Cory Higgins, son of Charlotte Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and a former shooting guard for the Erie BayHawks, was picked up by his father's team on Sunday night after being the last cut of the Denver Nuggets earlier in the weekend. It's a move that'll be scrutinized by many due to nepotism, but it isn't a bad basketball move in general.
The Bobcats signed Higgins to fill out the 15th spot on their roster, one that has been left open on the majority of NBA rosters this season despite the truncated schedule likely leading to exhaustion quicker this year than in year's past. He's likely their only as a practice body and someone that will push the players in front of him, though -- and in that case it isn't a bad move.
"A lot of people are going to think I'm here just because of him," Cory Higgins told the Charlotte Observer on Sunday night. "That's not the case. I worked hard to get here and I'm here to prove to everybody, and the coaching staff, that I belong here and that I'll keep this spot."
Higgins wasn't overly impressive in his five-game stint as a D-Leaguer, starting for the Erie BayHawks while averaging 12.6 points and 4.2 rebounds to go with a low shooting percentage (34 percent from the field) and high turnover rate (3.8 per game).
He showed enough in college with the Colorado Buffaloes to get quite a few pre-draft works and then did it again this season with the BayHawks to earn a camp invite with the Denver Nuggets, meaning that there's at least one NBA decision-maker -- aside from his father -- that sees him as a future pro.
There were certainly better players available on the open market, but that ultimately doesn't matter when the objective is signing an end of the bench player to keep players fresh in practice. If Higgins was signed to play a role in which he'd be looked at to contribute meaningful minutes? It'd have been a different story. As the last player on the roster, though, one will have to assume he'll be just fine working his butt off for every opportunity he gets while trying to prove to his father that he deserved the opportunity.