Dwayne Bacon could alter Charlotte Hornets' sorry 2nd-round NBA draft history – Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Hornets fans saw just a slice of Dwayne Bacon. But what he demonstrated his rookie season is a significant departure from this franchise’s history with second-round picks:

Major long-term potential; as in could-be-a-starter-someday potential.

Bacon lasted 40 picks before being chosen last June. A factor in his lasting that long was a jump shot that looked broken in two seasons at Florida State.

Bacon went to work last summer with Hornets shooting specialist Bruce Kreutzer. The numbers still don’t look great — Bacon made just 26 percent of his 43 attempts from the NBA arc — but the form has clearly improved. Combine that with NBA size and strength and a natural ability to play defense, and Bacon could be a hit as a second-round pick.

“I feel like I’m a good player, like I can play in this league, for sure, for a long time,” Bacon said Wednesday, in season-exit interviews with the players. “And I feel like the organization feels that way, too.”

No question outgoing coach Steve Clifford felt so. Clifford said multiple times last season that Bacon had starter potential, which you don’t often hear about second-round NBA picks, particularly as rookies.

Bacon started six games last season, including the season-opener in Detroit after Nic Batum suffered a torn ligament in his left elbow. The thing Bacon offers is true NBA size for his positions (small forward and shooting guard) at 6-7 and a muscular 222 pounds.

Defensive versatility

The hottest trend in the NBA of late is defenders versatile enough to be equipped to switch who they are guarding. Those players make it less necessary to draw up rotations that leave other players exposed to mismatches in pick-and-roll. It’s what the Golden State Warriors have in abundance with Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond

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