Three Offseason Certainties for the Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets Huddle Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Huddle Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Devonte’ Graham. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Devonte’ Graham is the Future Point Guard

For starters, the Hornets’ investment in Graham has worked out beautifully. A second-round player who improved in a relatively short amount of time while learning from and combining lessons from both Kemba Walker (a big shot taker) and Tony Parker (a key pass maker).

Graham has arrived in the NBA to a tune of 35 minutes, 18 points, 3 rebounds, and nearly 8 assists per game. As of now, Graham has knocked down 218 three-pointers while shooting 37% from behind the arc

To point out the skill behind his shooting, Graham has taken a multitude of shots from well behind the three-point arc, occasionally entering the “Curry” range that’s trending in the NBA.

In the times that his shot isn’t falling, Graham also has the court vision to average 7.5 assists per game. To be completely honest, if Graham had the services of a serious go-to shot maker, then it could be debatable if he would be a solid double-double every night.

That’s amazing progress and skill in a second-year player who previously acted as an emergency third-string guard a year prior. A year after Walker’s departure and Graham seems to be ahead of where Walker was at age 24 in both assists, points, and points per game.

Age 24 season: Kemba Walker (2014-15) vs Devonte Graham (2019-20):
62 378 .385 85 .304 318 89 100 92 1075

63 368 .382 218 .373 471 62 181 115 1145

Must Read. Is there reason to be excited for the Charlotte Hornets’ off-season?. light

Looking at this chart says a few different things. Firstly, both of their field goal percentages hover around 38% with Walker taking 10 more shots in one less game, meaning that they are both capable mid-to-close range shooters.

Beyond the three-point arc, however, Graham has taken 133 more shots and has shot it at an almost 7% higher clip, resulting in Devonte’ also scoring more total points. However, Walker was able to have 81 fewer turnovers as well as 23 fewer personal fouls.

Not great, until you consider it only being Graham’s second year, first as a starter, and during a rebuilding year with other young players while Walker played with Charlotte’s favorite Al Jefferson, Lance Stephenson, Mo Williams, and Marvin Williams. Interestingly, in Walker’s second year, he also totaled 200 turnovers and 153 personal fouls. So, not bad for Graham

Even for a team that signed Rozier, an athletic point guard who deserved to start somewhere in the NBA, the emergence of Graham made the team almost have to start Graham. Though it only pushed Rozier into the shooting guard position, for now, it completely overlooked a developing Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon who are actually listed as shooting guards. So, again, not bad for Graham.