Future Watch: Dwayne Bacon Rookie Basketball Cards, HornetsFuture Watch: Dwayne Bacon Rookie Basketball Cards, Hornets – The 2017-18 season was disappointing for the Charlotte Hornets. Despite having one of the largest payrolls in the league, the team finished with a 36-46 record. This offseason will be a big one for the Hornets. They have already let coach Steve Clifford go after five seasons with the team, and there are likely many more moves to be made as the summer progresses.

Keeping cost-controlled assets should be priority for the Hornets as they move forward. One player to keep an eye on is 2017-18 rookie forward Dwayne Bacon. He has a chance to take a step forward if Charlotte ends up clearing some high paid players from their roster this summer.

Bacon spent his prep career in his native state of Florida. He played for McKeel Academy in Lakeland his first two years, and transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton for his junior season. He would transfer once more for his senior season to Oak Hill Academy. His senior season was most impressive, as he helped lead Oak Hill to a 45-0 record while averaging 24.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Bacon would turn down offers from Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech and Auburn to stay closer to home and play for Florida State.

The 6’7” forward spent two seasons with the Seminoles. As a freshman, he was named ACC Rookie of the Week three times. His freshman averages came out to 15.8 points and 5.8 rebounds over 28.8 minutes per game. After his freshman season, Bacon decided to test the waters for the 2016 NBA draft. He would not hire an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to Florida State for his sophomore year. Ultimately, he would elect to return to school for one more year.

The decision paid off, as Bacon was named a member of the All-ACC second team and helped the Seminoles reach the NCAA Tournament. His per game numbers as a sophomore were solid: 17.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals. After Florida State was eliminated from the 2017 NCAA Tournament, Bacon would declare himself officially eligible for the 2017 NBA draft.

Heading into the draft, scouts saw Bacon as a solid wing prospect for the NBA. He would need to develop a more consistent outside shot, but he had the right size and length (6’10” wingspan) to become an impact player on both ends of the floor. On draft night, Bacon was taken in the second round with the 40th overall pick by New Orleans. Later that night, he was traded to the Hornets.

Bacon’s rookie season in Charlotte was unspectacular. He played in 53 games (starting in six of them) while averaging 13.5 minutes and 3.3 points. His best stretch of games came in late March, when he averaged 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds over eight games. Bacon also spent time in the G-League playing for the Greensboro Swarm. At the G-League level, he was spectacular, averaging 26.5 points in four games. His best game for the Swarm came against Wisconsin on December 28th. Check out some highlights from that game:

The Hornets could go in a lot of directions this offseason. They could run it back with most of the current roster intact and try for a playoff spot, or they could look to move some assets and build for a future when Lebron James is out of the Eastern Conference. Regardless, Bacon is a cost-controlled asset who can make an impact on an NBA roster. If Charlotte ends up moving some of their veterans this summer, look for Bacon to be a bigger part of their roster for the 2018-19 season.

Dwayne Bacon already has some great autographed rookie cards in the market. They can be found in 2017 Panini Contenders Collegiate Draft Picks Basketball. As a draft pick, collectors can be assured to find NBA licensed rookie cards of Bacon in the complete portfolio of 2017-18 Panini NBA basketball card products during the 2017-18 NBA season.

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