Charlotte Hornets

Hornets trade up in NBA draft, select NC native in Kansas' Devonte' Graham

Hornets land Miles Bridges in NBA Draft after trade with Clippers

The Charlotte Hornets selected Michigan State guard/forward Miles Bridges with the 12th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 21, 2018.
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The Charlotte Hornets selected Michigan State guard/forward Miles Bridges with the 12th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

The Charlotte Hornets traded up in the second round of Thursday's NBA draft to select Kansas point guard Devonte' Graham with the No. 34 overall pick.

The Hornets sent two future second-round picks (2019, 2023) to the Atlanta Hawks to help complete the trade.

Graham, a Raleigh native, starred for the Jayhawks for four seasons, culminating in a Final Four berth as a senior. He averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 assists per game en route to earning consensus 2018 first-team All-America honors. He was also named the Big 12 Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Broughton High was originally committed to Appalachian State in high school, but then blossomed as a prospect before his senior year. He was eventually released from his national letter of intent and re-committed to Kansas. Graham was teammates at Broughton with Jerome Robinson, the No. 13 overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Former KU guard Devonte Graham took a virtual-reality test during a meeting with the Detroit Pistons at the NBA Draft Combine on May 18, 2018.

The only point guard currently signed to the Hornets' roster is two-time All-Star Kemba Walker, who is entering the final year of his contract. Michael Carter-Williams, who backed Walker up in 2017-2018, is no longer with the team. Last year's first-round draft selection, Malik Monk, also handled some backup point guard duties, but is better suited offensively as a shooting guard.

Graham's crowning traits as a prospect hinge on his basketball IQ, his proven shooting efficiency and a tendency not to turn the ball over. In addition to his 40 percent field goal percentage, Graham also shot 40.6 percent on 3-point attempts.

On defense, an area in which the Hornets struggled last season, Graham has his positives and negatives. While he did register 1.6 steals per game, his limited size means he could struggle in defending multiple positions at the NBA level.

Graham joins the No. 12 overall pick, Michigan State forward Miles Bridges, as Hornets draftees.



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