3 Reasons James Bouknight is a Perfect Running Mate for LaMelo Ball
The Charlotte Hornets knew coming into the NBA Draft that they need to add a score-first player to pair with LaMelo Ball. Well, they completed their mission after selecting James Bouknight with the 11th overall pick. The former Connecticut scoring machine was a flat-out star in college, averaging just under 19 points a game. He also has the right intangibles to become more than just a scorer in the NBA and become the perfect complement to LaMelo.
Here are three simple reasons why Bouknight and LaMelo are the perfect fit for one another.
Bouknight displayed a flurry of moves for the Huskies to show that he is one of the best scorers. Whether it is scoring from the inside, mid-range, or from deep, he will be comfortable anywhere on the floor. Also, it is safe to say he hasn’t played with a more gifted playmaker than LaMelo. Playing with the reigning Rookie of the Year makes his job easy because all he has to do is cut to the basket and come off screens for easy looks. He was drafted to put the ball in the hole and he will have plenty of opportunities to do so on a nightly basis. Do not let the college percentages fool you!
Although it is not his calling card, he can become a good playmaker. Most good scorers start to get the attention of defenses over time. Bouknight saw double teams several times in college and showed he is a willing passer when needed. He showed his versatility when his team needed it the most and that should translate well on the next level. There will be nights when LaMelo is the hot man and Bouknight may be the man feeding him the ball instead of scoring it. Either way, both players can be swap roles on a nightly basis and could keep defenses on their heels.
The Hornets were one of the most competitive teams before they were decimated by injuries in the middle of the season. All their guards missed a significant amount of time, including LaMelo. Drafting Bouknight is a good insurance plan, whether he is starting or coming off the bench. He will be fighting for minutes with Devonte’ Graham, Malik Monk, and Caleb Martin, but has a good chance to get more playing time than all of them. Also, Ball has not played with another true shooting guard and Bouknight has the tools to develop into a real scoring threat. With good size at 6’5″, he has a chance to become a special player alongside LaMelo.
The NBA Draft is always an exciting time for young teams like the Hornets. James Bouknight was not one of the most hyped-up players coming out but is set to make an immediate impact. Right now, it is all about finding other perfect complementary players to pair up with LaMelo Ball.