Charlotte Hornets: What James Borrego should work on with each drafted player

James Borrego with LaMelo Ball and PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
James Borrego with LaMelo Ball and PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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The Charlotte Hornets drafted a multitude of players with upside this offseason. Through the draft, they added two players to their frontcourt, a backcourt player, and a wing. Kai Jones and JT Thor are two young bigs with tons of upside and similar skillsets that the Hornets didn’t have last year at the center position. Both bigs can play the power forward and the center position, which will bring some added versatility to the frontcourt. In the backcourt, the Hornets drafted James Bouknight and added Scottie Lewis on the wing. Bouknight is polished enough to play right away as a backup guard while Lewis may see some time in the G-League. With each draft process, let’s look at what each prospect’s weaknesses are and their areas of improvement.

James Bouknight’s area of improvement: Handling ball pressure and spot-up shooting

Bouknight throughout the summer league showed his abilities as a shot creator and showed more upside as a playmaker than expected. This was showcased with an eight assists performance against the Spurs. We didn’t see much of his playmaking abilities at UConn due to the lack of talent around him. According to Basketball-Reference, Bouknight’s career-high in assists at UConn was five, so the added talent is already helping his upside as a playmaker.

However, Bouknight did struggle with some of the playmaking responsibilities he had this summer. When Bouknight was pressured, he was turnover-prone, for instance, the Sacramento Kings put Davion Mitchell on him and he struggled. Mitchell was all up in his air space and Bouknight struggled to create space against him. When they played the Raptors, they rotated numerous defenders and pressured him immensely, which caused him to struggle. The Raptors keyed on him because they knew he was Charlotte’s primary creator.

Working on handling ball pressure will be an area of work. Also, with Bouknight having less of a playmaking load in Charlotte, he should work on spot-up shooting. He will have the opportunity to play off of others in Charlotte, especially with LaMelo Ball in the fold.