San Antonio Spurs: Cash or pass 4 role player free agents
3. Devonte' Graham, PG, Charlotte Hornets
It's not every day you see a player more than triple his scoring average from one season to the next. That's exactly what Devonte' Graham did in his sophomore season in 2019, earning a full-time starting spot by scoring 18.2 points per game on 37.3 percent shooting from three. The meteoric rise probably should've resulted in him earning the NBA's Most Improved Player.
The only Spur close to being a volume outside shooter last season was Derrick White, who put up 6.8 attempts per game, which led the team. Graham played roughly the same average time per game and put up 8.7 per. His mark of 37.5 percent also would've been tied with Patty Mills for second-best on the team.
Graham's combination of scoring and facilitating is a big reason Air Alamo's Dylan Carter said the Spurs "shouldn't hesitate" if he becomes available. While both his scoring and assists per game went down from his surprising 2019-20 season, 15 and 5.4 per game were still impressive numbers from the 26-year-old.
While undersized in the league at 6-1, Graham brings enough of an offensive punch to get serious consideration from San Antonio. He also defends better than Patty Mills, whose own lack of size has caused problems for the Spurs on the perimeter in recent years.
Even with all Graham offers, finding a fit for him in San Antonio is tricky. Ideally, the Spurs would like to start developing Tre Jones to take up the backup point guard role next season. That is unless they bring Mills back, which I'm not sure is in the team's best interest.
Devonte' would also have to accept a bench role after proving himself as a starter-quality player for two seasons. I'm not sure that's enticing for the rising guard.
The Charlotte Observer estimates an extension offer from the Hornets to be in the $10-$11 million per year range, meaning other teams would probably go beyond that to pull him away if no agreement is made.
Graham is a great player, but the circumstances surrounding the current roster and financial outlook makes me lean slightly toward a no.