Hornets Call up Rookie Devonte’ Graham
Devonte’ Graham, former Kansas All American and Hornet’s 2nd round draft choice, 34 overall got the call to join the Hornets as a Point Guard likely backing up Kemba Walker, and Tony Parker. This is somewhat of a homecoming for Graham who was born in Raleigh and attended Broughton High School before transferring to National Powerhouse Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
For the week ending November 12th Graham was the NBA G League player of the week. He led the Swarm to a 3-0 record to start the season. During that span he averaged 28.3 points, 6.3 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals. This shouldn’t be too big of a shock for those that have followed his career at Kansas. Graham played 4 years there at saw his production increase each year in Points, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, and FT Percentage.
Graham missed much of the NBA Summer League action with some damage to his right knee but returned right in time for training camp. He played in all the Hornets preseason games and has split time between the Swarm and the Hornets. On reason for the shared time is the depth the Hornets have in their back court. The top four scorers for the Hornets are all guards with Malik Monk and Tony Parker coming off the bench. Coach James Borrego said after the draft that he saw Graham and fellow rookie Miles Bridges both making regular contributions to the team and being in the regular lineup mix.
Graham definitely finds himself in a log jam to try and find playing time in Charlotte. The Hornets could do several things to help Devonte’ get more playing time. One, if they close to the trade deadline and it looks like their season is not heading for the playoffs they could look to trade Veteran point guard Tony Parker who still has one more year on his contract after this year. They could wait until there is an injury in their back court to find a more consistent rotation and bring up Graham in the event of an injury. There are some things to consider in Charlotte in regards to playing time and future lineups. Both Jeremy Lamb and Kemba Walker will be unrestricted free agents in 2019. Graham might continue to make appearances in Hornets and Swarm jerseys this year, with the plan to be much more involved in the lineup heading into next year.
Can the Hornets, who as of today are in 7th place in the Eastern Conference playoff ranking continue to let a talent like Devonte’ Graham continue to score in the G league but not make serious contributions to the parent club? We’ll see soon enough as the Hornet’s next two games are at home against the Philadelphia 76ers at 7:00 PM on Saturday and then against the Boston Celtics Monday.