UNC in the NBA: Marcus Paige playing extended minutes in Greensboro

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 2: Marcus Paige
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 2: Marcus Paige /

Former North Carolina point guard getting lots of playing time

Thanks to a new rule for the 2017-18 season, NBA teams are now permitted to utilize two-way contracts. Two-way contracts allow teams to carry two such players on their rosters in addition to the traditional 15-man roster.

Said players are allowed to spend time at both the NBA level, and with the particular team’s G-League affiliate. Players can spend no more than 45 days with their NBA squad, excluding time prior to training camp and at the conclusion of the season.

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Former North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige became one of the Charlotte Hornets’ first two players to sign a two-way contract. For Paige, in particular, the contract allows him some opportunity at the NBA level while taking advantage of playing time in the G-League.

Without such a rule, players like Paige would find it much more difficult to get substantial playing time while still having the opportunity to dress for the occasional NBA game.

Paige’s time with the Hornets has been extremely limited, playing in only one game and logging just three minutes. His time with the Greensboro Swarm, though, has been a different story.

In four games with the Hornets’ G-League  affiliate, Paige is averaging 14.5 points, 5.5 assists and three rebounds per game. He’s also averaging 1.5 steals per game and hitting over 85 percent of his free throws in better than 36 minutes per game.

His best game this season came in a 105-96 loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in which he scored 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-7 from three-point range and 1-for-1 from the free throw line. He also recorded four assists, four rebounds and logged a team-high 34 minutes.

The Swarm are now 2-2 heading into Friday night’s game against the Westchester Knicks. The Hornets are coming off of a disappointing home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in which they held a lead for the majority of the night before relinquishing it, and the game, to Lebron James and the Cavs.

Next: Cameron Johnson sustains leg injury

Stick with Keeping It Heel for more updates on Paige as the season moves on.