Charlotte Hornets: Joe Chealey out for season with meniscus tear

Charlotte Hornets Joe Chealey (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Joe Chealey (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Joe Chealey, two-way player for the Charlotte Hornets, will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery on the meniscus in his left knee.

Injury news broke yesterday afternoon, as the Charlotte Hornets had announced that rookie and two-way player Joe Chealey underwent successful surgery to address a meniscus tear in his left knee.

Chealey, who was undrafted in 2018 out of College of Charleston, signed with the Hornets for training camp before the season began. He was also with the team for Summer League. He impressed the team enough for them to convert his deal into a two-way contract.

Being on a two-way contract means that Chealey can spend up to 45 days with the Hornets, while also being able to develop for the Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte’s G-League affiliate.

Chealey was having a very good first season in the G-League before going down with the injury, so it’s disappointing to hear that he will be out for the rest of the season. The injury occurred on March 9th in a game against the Windy City Bulls.

While playing for the Swarm, Chealey averaged 16.3 points, 5.4 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 43 games played. His all-around game impressed me throughout the season.

The Hornets’ second two-way player, J.P. Macura, is averaging 15.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in the G-League. Charlotte has got to like the progress that both players have made throughout the regular season.

Chealey only appeared in one game with the Hornets this season, where he made his first NBA basket. That game was on January 30th against the Boston Celtics. It was a blowout loss, but Chealey getting into his first game was a nice moment.

The Hornets did not put a clear time table for his return, but meniscus tears typically take multiple weeks to heal. He won’t be back this season, but he will definitely be fully recovered before the 2019-20 season.

Chealey will be a free agent after this season. He had a good season in the G-League, but it is unclear if the Hornets intend on bringing him back beyond this season.

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Time will tell, I guess, but I do think that Chealey is a talented young player that is worth a look for the Hornets, especially if they go into rebuild mode. Bringing him back will be a low-cost and low-risk option for the ball club.