Last season, point guard LaMelo Ball became the third player in Charlotte Hornets history to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award joining Larry Johnson (1991-92) and Emeka Okafor (2004-05). Okafor did it in the team's first season of being named the Bobcats.
Could the organization be on the verge of claiming the award in back-to-back seasons with rookie guard James Bouknight?
It's possible but the odds are not in Bouknight's favor. He will be in a situation where he will be coming off the bench to provide an offensive spark while guys like Cade Cunningham (Pistons), Jalen Green (Rockets), and Jalen Suggs (Magic) will be playing a heavier load of minutes as starters. That, however, doesn't mean Bouknight doesn't stand a chance. Depending on who you talk to, he is actually a popular darkhorse favorite.
According to Oddshark.com, Bouknight has the 8th best odds (+2500) to win the award. Aside from the top three picks I already mentioned, the only other rookies who have better odds at the current moment are Evan Mobley (Cavaliers), Scottie Barnes (Raptors), Alperen Sengun (Rockets), and Davion Mitchell (Kings).
Bouknight was an elite scorer off the dribble in his college days at UConn but really struggled from beyond the arc hitting at just a 32% clip. However, he did shoot it a little better in the Summer League at 37% but has since shot 20% in the team's four preseason games. If he can develop into a better three-point shooter, he would be the complete package offensively.
Bouknight is set to make his official NBA debut on Wednesday night when the Hornets open up the season at home against the Indiana Pacers. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
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