It appears that the Charlotte Hornets may be without the services of third-year shooting guard James Bouknight for a while. It was announced that Bouknight sprained his left knee during training camp, leading to his exclusion from the team’s Purple and Teal Fan Event. A return timetable is not yet known at this time.
Bouknight was recently named as one of three members of this Hornets team with the most to prove. Going down with a knee injury as the team prepares for their first preseason game is truly unfortunate timing for a player still working to cement his place in this league. Bouknight has appeared in just 65 games over two seasons, averaging 5.1 points per game on 35.8% from the field and 30.3% from deep.
The third-year guard was able to play above his career averages during the final seven games of last season. Bouknight averaged 11.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.9 assists while shooting 40.8% and making 2.4 threes per game at a 37.8% clip. While impressive compared to the rest of his career, it is important not to put too much stock in what were meaningless games at the end of a lost season in Charlotte.
As a part of a crowded bench group, the Hornets are not sunk with Bouknight missing time. The Hornets have plenty of options to take over the very light workload Bouknight would more than likely receive. Cody Martin and Bryce McGowens are two returning members of the Hornets who could see time. Additionally, the Hornets had two selections in the first round of this past draft and selected Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr. 27th overall.
If this is the beginning of the end of Bouknight’s time with the Hornets organization, it would be a very disappointing way to go out. There is still a chance that he has a future with this team, but the odds are stacked against him as things are stacked currently.