Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham enjoyed a breakout 2019/20 campaign, boosting his scoring average from 4.7 PPG to 18.2 PPG to go along with 7.5 APG and a .373 3PT% on 9.3 attempts per game. However, the former second-round pick wasn’t a finalist for the league’s Most Improved Player award, finishing fifth in voting.
“Obviously, I was upset about it. I’m pretty much over it now,” Graham said on Thursday following the Hornets’ group workout, per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “I just know the people who really watch and are around basketball know.”
Having initially signed a three-year, $4.07MM contract with the Hornets after being drafted 34th overall in 2018, Graham will be entering a contract year in 2020/21 and said on Thursday that he’s open to discussing an extension with the team this offseason, according to Bonnell.
Because he’s a minimum-salary player, the Hornets guard would be eligible for a starting salary worth up to 120% of the league’s estimated average salary. If the cap stays at the same level in ’20/21 that it did in ’19/20, that would translate to a maximum extension of $51.4MM over four years.
Here’s more from around the Southeast:
- Having been fully cleared after battling a foot injury for the second half of the 2019/20 season, Hawks center Clint Capela has been able to participate in drills and mini-scrimmages at the team’s in-market bubble camp, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Head coach Lloyd Pierce is excited about how Capela will be able to help Atlanta on the glass. “Defensive rebounding has been a big issue for us,” Pierce said. “He just knows how to do it. He knows how to hold off a guy with one arm and get (the ball) with the other. Just really simple things that you can’t teach. … He showed a couple of those possessions where you instantly look down there, and you’re like, ‘We’ll be all right there.'”
- With the Heat one win away from returning to the NBA Finals, head coach Erik Spoelstra looked back this week on the team’s meeting with Jimmy Butler in free agency last summer, discussing how the two sides immediately connected, as Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald detail. “We have the same shared values about competition. It works for us. We don’t have to apologize for it,” Spoelstra said. “Times he’s been criticized for it, who cares? Just really grateful we got him.”
- The coronavirus pandemic has slowed construction of the Magic‘s new practice facility, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who says that team officials are now hopeful the project will be completed by December 1, 2021. The original target date was September 2021.