, but Charlotte still just doesn't defend the basket well enough.
11 months ago