Player Forecast on Dwayne Bacon
Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Height: 6′ 7″
Weight: 221 pounds
Reasons for Optimism:
Charlotte added an exciting wing player in Dwayne Bacon at the 2017 NBA Draft. Bacon checks off all the measurements for the position in the modern NBA. He stands 6’7” with a wingspan of 6’10”. Last year at Florida State Bacon averaged 17.2 points per game while shooting 45% from the field. He is an incredible athlete who averaged over 20 points per game his last six games in college. His 3 point shooting percentage improved from 28% his freshman year to 33% his sophomore year. Hopefully the 3 point competition he won at Hornets practice is an indicator that his outside shot has continued to improve.
Bacon was a very good finisher at the rim in college, a skill he continued to show in NBA Summer League. Over the five games in Orlando, Bacon averaged 15.4 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 41.8%. Check out highlights from the Magic Game, where he finished with 29 points.
This summer Charlotte added Dwight Howard as a rim protector. The team already has Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, one of the best wing defenders in the NBA. Charlotte has a great defensive coach in head coach Steve Clifford. The struggles for this team over the last few years have been on the offensive side of the ball, particularly on the second unit. Jeremy Lamb is ahead of him in the rotation currently, but he has been in and out of Clifford’s dog house over the years. Bacon could steal some of Lamb’s minutes. Bacon brings size and offensive skills and those two traits are welcome additions to this Hornets roster.
Reasons for Pessimism:
Charlotte has not had a lot of success with second picks in the NBA Draft. Unlike the NFL where quality players can be found in every round, few players find great success after the first round in the NBA. Bacon only made 33% of his threes his last year in college. In today’s NBA, it is hard to play wing players who cannot consistently hit outside shots. Unless he gets that shot, his other skills won’t make up for the fact that he will be somewhat of a liability on offense. Bacon was an average defender in college. If he wants to play for Clifford, he will need to step it up on that end of the floor.
Number to Know:
Bacon was the 40th pick in the draft. As the roster currently stands, he will probably be the fifth wing player in the rotation behind Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeremy Lamb, and Treveon Graham. He will probably split time between Charlotte and the team’s G-League team in Greensboro. Playing in 40 games for Charlotte would signal a good start to his career.
"Dwayne (Bacon) has a bright future. He has the size and versatility." — Clifford.
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) September 25, 2017
Bacon has great size for a wing player in the NBA. A prolific scorer in college, he should be able to develop a nice game that will compliment defense players such as Kidd-Gilchrist and Howard. If he continues to improve his outside shot, he could be a rotation player for Charlotte this year.