The Charlotte Hornets ended the 2019-20 season with a very successful group of guards that have the potential to do some special things next season. But the question for head coach James Borrego will be how can he find a solid rotation in the backcourt to fulfill all of the team's needs.
So let’s take a look at a current group, their current role and the potential future of them in Charlotte.
Graham became the Hornets main offensive weapon last season. Everyone knows about his statistical growth. But the growth was not because of the increase in minutes, it was because of the better shot percentages in his second year. Not only did he take more shots per game, he shot almost 5% better from the field and over 9% better from beyond the arc. Those were the main reasons why he averaged 13 more points per game this season than he did as a rookie.
He also averaged 7.5 assists and a steal game so he provided more than just points. But in order for not only him to take the next step into becoming an All-Star and on the leagues radar, he needs to increase his shooting percentage to low to mid 40 percent from the field. If he does that over the same number of shots, he would be a 23 to 25 point a game scorer.
Unless the Hornets take Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball in the upcoming NBA Draft, Graham should be the one half of the starting backcourt on opening night.
Terry Rozier III
Rozier exceeded expectations in his first season in Charlotte. He finished right behind Graham in points per game, but he hit over 40% from downtown to lead the team. He played like more of the team’s shooting guard than the point guard last season. He averaged only 4.4 assists per game.
He needs to improve his on ball defense. He allowed players to shoot over 50% from inside the arc this season. LIke Graham, the idea of playing with a bigger guard next to him could help Rozier lower those percentages.
Because Rozier is making around $17 million dollars next season, he should be the starting point guard for the Hornets on opening night.
The former 11th overall pick averaged a career high 10.3 points per game on a career high 43.4% shooting from the floor last season. But his season was cut short due to violating the league’s anti-drug program and was finally reinstated on June 8.
Before the suspension, Monk was having an outstanding February where he averaged 16.7 points and 3.9 rebounds shooting 45% from the floor and it seemed like he was turning the huge corner that the team had been waiting for him to turn.
The potential upcoming “Bubble Camp” will be huge because if Monk can continue to show the upside that he was playing at before his season ended, the team might not be so tempted to take a bigman if one is available with the third overall pick. But if he doesn’t show it, the Monk in Charlotte experience might not end up the way fans would have wanted it to.
At the end of the 2018-2019 season, Bacon was turning into the player that was going to be the starting shooting guard in the Hornets future. He was shooting the basketball at a very good rate in the second half of the season (45.1% from the floor and 40% from downtown) and his defense was improving to the point where he was not a defensive liability.
Bacon entered the 2019-2020 as the starting shooting guard and he did not live up to expectations. After scoring 22 points in the opener, his season went downhill afterwards. He scored five or less points in 4 of the next 9 games and was out of the starting lineup by mid-November. After his move back to a reserve role, he only scored in double figures three more times before he was completely out of the rotation in early February.
Bacon would like a new start in someplace other than Charlotte and the team could not bring him back next season, especially if they can find some other alternatives in the draft and in free agency.