Charlotte Hornets: Devonte Graham ready for rotation minutes

Charlotte Hornets Devonte Graham (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Devonte Graham (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

With Tony Parker out for tonight’s game against the Thunder, Devonte Graham may see some meaningful NBA minutes with the Charlotte Hornets.

When the Charlotte Hornets made Devonte Graham the 34th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, they knew they were getting an NBA-ready guard that will be ready to play when his name is called. He hasn’t gotten much minutes yet this season, but that could change tonight.

With Tony Parker out due to a rib injury, Devonte Graham will likely serve as the backup point guard for Kemba Walker tonight against Oklahoma City. Graham has shown signs in the G-League and during the preseason that he can play at the NBA level.

Graham has played in just four games so far this season for Charlotte, averaging 1.8 points in 7.3 minutes. In three games with the Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte’s G-League affiliate, Graham has averages of 28.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists.

Now, he’s not going to go out there and score 30 points or anything like that, and it’s not even a given that he plays. However, if Graham does get some time, the Charlotte Hornets are going to need him to run the offense smoothly not only tonight, but for however long Tony Parker is out for.

Tony Parker has played a huge role for this team throughout the season. He rested one game against the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this season, but other than that, he’s been healthy and has played in every game. Graham played 12 minutes in that game against Philly as the backup point guard.

Parker is currently averaging 9.4 points and 4.2 assists in his first year with the Charlotte Hornets. He’s come off the bench every game, backing up starting point guard Kemba Walker.

Not having Parker is going to be a challenge for the Charlotte Hornets. He brings calmness and stability to the team when he’s on the court and is a great option to have late in a close game. The rookie Graham, who played college basketball at Kansas, has some big shoes to fill.

Hopefully this won’t be a multi-game absence for Parker, and he can return to the court as soon as possible. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t appear to be a major injury, so I wouldn’t expect him to miss a lot of time.

light. Read. Charlotte Hornets: 3 reasons to keep Kemba Walker in Charlotte

It’s going to be tough for Graham to earn playing time this year when Kemba Walker and Tony Parker are healthy. However, he’s impressed in the G-League and deserves a shot. Hopefully he will get that shot tonight, and hey, the Charlotte Hornets may have to find him some minutes when the team is healthy, because the rookie is showing signs that he can clearly play at this level.