The Charlotte Bobcats, knowing they need an offensive boost to help them cope with a road-heavy schedule in the second half of the season, have signed 5-foot-5 free-agent guard Earl Boykins for the rest of the season.
Boykins could potentially be in uniform Friday night when the Bobcats (No. 12 in the East at 18-28) visit Golden State.
The 31-year-old Boykins has played for seven teams, including
two separate stints with Cleveland. Boykins has been working out on his own all season and looking for a new team since last summer, when he opted out of the final year of his contract with Milwaukee (worth $3 million) after averaging 14 points and 4.5 assists with the Bucks following a January trade from Denver.
"I don't regret what I did in any way," Boykins said during a conference call from Oakland, Calif. "It's something that happened and now I'm just looking forward to moving on."
The Bobcats have been unsettled at point guard all season, with rookie coach Sam Vincent shifting Raymond Felton between the point and shooting guard.
The move comes five days after Vincent criticized Jeff McInnis' play after a loss to Philadelphia, when
Felton sat out with a sprained left ankle. Boykins' speedy play will likely fit into the running style Vincent
wants. Vincent has been
starting Felton and McInnis together in a small backcourt. Derek Anderson, a true shooting guard, is the only other player with
point guard experience.
"I think this is a team that has a chance to make the playoffs,
and that's why I'm here," said Boykins, who indicated numerous
teams expressed interest in signing him. "As far as playing with
Jeff and Raymond, I don't see any problems."
Although Boykins has always been a shooter as opposed to pure distributor, Charlotte needs reinforcements if it hopes to hang in the playoff race in the East after the Bobcats squandered a favorable first-half schedule -- with 26 of their first 41 games at home -- by going 16-25.
The move means the two smallest players in NBA history will have called Charlotte home. Muggsy Bogues, at 5-3, was a fan favorite in nine seasons running the point for the Charlotte Hornets.
Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.