Charlotte Hornets: 2017 NBA Draft grades

Jun 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Malik Monk (Kentucky) is introduced as the number eleven overall pick to the Charlotte Hornets in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Charlotte Hornets

Jun 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Malik Monk (Kentucky) is introduced as the number eleven overall pick to the Charlotte Hornets in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Following the 2017 NBA Draft, here’s our recap and grades for what the Charlotte Hornets did with their 11th and 40th selections overall.

The Charlotte Hornets, fresh off a trade for Dwight Howard, had two selections in the 2017 NBA Draft. They used the 11th pick in the draft to select Malik Monk, a shooting guard from Kentucky that most fans and experts assumed would have been off the board by the time Charlotte was on the clock.

A draft-day trade resulted in the Hornets swapping the 31st overall pick for the 40th pick and cash considerations with the New Orleans Pelicans. The 40th pick turned out to be Dwayne Bacon, a small forward from Florida State University.

Both of these players addressed needs on the wing and second unit scoring for the Hornets. Monk will have a chance to contribute immediately while Bacon has more competition at his position.

Here is a breakdown of each pick and a final grade analysis for the Charlotte Hornets and their 2017 NBA Draft.

Jun 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Malik Monk (Kentucky) is introduced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number eleven overall pick to the Charlotte Hornets in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

No. 11 — Malik Monk

With the 11th pick, the Hornets selected Malik Monk from the University of Kentucky. Monk provides an immediate offensive punch to a second unit in Charlotte.

The reaction to the draft pick and the fact that Monk had fallen that far in the draft was similar to that of The Ringer:

Although he is similar in stature (6’3″) to Kemba Walker (6’1″), Monk will be able to play the shooting guard position as well as provide backup point guard duties. He is one of the most prolific scorers in Kentucky basketball history and was the 2017 SEC Player of the Year.

As talented as Monk is on the offensive side, his defensive game has not yet shown the same brilliance. Averaging just under one steal a game and 2.5 rebounds a game, Monk will need to develop those portions of his skill set.

Another portion of his game that will need some refinement is controlling the assist-turnover ratio. Monk is basically at a 1:1 ratio and that is simply not acceptable in the NBA.

By comparison,, Chris Paul led all starting point guards with a 3.8-1 assist-turnover ratio. Fortunately, Monk will have veteran leadership at his position to show him the ropes.  He will also have extra motivation after slipping down this far in the draft.

The Hornets were able to address significant needs in their backcourt and with their bench scoring. Monk has the potential to become a big-time scoring threat and has lots of room to grow on the defensive end. If he is able to reach that potential, this pick could become a major steal for the Hornets.

Grade: A

2017 NBA Draft, Charlotte Hornets

Mar 18, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Dwayne Bacon (4) dribble the ball against the Xavier Musketeersduring the first half in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports.

No. 40 — Dwayne Bacon

The 40th pick in the draft originally belonged to the Pelicans but was swapped with the Hornets for the 31st pick and cash considerations. The Hornets needed to secure an athletic wing player who could back up Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marvin Williams.

Dwayne Bacon’s player bio on the NBA Draft site lists him at 6’7″ and 220 pounds. The NBA trend is leaning towards wing players who can both score and defend. The Hornets are hoping that Bacon will be able to eventually provide both on a consistent basis.

Bacon was able to improve his scoring average in from his freshman to sophomore campaigns.  However, he saw a dip in his rebounding and was not able to improve on his steals or blocks averages.

With his length at his position, the Hornets will be looking to also develop his rebounding and defensive abilities. Bacon’s teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is an excellent player to model his development after. Bacon may not have the immediate impact that Malik Monk will, but he has potential to eventually become a veteran in the NBA.

Anytime that a team is able to trade down and still draft a prospect who fills a current need, all while saving some valuable salary cap space, it is a positive transaction. The Hornets can hope that one of Bacon’s prior coaches is correct in his assessment of Dwayne.

“I think he’s going to be a guy that is going to be a steal in the draft” – Stan Jones, Florida State Assistant Coach

Grade: A

Jordan is a happy owner after the 2017 NBA Draft

Mar 4, 2017; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Former North Carolina Tar Heels great Michael Jordan during a half time announcement that Jordan’s Jumpman Brand is teaming up with Carolina Football. The Tar Heels defeated the Blue Devils 90-83 at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Final grade

Michael Jordan has plenty to smile about after the last week. Along with landing Dwight Howard, the Charlotte Hornets were able to nail their draft picks this year. Perimeter depth and bench scoring were glaring needs and the selections of Malik Monk (No. 11) and Dwayne Bacon (No. 40) helped address those needs.

Malik Monk will provide scoring and will have the opportunity to play both guard positions. It is unclear why other teams passed on Monk, but Charlotte is poised to reap the benefits. A talented player with extra motivation is an excellent combination.

Dwayne Bacon will provide length and scoring off the bench. With more competition at his position, Bacon may not make a huge splash this coming year, but the potential is there for him to make an impact and develop his game.

Overall, the Hornets came out of the 2017 NBA Draft with a couple of great picks and are poised to make waves in the Eastern Conference this year.

Final Grade: A

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