Hornets Notes: Graham, Monk, Hernangomez, Washington

Devonte’ Graham is outplaying free agent addition Terry Rozier through the first two games, but the Hornets‘ best option might be to use them together, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Graham, a second-year guard, is Charlotte’s leading scorer at 23.5 PPG while sinking 12-of-16 shots from beyond the arc. He’s also handing out three assists for every turnover.

The Hornets gave Rozier $58MM over three seasons this summer, so they don’t plan to take him out of the starting lineup. While Graham will likely remain a reserve, coach James Borrego expects to utilize them together in a smaller backcourt, especially while Nicolas Batum is sidelined with a broken finger. He took a similar approach last season, frequently closing games with Kemba Walker and Tony Parker on the floor.

“We can play them together,” Borrego said. “We can play Terry off the ball some with Te’ out there. We’ll look at that lineup.”

There’s more from Charlotte:

  • Even though Malik Monk has been disappointing, the Hornets had to pick up his fourth-year option to preserve his trade value, Bonnell writes in a mailbag column. A lottery pick in 2017, Monk hasn’t developed  the way the Hornets had hoped. He’s shooting 37.6% from the field for his career and is averaging just 3.5 PPG so far this season. Still, a $5.3MM commitment for next season shouldn’t be significant, as general manager Mitch Kupchak has said the team won’t be aggressive in the 2020 free agent market.
  • Large salaries will make Bismack Biyombo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist difficult to trade this season, but there might be demand for Willy Hernangomez, Bonnell notes in the same piece. The fourth-year center has a minimal expiring salary of $1.68MM, and Bonnell believes the Hornets would part with him for a second-round pick. He adds that there may be more value in letting Biyombo’s $17MM contract and Kidd-Gilchrist’s $13MM deal expire to open cap room for the future.
  • PJ Washington is looking like the draft gem the Hornets needed to give them hope for the future, notes Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation.
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12 thoughts on “Hornets Notes: Graham, Monk, Hernangomez, Washington

  1. Buckman

    As a UK fan, I watched PJ make a great leap from his freshmen to sophomore year. He is a hard worker and so far looks to be continuing in the same vein with the Hornets. Time will tell but the Hornets may have made a draft steal.

    • Drafted MKG at 2 over Beal and Lillard and Drummond.
      Drafted Malik Monk 2 spots higher than Donovan Mitchell, 1 and over Luke Kennard, Bam Adebayo, John Collins, Jarrett Allen and Kyle Kuzma.
      Drafted Cody Zeller over achieve McCollum, Steven Adams, Giannas and Gobert.
      Chose to trade for the 7th pick which they selected Biyambo with over Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Nicola Vucevic and Tobias Harris.
      Plus they paid overs for Batum.

      The Hornets have made so many bad decisions.
      Would absolutely never happen but imagine if they drafted Steven Adams, Kawhi Leonard, Bradley Beal and John Collins while keeping Kemba Walker.

      • weekapaug09

        Monk was considered a steal at the time. Mitchell would’ve been a game changer though.

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        If they had taken Beal in 2012, man, you have to wonder how the fortunes of this franchise change would’ve changed? Beal was the better player then, and clearly now. I think they’re a markedly better team with Beal as a rookie, possibly seeing them picking lower in the draft. They might’ve still drafted Zeller, or he might’ve been gone. Hard to say. I didn’t dislike the Zeller pick the way I disliked the MKG pick, though. Beal/Zeller or Beal/Adams could’ve been solid pairings.

    • 123Redsox

      To be fair, mkg was a key player on a national championship team. Lilliard was an undersized guard that played at a little school in a low- mid major d1 conference. They banked on MKG developing a jumper because he could defend numerous positions. The problem wasn’t drafting him. The problem was signing him to the extension when he had not become a capable shooter

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        That’s a fair point about MKG’s pedigree, but I also think that’s where Jordan shows his flaws when evaluating talent. Everything came so easy for Jordan; and a lot of guys aren’t going to make that leap like maybe he thinks they’re going to make that leap, because it’s hard. I mean I hope that’s it because he’s missed on so many draft picks, I just can’t imagine him having that little acumen as an exec.

  2. Wonder if you could get a Malik Monk and 3 seconds for Mo Bamba type of trade happening.
    Bamba would get more minutes sharing centre with Zeller who he should take the starting position from eventually.
    Orlando gets back a reserve SG with good potential, behind Fournier they don’t have a lot of depth so Monk could be a good addition.

    Hornets would have a brighter future with Rozier at the 1, Bridges and Washington at 3 and 4 and Bamba at the 5.

  3. joeyrocafella

    Lol can we calm down about Graham averaging 23.5 PPG? It’s been 2 games

  4. 123Redsox

    Hindsight is always 50-50. But in many cases, they went with the prospect that at the time looked like the right guy… Giannis, gobert, vucevic, biyambo were all very little known, project players from overseas. … Monk was younger than mitchell and kennard. Mitchell was thought to be athletic with a questionable jumper and Kennard a jumper with limited athleticism. Monk was believed to have star shooter upside and athleticism at 19 years old. And they had no reason to pick a big in that spot since they had young Cody zeller goinh into his 3rd year in the league and a young Kaminsky entering his 2nd year. … Kuzma was believed to be a bench player at best cominh into the draft…. McCollum was at a small program and was never too highly regarded prior to hs. He was an undersized off guard who had success at a mid major school. Kawhi wasn’t at a high major either and they already had gerald Wallace at the 3. They had a need for a young center. Tobias Harris was 18 and considered very raw. Even after his first year and a half in the NBA, teams didn’t really know what they had. Michael Jordan isn’t good but I wouldn’t blame it on the drafting as much as i would on signing guys to extensions that have not developed.

  5. x%sure

    “Te'” = Tay? = Devonte Graham = so far, poster child for the year of letting it fly from deep as often as possible because coach said to.

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