ASHEVILLE The Charlotte Bobcats have a window through the end of the month to sign shooting guard Gerald Henderson to a contract extension.
A team source indicates the Bobcats will likely explore that option. But history suggests the teams first-round picks usually reach at least restricted free-agency before signing a new contract.
Henderson was the Bobcats leading scorer last season, averaging 15.1 points on 46 percent shooting from the field. But the Bobcats have an abundance of shooting guards, including newcomer Ben Gordon, who is guaranteed $13.2 million next season.
The Bobcats selected Henderson 12th overall in the 2009 draft. Hes the only remaining Bobcats pick who predates the 2011 draft.
If the Bobcats dont extend Henderson by the end of the month, theyll have the option to make him a restricted free agent next summer, meaning they could match any other teams offer. To do so, the Bobcats would make Henderson a one-year, $4.26 million qualifying offer.
First day of school: Tuesday morning was the first practice of training camp at UNC Asheville. It was also the first official practice for new coach Mike Dunlap.
Dunlap said the 18 players looked hesitant Tuesday morning, and that wasnt a surprise. Theyre trying to do things just so for the new coach, so there figured to be some self-conscious moments.
Theyre trying to please so much, there wasnt free-flow, Dunlap said, adding that will dissipate over the preseason. The next level is when it becomes a more unconditioned response.
Every layup counts: Interesting drill Dunlap runs to test both conditioning and concentration the team has to make 38 total layups in two minutes, rotating full-court. The trick is every time down-court its a new pair of two players where the ballhandler must stop outside the 3-point line, throwing a bounce pass to a cutter for the basket.
Miss more than one layup in the two-minute process, and its virtually impossible to make it to 38 in two minutes. It took the Bobcats three tries Tuesday night to reach 38 in the allotted time.
Getting tough: So much of Dunlaps emphasis comes down to defense and toughness. He message is constant that he expects a team that wont be bullied, that will get into opponents faces and chests. Well see how that resonates.