The loss of Kemba Walker for Charlotte was huge, not only for the organization as a whole but for the city and fans of the Charlotte Hornets. His production and legacy for the city he loved will certainly go down in history and can’t be replaced for the organization.
Heading into the season this year, there may have not been too many bright spots to look forward to outside of the young rookies and second-year players for Charlotte. PJ Washington has been fantastic to watch though early on in his NBA career and others have stepped up as well.
But possibly the biggest and brightest spot to start the season for the Hornets has been the drastic improvement and mentality of second-year point guard Devonte’ Graham.
Graham, a North Carolina native, has seen one of the biggest jumps statistically from last year (a rookie) to where he is now. And now, he is starting to be in the discussion as a future star for the Charlotte Hornets, something that many didn’t see coming after the loss of Walker.
Playing 46 games last year and averaging 4.6 points per game, Graham started this season off in style. Averaging 18.8 points (31st in the NBA) and 7.1 assists per game (12th), Graham is showing that he can impact the game in many ways and step up as a big-time scoring threat.
He is shooting 41 percent from the floor and becoming an incredible threat from outside, averaging 3.5 made 3-pointers and shooting 41 percent from behind the arc (shot 28 percent from three last year).
And remember, he has been coming off the bench for much of the season so far (except recently with the injury to Dwayne Bacon).
To simply say, he has been one of the biggest and brightest spots for Charlotte and the Hornets may have found their next star in the making.
With his ability to handle and initiate the offense, be a knockdown shooter, and distribute, Graham is showing that he has all the tools to take over the reins in Charlotte.
Graham has been a winner everywhere he has gone, coming through the high school level in Raleigh, to a three-year starter and Big-12 Player of the Year at Kansas, and now, he is making his mark on the NBA.
Charlotte Hornets fans came into the season looking for hope and with the play of the young and developing players, along with the outstanding play of Graham, it looks like they may be getting more than that this year.