UNC in the NBA: Marcus Paige returns to Charlotte Hornets

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 04: Marcus Paige
HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 04: Marcus Paige /

After successful stint in G-League, Marcus Paige makes return to NBA

Before the start of the 2017-18 NBA season, Marcus Paige signed a two-way contract that would allow him to play for both the Charlotte Hornets and their G-League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm. The contract gives Paige the opportunity to dress for Charlotte up to 45 times this season, though the majority of his time has been spent in Greensboro.

The most advantageous part of the two-way contract over that of its traditional predecessor is that it affords players the ability to gain some NBA experience while still getting the minutes they desire in the G-League. Two-way players also benefit from a higher pay scale than that of a full-time G-League player.

And despite his ultimate goal of playing full-time on a NBA roster, Paige has made the most of his time this season in the G-League.

In 46 appearances with the Swarm, Paige is averaging 15.2 points, 4.5 assists and three rebounds per game. He’s started in all but seven of those games, and played nearly 33 minutes per game. He’s hitting almost 85 percent of his free throw attempts and connecting on better than 37 percent of his threes.

After a successful run with the Swarm that included a game-winning shot on Tuesday night against the South Bay Lakers, Paige got recalled to the Hornets.

Upon receiving the call up to Charlotte on Thursday, Paige got to dress with the Hornets and see playing time against the Memphis Grizzlies. And again, Paige made the most of his time on the court.

The former Tar Heel played 12 minutes off the bench, scoring the first nine points of his NBA career on 3-of-6 shooting. He connected on 1-of-3 shots from beyond the arc and hit both free throw attempts. Paige also recorded two assists, one rebound and zero turnovers in the Hornets’ 140-79 blowout victory over the Grizzlies.

It was a terrific all-around game for Paige, who was playing in front of just 1,600 fans in Greensboro a couple of nights ago. And while there’s no telling how long Paige will remain with the Hornets, he’ll no doubt take advantage of any opportunities that he gets.

Next: Roy Williams visits five-star power forward on Thursday

Stick with Keeping It Heel for future updates on Paige as he continues his surge toward a permanent roster spot in the NBA.