This offseason was an eventful one for the Bobcats and their fans. It started the same as the previous one: looking for a new coach. This time, the search did not last quite as long as they snapped up long-time Jeff Van Gundy assistant Steve Clifford. Then they stunned analysts and fans alike at the draft by selecting Cody Zeller over Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore and Alex Len at fourth overall.
With newfound financial flexibility because of DeSagana Diop’s expiring contract, the Bobcats played more aggressively in free agency. They set their sights squarely on former Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson, a big man with an offensive arsenal in the post the team has never had. After years of languishing in the paint struggling to get much offense out of Bismack Biyombo or Byron Mullens, the Bobcats leapt at the chance to sign Jefferson for about $41 million over three years.