Charlotte Hornets: This isn’t Ray Spalding’s first NBA rodeo

Charlotte Hornets Ray Spalding (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Ray Spalding (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /

New Two-Way player, Ray Spalding, has brief NBA experience with Dallas and Phoenix. Get to know more about the Charlotte Hornets newest addition.

The Charlotte Hornets made a minor roster change yesterday afternoon, signing Ray Spalding to a Two-Way contract shortly after releasing Robert Franks from his Two-Way contract.

I say minor, but this really could end up being a sneaky-good pickup for the Hornets. Spalding, who is now in his second season, has shown flashes of his upside in the G-League, as well as his most recent NBA stint in Phoenix.

Charlotte has been in desperate need of an energetic and young center. Spalding is certainly worth experimenting with. He’s only 22 years old and still has plenty of room to grow. Let’s take a look at how Spalding got to this point with the Hornets.

Spalding caught the eye of many during his high school career, and ended up being a four-star recruit. He was the top ranked player from Kentucky in the class of 2015. He ended up committing to play for Louisville.

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Rick Pitino even said that Spalding would be “one of the premier forwards” that he had ever coached at Louisville. Pitino’s tenure at Louisville sadly ended before Spalding played his best basketball at the University, but still, that’s some high praise from a legendary coach.

Spalding averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks as a junior at Louisville. He would then declare for the 2018 NBA Draft. Spalding was selected 56th overall by the 76ers, but was traded soon after to the Mavericks.

He was waived after playing in just one game with the Mavericks, but was quickly picked up by the Suns, where he got the chance to show what he can do. In 13 games with Phoenix, Spalding averaged 4.2 points and 3.7 rebounds in 13 games.

Spalding even had a 21 point, 13 rebound performance against New Orleans. The Suns won the game, and Spalding got the chance to show out with some extended playing time. He’s very athletic, bouncy and active.

After his stint in Phoenix, Spalding joined the Hawks, but he was waived. The Rockets claimed him off waivers for training camp, but he was cut prior to the start of the regular season. After averaging 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in the G-League this year, Spalding now finds himself with the Hornets.

He’ll spend most of his time with the Greensboro Swarm, just like Kobi Simmons, Charlotte’s other Two-Way player, has during the season. The coaching staff will work with him closely, focusing on his development moving forward.

While this isn’t the sexiest move, it is a smart one for the Hornets. Spalding is a better player than Franks at this point, and his upside is probably higher. He also plays the position where Charlotte needs some more bodies in.

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At worst, I can see Spalding serving as an energy big that you can bring off the bench. He probably will not as good as a player like Richaun Holmes, but he can have that same impact. He’ll definitely be a guy that fans should tune in and watch in the G-League.