Devonte’ Graham departed from Charlotte after receiving a four-year contract with the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason. Graham will surely be missed, but the Hornets did not waste any time in filling out their guard rotations.
They added James Bouknight and Scottie Lewis through the 2021 NBA Draft. In free agency, they added veteran guard Ish Smith and Kelly Oubre, who can flex into that two-guard spot if need be. Of course, they will have the two lead guards in Terry Rozier and the reigning Rookie of the Year, LaMelo Ball back in uniform coming into the 2021-22 season. They should not miss a beat despite not having Graham back in Buzz City for next season.
Ish Smith has been a journeyman around the league for what seems like forever, but he is no slouch. Smith is a feisty playmaker and defender. He will come in right away and have an impact on and off the court. He is also a native to the Charlotte area, so he should be amped to play for this franchise.
Another one of the vets, Terry Rozier, will be ready to perform well this season after a hot 2021 campaign. His career highs across the board are good signs for the Hornets.
Also, let us not sleep on Kelly Oubre playing some shooting guard for this young squad. Oubre is a versatile defender and scorer, so it is possible he will find his way into the rotation of guards for the Hornets. After playing one season in Golden State, he is prepared to show some of that splash magic he learned from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
James Bouknight was a phenomenal pickup for the Charlotte Hornets via the draft. He was a bonafide scorer back at Connecticut and Charlotte is hoping he can recreate that same kind of production in the pros. His game looks well-rounded when it comes to putting the ball in the hole and I’m sure his point guard will make sure he gets touches when they are on the court together.
Speaking of that point guard, LaMelo Ball has a knack for finding the right man. He already has the ability to make anyone on the floor better, as we saw with Rozier and Gordon Hayward this past season. He is only going to get better and that is a scary sight for the other 29 teams in the league not named the Hornets.
Devonte’ Graham will be missed though. He has shot over 37 percent from deep the past couple of seasons. Graham developed into a solid player over the past few seasons and everyone should be happy for this former second-round pick. They usually are not mainstays in the league after a few years, but Graham seems like he will be in the league for years to come. The Charlotte Hornets are grateful for his contributions to the organization, but it is time to focus on the youth movement in Buzz City.