Charlotte Hornets: Swarm acquire former UNC guard Joel Berry II

Greensboro Swarm Joel Berry II (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Greensboro Swarm Joel Berry II (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Joel Berry II, a name that may sound familiar to some Charlotte Hornets and North Carolina fans, is headed to play for the Greensboro Swarm during the 2019-20 season.

The Greensboro Swarm have had a massive impact on the Charlotte Hornets over the past year or so. With the 2019-20 season being a year of rebuilding and development, it has become even more important for the franchise.

Players like Dwayne Bacon and Devonte’ Graham have benefited from trips to Greensboro tremendously, and they are now key pieces in Charlotte’s rotation. You can expect the Hornets to send even more players to the Swarm this upcoming season.

Yesterday evening, the Swarm announced some exciting news — they have traded for Joel Berry II from the South Bay Lakers. All it took to land the talented guard was the 40th pick in the 2019 NBA G-League Draft.

Berry II had a dazzling four-year career at North Carolina, which included a National Championship win during his junior year. He was easy to root for, and a fan favorite among Carolina fans. Despite his strong play in college, Berry II went undrafted in 2018.

The 6’0″ guard didn’t let that stop him, though. He would go on to sign his first NBA contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, but was cut from the team after three preseason games. They retained his G-League rights and he spent the 2018-19 season with the South Bay Lakers.

Berry II didn’t have a great first season in the G-League. He ended up averaging 11.1 points and 2.5 assists while shooting 39 percent from the floor and 27 percent from deep. He played in just 21 games and was removed from the active after suffering a season-ending injury.

Now, he’ll suit up for the Swarm in 2019-20. He’s going to be a guy to keep an eye on during the season. I’m not sure if he has an NBA future, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he continues to work and ends up as a third or fourth point guard on a roster down the road.

He’s an undersized guard with durability questions and is a streaky shooter, but he is a guy that gets after it on the defensive end and has a high understanding of the game. Berry II makes the right passes and is always under control.

I expect Berry II to play a key role for the Swarm right away. He could start at point guard and share the backcourt with Two-Way player Ahmed Hill at times. Swarm games are going to be fun to watch this season with all the talent coming in and out.

Next. The Greensboro Swarm are more important to the Charlotte Hornets than ever before. dark

Even if he doesn’t have a future with the Charlotte Hornets themselves, Berry II will at the very least put some more fans in the seats during Greensboro Swarm games. Fans in the state of North Carolina still love him and root for him, so it’s a good fit.