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CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 27: The Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets, is seen during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on April 27, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The NBA recently announced the possible re-opening of team practice facilities as early as May 1. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Written by Jarell D. Contact at jarellevandawson@gmail.com

In what could end up being the biggest bargain of the NBA, Charlotte Hornets point guard Devonte’ Graham will play out the third year of his contract making a team-friendly $1.6 million dollars this season. To put that into perspective, Graham is the 81st highest paid point guard in the NBA, despite averaging a shade over 18 points per game in 35 minutes played. Not bad for a player selected in the second round of the 2018 draft by current Hornets General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Next season, the Hornets can choose to offer Graham a qualifying offer worth $2 million dollars. If they proceed this route, the Hornets will hold the rights to match any offer sheet another team may offer. The Charlotte Hornets should do whatever they can, within reason, to maintain the services of Devonte’ Graham.

The former Kansas Jayhawk seized the moment in his second season following the departure of former Hornet Kemba Walker to Boston. Graham finished fifth in voting for the league’s Most Improved Player award and filled Walker’s void by providing a much-needed boost in the scoring column on a nightly basis. Already a proven scorer, championship contenders could look to Graham to come off the bench and provide a spark to the second unit. While other teams, such as the Knicks, could look to Graham to solidify its wavering backcourt.

It will take time for recent draft pick Lamelo Ball to find his scoring rhythm early in his career. Keeping Graham around assures Head Coach James Borrego a solid option at point guard as Ball continues to learn the nuances of the NBA. The Hornets have long wanted to build their team through the draft. A Graham extension will be the perfect opportunity to add another brick to the foundation of the franchise.

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige