Combo forward Treveon Graham is a free agent this off-season. It’s of utmost importance for the Charlotte Hornets to retain him because he’s their best-kept secret.
Questions continue to swirl about the Charlotte Hornets coming into this off-season. Who will be the new GM? What happens with Kemba Walker? What will Malik Monk‘s role be? All are great questions, however, an unasked one may be the most important for Charlotte – will the Hornets bring back Treveon Graham?
The 24-year-old VCU alumni come off the bench and averages 17 minutes. In those 17 minutes, he averages 4.6 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist, which are not exactly eye-popping numbers. Graham’s contributions, like fellow bench player Cody Zeller, don’t show up on the stat sheet.
At an undersized 6’6″, the forward’s biggest impact is in his hustle plays. Tune into any Hornets game and you can see Graham either cutting hard off-ball, setting great screens, scrapping for rebounds or diving into the stands for loose balls. The Buzz City faithful love him because he does the dirty work joyfully.
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Graham is more than an energy player. He’s developed a consistent three-point shot now, and he’s an excellent perimeter defender. The 42% clip he sports from range makes him that much more valuable. Though somehow, he continues to slip under the radar.
There are only two upcoming free agents on the Hornets roster this year: Michael Carter-Williams and Treveon Graham. Carter-Williams is likely to not return, but Graham is more up in the air. Both the front office and fan base would love to retain him as he’s a valuable role player and part of the team. Unfortunately, Charlotte is close to being capped out for the 2018-2019 season, and Graham will demand more than the $1.3M he’s currently making.
This means Charlotte will either need to convince him to take a massive pay cut (not happening), lose him to the free market, or trade to free up cap space. It’s possible they go over the tax to sign him, although Michael Jordan has not indicated a willingness to do so in recent years. This means it’s probable that there will be a trade this off-season to free up cap. If not, then one of Charlotte’s most secretly valued players will head elsewhere this summer.
Graham’s hustle plays may go unnoticed in the box score, but his value to this team doesn’t. He’s consistently the most energetic player on the court, he’s a credible spot-up shooter, and he can defend on his own. It’s vital for Charlotte to figure out a way to keep him. Let’s keep him our little secret for just a bit longer.