Charlotte Hornets: Alternative Places to Find Talent


Charlotte Hornets: Alternative Places to Find Talent

Should the Hornets give up assets just to acquire a marginally productive backup point guard to fill in for a few weeks?

On the surface, that seems a ludicrous question given that this team currently has no legitimate NBA starter at the point. Why would a team in the thick of the playoff race not make a move to solidify their rotation after the injury news on Kemba Walker?

However, you have to consider the players being discussed. Ramon Sessions? Norris Cole? Are these guys really worth even a second round pick?

Maybe there are some alternative ways to get an NBA caliber player onto the Hornets roster.

More from Swarm and Sting

This Is Why The D-League Exists

The NBA Developmental League was created as a sort of NBA minor league. A place where prospects not playing much in the NBA can go to sharpen their skills and get noticed by either their own team or another one.

It is also a place where a team like the Charlotte Hornets can go when they have an injury. Here the Hornets can find a short term or long term replacement that will cost nothing but a prorated share of the league’s minimum salary.

That is exactly the sort of low risk scenario a team in this situation should be looking at. The NBA D-League has gotten much better over the years, and has NBA level talent. Not just talent, but these guys are hungry players, and there is no question they will give any team their best effort.

OK, So Who Is Available?

If the Hornets are smart, they will at least take a look at Bryce Cotton. Undrafted out of Providence, he was a summer league player for the San Antonio Spurs before being cut.


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He currently plays for the Austin Toros, where he is lighting up the league. Right now, Cotton is scoring over 20 points per game, with almost five assists and five rebounds.

He is a great shooter, hitting close to 43% of his three point attempts. That is exactly the kind of shooting this team desperately needs.

Compare those stats to that of Ramon Sessions, a career backup currently enjoying a lackluster season in Sacramento.


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Yes, it is the NBA vs the D-League, but nevertheless, Sessions is having a terrible year and has never been able to stick with a team. Bringing in a guy with declining skills and questionable locker room presence does not seem like a great idea. Especially when Sessions is making $2M per year, while a guy like Cotton will make peanuts.

There Is A Reason Guys Do Not Get Drafted

This is true, but sometimes mistakes are made. Check out the profile on Cotton from

"Not a top end athlete, Cotton is quick with the ball and changes direction well, utilizing an excellent pump fake to get defenders in the air to draw fouls. Cotton has good touch around the hoop and an array of floaters, but isn’t all that explosive of an athlete and at times struggles finishing over length and through contact. That being said, Cotton does a very good job of drawing contact and getting to the line, as 6.9 free throw attempts for 40 minutes pace adjusted is a very good figure for a point guard, particularly rare for one who shoots as many three pointers as he does. The diversity of the shots available to him in the lane and his willingness to draw contact and go to the line help offset his physical limitations somewhat."

That sounds an awful lot like the guy they are trying to replace in Kemba Walker. Maybe Cotton does not have the same quickness as Kemba, but clearly his game is similar. So the learning curve for his teammates should be shortened.

Remember too, that when Patty Mills of the world champion San Antonio Spurs was injured this summer, an organization renowned for its ability to find talent in unusual places looked to Bryce Cotton as insurance.

So why not give Cotton a shot instead of bringing in a possible malcontent having a bad year like Sessions? Maybe the Hornets should consider alternative places to find talent. After all, it has worked for the Spurs.

Next: Charlotte Hornets: Team At A Crossroads