Elden Campbell Back to Charlotte?

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

WhenElden Campbell was still playing for the Lakers in his early years, including his rookie season alongside Magic Johnson, many observers were enthralled with his versatility, power, and size, and claimed he could play three positions. In the first few of his many years in the league, Campbell was a high-flying big man. You can think of him as the Marcus Camby of his time.

Today, he is a solid off-the-bench performer for the big and tall Detroit Pistons. Detroit has so much depth with big men that the overall second round pick Darko Milicic can't get any playing time whatsoever. But this summer will have the Pistons making some tough choices. Re-sign Mehmet Okur or Rasheed Wallace? Who do they protect and who do they keep unprotected?

The Pistons only have eight players under contract through next year; five players are unrestricted free agents. But Detroit must expose at least one non-free agent to the expansion draft. Campbell is one of those eight, and one of the most likely to be left unprotected.

Surely Detroit will keep its core of Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups in the backcourt, as well as Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince in the frontcourt. They would be egregiously stupid to leave Milicic unprotected. That leaves Corliss Williamson, Mike James, and Elden Campbell.

The others will be addressed in future Charlotte NEWS@ Reports, but for now let's consider Campbell. He will be in the last year of an $8.4mm contract. He is a 16 year veteran of the NBA, and has already played in Charlotte for four seasons, from 1999-2002. His recent production is down relative to his career average but only because of the brief amount of minutes he gets on the deep Pistons squad. Double his minutes to 25-30 a night, and he can go back to the near double-doubles of his prime.

Furthermore, Campbell would be an excellent tutor to whatever young big man the Bobcats draft with their fourth overall pick. With so many high-schoolers and early college graduates, the Bobcats are likely to end up with someone who still needs some polishing before becoming an All-Star.

Campbell might be just the man to do that.

The days are winding down to the Charlotte Expansion Draft and the 2004 NBA Draft. Here at, we have established the premier source for all of your draft information. Learn how the expansion draft works, what people around the country are saying, build your ideal Bobcats player and see who other teams picked at #4 in the past.

The Bobcats will hold an audition for the team’s first-ever dance squad on Saturday, June 5, at the Bobcats Basketball Center in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Individuals must be 19 years or older to be eligible to tryout for the dance team.

Allen Norwood ofThe Charlotte Observer writes: Mint tour takes you inside the sleek, uptown world of Bobcats owner:
WHAT: "In The Pink," the 51st annual home and garden tour hosted by the Mint Museum Auxiliary and the Charlotte Garden Club. Tour will include four homes and four gardens. Other highlights include a Decorative Arts Symposium, featuring garden writer Suzy Bales, and textile and furniture designer Sherri Donghia.
WHEN: Thursday-May 2. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The symposium begins at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
WHERE: A map is included with tour ticket booklet.
ADMISSION: Tour tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. The symposium is $75, including lunch. Lunch at the Mint during the tour is $15. Tickets available at Arzberger Engravers, Circa Interiors, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, First Trust Bank, Paula Norby & Co., Reid's Grocery and at Mint Museum locations.
INFORMATION: (704) 337-2095.


FromThe Charlotte Observer: Brett Pulley, a senior editor at Forbes magazine, has written a new book on Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson called "The Billion Dollar BET."The book chronicles Johnson's rise as founder of Black Entertainment Television and delves into his relationships with business partners and the breakup of his marriage. Johnson didn't cooperate in Pulley's book research and declined to comment on the book through a Bobcats spokesman. Pulley discussed the book with Observer staff writer Rick Bonnell.