The Charlotte Hornets are sending point guard Michael Carter-Williams to its G-League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, for what amounts to a baseball-style minor-league rehab assignment.
Carter-Williams, signed in July to a 1-year, $2.7 million contract, is slated to back up All-Star Kemba Walker. Carter-Williams had Platelet-Rich Plasma injections in both knees over the summer to treat patella soreness. Carter-Williams did not play in the Hornets’ first seven games, and there has been no timetable announced on when Carter-Williams will be available.
Part of the issue will be Carter-Williams regaining game conditioning, after not playing since last spring. He has been limited to only a handful of full-court contact practices as a Hornet. The Swarm opens its season Saturday, and plays three games over six days. During the same span, the Hornets have road games in Minneapolis, New York and Boston.
The Hornets have considerable depth issues at point guard this early season. In addition to Carter-Williams, Julyan Stone is out several weeks with a strained left hamstring. Coach Steve Clifford has split rookie Malik Monk’s minutes between the shooting guard and point guard positions. The short-term third option would be former North Carolina guard Marcus Paige.
Paige signed one of the NBA’s new two-way contracts, and the plan was for him is to spend most of the season with the Swarm.
Hornets general manager Rich Cho and Clifford each said recently they don’t anticipate the need for now to add another veteran point guard, The Hornets have an open roster spot, but their player payroll is close to the NBA’s luxury tax threshold, of about $119 million per team this season.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell