Dwayne Bacon will be everything the Charlotte Hornets wanted Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to be. MKG was drafted with the 2nd pick in the 2012 draft after Anthony Davis, but before Bradley Beal. Dwayne Bacon was drafted 40th in the 2017 draft after Jawun Evans, but before Tyler Dorsey. The Hornets saw MKG as a great defender/rebounder that could hopefully develop better shooting mechanics. Bacon is different in the sense he is already a scorer, but needs to develop on defense. Steve Clifford may be the perfect coach for this situation; whereas, the Spurs with Chip Engelland may have been better suited to coach MKG.
Subscribers of the YouTube channel Home Team Hoops will know Dwayne Bacon (and Corey Sanders) and how hard they have been working down in Lakeland Florida. Corey played well at Rutgers this past year and could have gone into the draft this year. This year’s class was loaded and he opted to go back to college for another year. Bacon was in a similar situation to his friend. Dwayne is a first-round talent, but this class was stacked so he slipped and the Hornets got lucky. Dwayne said back in 2015 that “I’m the next Jordan” and after watching summer league and studying his work ethic, this may not be a lie, like most people thought when he said it.
Why would the “next Jordan” slip to the second round? There is obviously a huge emphasis on the 3-point shot in the NBA nowadays (Exhibit A: Warriors). Bacon does not have a 3-point shot right now and this was shown in the summer league. He knows this and this awareness helps him stay within his own game where he can dominate. He averaged a solid 15.2 points a game in the Orlando Summer League; however, he shot only 20% from 3-point land. This would be worrisome for the Hornets, but he clearly has a good shooting stroke showcased by his 100% free-throw percentage in Orlando. Once he extends his range, he will be an efficient offensive NBA player.