Charlotte Hornets: G-League talent on full display vs 905

Charlotte Hornets Caleb Martin (Photo by Christian Bonin/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Caleb Martin (Photo by Christian Bonin/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Greensboro Swarm defeated the Raptors 905 last night while getting major contributions from multiple Charlotte Hornets assignees.

Ever since Mitch Kupchak (General Manager) and James Borrego (Head Coach) took the reigns of the Charlotte Hornets franchise, the G-League has been a major tool for a franchise incredibly focused on the development of their players.

Devonte’ Graham spent some of his rookie season in the G-League, and he clearly benefited from that experience as a first-year player. Now, he’s the best player on the roster, has a 40-point game under his belt and even had some potential All-Star recognition from many across the league.

Another player who has benefited from past G-League assignment is Dwayne Bacon. He hasn’t made the jump that Devonte’ has, but he’s also younger and playing in a much more crowded wing rotation. Still, his play has taken a step in the right direction, and getting reps in the G-League has certainly helped.

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So, it’s clear that the Hornets want to use the G-League to the best of their abilities. Last night against the Raptors 905, Charlotte had four players on assignment with the Swarm, and that will likely continue for the remainder of the season.

The four players are Caleb Martin, Jalen McDaniels, Kobi Simmons (Two-Way) and Ray Spalding (Two-Way).

Martin, McDaniels and Simmons have all already had plenty of experience with the Swarm during the season, but Spalding is still getting acclimated to his new team.

The four players carried the Swarm to a win over the 905 in what was a close battle. Martin led the way with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. McDaniels put in 20 points and 14 rebounds while making four three-pointers.

Simmons, meanwhile, had 19 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, while Spalding finished up with 8 points, 10 rebounds and a blocked shot in 18 minutes.

It’s great to see these young players all playing so well. I’d say Martin and Spalding are ahead of the curve compared to McDaniels and Simmons, but all four have developed nicely throughout the season; McDaniels in particular.

Let’s not forget, McDaniels came into the league as a major project. Charlotte is being very patient with him. I think his overall skill level is higher than most expected. He’s still very thin and will have to fill out, but you can see the upside in him.

Of course it would be nice to see these guys get into an NBA game and contribute, but they’re all doing a great job in the G-League right now, and that’s a stage in the development process. It may take some time, but it is important to eventually see what you have and throw these kids into the fire of an NBA game.

The Charlotte Hornets are high on all of these guys, and you can see why in last night’s win. The talent was on full display. With the team being in rebuild mode, player development is important. If these guys keep improving, they too could have a future as a contributor with the big club.

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The Swarm will be back in action tomorrow night against Delaware, so be sure to tune in and get a look at this group of talent.