The Charlotte Hornets just became more fun to watch; as the team surrounded LaMelo Ball with a couple of solid athletes.
With the 11th pick, Charlotte selected Connecticut’s James Bouknight and acquired the rights to Kai Jones from the New York Knicks.
In Bouknight, the Hornets will get a player who can get a bucket and do so effortlessly. At U-Conn, Bouknight was a prolific shot-creator who scored in multiple ways as the Huskies’ first option. He can create separation and space for shots and can finish around the rim emphatically with his athleticism.
Per Synergy, Bouknight created nearly a third of his possessions out of ball screens and isos. He also created a quarter of scoring opportunities in dribble hand-off situations. Again, Bouknight is a certified threat around the rim-averaging 1.37 points per shot around the rim in the half-court.
Bouknight is also an aggressive and capable defender. On defense, he won’t get into anyone physically. However, he will use his lateral quickness and length to bother the opposition. Bouknight allowed 0.69 points per isolation possessions at U-Conn.
The Hornets acquired the rights to Kai Jones when the New York Knicks picked the Forward from Texas.
In Jones, the Hornets will get a project that is worth the time and effort in development. Jones has good size for a versatile power forward in this league. Not to mention having a 7-foot-1 wingspan and plenty of athleticism. He can cover ground effectively; which will be a great look for the Hornets as they continue to find players to address their need for rebounding and rim protection.
According to Synergy, Jones generated a quarter of his possessions in transition. While he didn’t play much at Texas or considered to be a consistent option, Jones showed his capabilities on the break-running the wings well, proved to show competence in pushing the ball up court and trailing.
If the Hornets are willing to pour their development efforts into Jones, he could contribute immediately.