James Bouknight's Draft Scouting Report: Pro Comparison, Updated Hornets Roster

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

Connecticut's James Bouknight plays during an NCAA college basketball game against Villanova, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Charlotte Hornets selected Connecticut star James Bouknight with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft. 

Bleacher Report Draft Expert Jonathan Wasserman's Scouting Report

Player: James Bouknight

Position: SG


Pro ComparisonJordan Clarkson

Scouting ReportBouknight's athleticism, ball-handling for creation and three-level shot-making hint at enticing scoring potential. Scouts sound willingess to buy the eye test on his jumper over the numbers.

Hornets Active Roster and Average Salary (Expiration Year)

Gordon Hayward, SF: $30M (2024)

Terry Rozier, PG: $18.9M (2022)

LaMelo Ball, PG: $8.0M (2024)

Miles Bridges, SF: $4.1M (2022)

P.J. Washington, PF: $4.0M (2023)

James Bouknight, SG: $3.36M (2025)

Vernon Carey Jr., C: $2.2M (2024)

Jalen McDaniels, PF: $1.5M (2023)

Cody Martin, SF: $1.5M (2022)

Nick Richards, C: $1.4M (2023)

Caleb Martin, SF: $1.4M (2022)


Free Agents

Cody Zeller, C: UFA

Malik Monk, SG: RFA

Bismack Biyombo, C: UFA

Brad Wanamaker, PG: UFA

Devonte' Graham, PG: RFA

Grant Riller, PG: RFA

Nate Darling, SG: RFA

The 6'5" guard spent two seasons at UConn. His sophomore campaign was interrupted by surgery after he hyperextended his elbow. He missed a little more than a month and was limited to 15 appearances.

Bouknight, 20, averaged 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 2020-21. His shooting took a step backward as he saw his three-point percentage fall from 34.7 to 29.3. That could be partially attributable to his elbow issues.

Between his surgery and the Huskies' exit in the first round of the NCAA tournament, it was largely a year to forget for Bouknight. His 18-point haul in a win over USC last December and a 40-point effort against Creighton in his next game showed how he can be a dynamic scorer at his best, though.

Things keep working out great for the Hornets in the draft. They landed 2020-21 Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball with the No. 3 pick last year. Bouknight was one of the fastest-rising prospects in this year's class during the evaluation process. 

Pairing Bouknight's shooting ability with Ball's passing skills will potentially give the Hornets one of the best young duos in the NBA that they can build around for years to come.