As the NBA is becoming more versatile, the demand for positionless basketball players has grown. One team that lacks such is the Charlotte Hornets. But, they might have found a the solution to that problem in the 2017 offseason.
Dwayne Bacon was an under the radar prospect coming out of Florida State. Having scored 22.9 points, and 7 rebounds a game, it is unclear why he fell so low in the 2017 NBA draft. As a result, the Hornets drafted him 40th overall.
Bacon has shown the ability to be a starting-caliber player this season through six games. The reason for the starting role was because of the leave that Michael-Kidd-Gilchrist took at the beginning of the season. But, Bacon’s minutes has plummeted recently. This was due to the excellent play of Treveon Graham and Jeremy Lamb. As a result, Bacon has quickly dropped out of the Hornets' nightly rotation. Now, he is only being used in garbage time scenarios. But, there is a way to fix this situation.
An idea that the Hornets could look to is to change Bacon’s position. The Hornets need a capable two-way point guard off the bench. Currently, rookie Malik Monk has the ability to one day be that for Charlotte. But as for now, his defensive inabilities have limited him this season to be their backup guard.
This summer, the Hornets have a big decision to make. They could rot Dwyane Bacon's career in the log jam wing positions that is on the team. Between Jeremy Lamb, Malik Monk, Michael-Carter Williams, and Treveon Graham, there is little to no space on the Hornets' wing to insert Bacon into. He would likely sit on the bench and get no playing time as a result. Or, the Hornets could shape him into a great backup point guard. This will not only allow him to become a novelty in the modern NBA, a "point forward"; but this also allows him to gain more playing time in the NBA .The reason why they have the option for this drastic change is because of Bacon’s age. He is only twenty two years old, so he has plenty of time to modify his playstyle for the better.
If this were to happen, and Bacon becomes the Hornet’s nightly backup point guard, all sorts of positive effects will happen. This move will allow the Hornets to be a much lengthier bench team. Bacon is 6’7" and 220 pounds, a much bigger size than the average point guards in the NBA.He also has the willingness to drive inside, while also having the ability to create his own shot. Furthermore, he has shown glimpses of being a solid facilitator of the offense, primarily at Florida State. The position change would allow Malik Monk to slide down and play shooting guard, which he is capable of doing as he is a great spot shooter. This puts Jeremy as a lock as the backup three; a position that he has had success with this season, despite the mediocre play at the position last season. Finally, this puts the Hornets swiss army knife, Treveon Graham, into either the three when Lamb is fatigued, or the small ball four.
One comparison that could be made of this new scenario is John Johnson. Johnson was one of the first point forward players in NBA history. He was interchangeable between the point and wing. Through his years with Cleveland and Seattle, he established himself as a great facilitator in his team's offense. This helped him become a two time all star. He did this with only starting in one game in his entire NBA career. This shows that it is possible to be an all star level point forward off an NBA bench. There is no doubt that Bacon can emuliate Johnson throughout his NBA career.
Well Hornets fans, get ready for the "Point Bacon" movement.