The NBA Draft is an exhausting experience for players, but also for team executives. Rich Cho exemplified that during Friday’s draft pick unveiling, when he inadvertently referred to Charlotte Hornets second round pick Dwayne Bacon as, “Dwayne Wade.” Cho quickly corrected himself as the room erupted in laughter, then later on when asked whether Bacon shared any similarities to Wade, one of Bacon or Malik Monk whispered “he’s better” into the mic.
The full exchanged echoed the rest of the press conference, where both players looked relaxed and enjoying themselves as they answered questions from the Charlotte media. Both weren’t afraid to have fun with the media, and were fairly candid in their answers.
Asked to describe his game, Monk answered: “Electrifying.” When asked the same question, Bacon looked over at Monk and quickly responded, “That’s a tough word to beat.”
When asked if they had been to Charlotte or knew anything about the city:
Monk: “I’ve been to the airport.”
Bacon: “I know Cam Newton is here.”
It was evident the good vibes from last night had carried into today, as the press conference felt more like a Q&A at Comic Con where the panel has fun with the crowd. This isn’t too surprising given how things went down last night. The Hornets appear to be one of the winners of the draft, not just with critics but with fans as well. Given the reaction from fans and others in past drafts, it was a different, but welcome feeling.
The players didn’t reveal much beyond their personalities, but Cho unsurprisingly did state the team would be looking for a backup point guard in free agency.
During Steve Clifford’s press conference that directly followed, he specifically pointed to wanting a player that was both an “organizer and distributor” which suggests a pass-first kind of point guard.
Clifford also revealed that Monk would get a bit of playing time as point guard to see how he handled it. This makes a lot of sense even if he isn’t ready for the position — Monk’s size works better for the point guard position, so letting him try the position in SL lets the team get an early evaluation of what he needs to work on. With Bacon, Clifford stated he would log minutes at both wing positions.
From here, the team will look to secure a summer league roster, head to camp, then to Orlando. With SL starting at the start of July, we won’t have to wait too long to see both players in action.