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2019-20 Season Preview: The two-way players

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The Hornets two-way players may see more court time this year than they have in seasons past.

2019 Las Vegas Summer League - Day 3 - San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets have already allocated both of their two-way contracts heading into training camp. Two-way contracts are essentially G League contracts that allow the player to spend up to 45 days with the parent NBA team. They’re allowed to play in NBA games while up with the NBA team.

The Hornets have made used both of their two-way contracts in each year they’ve been available, but they haven’t maximized their potential. Marcus Paige, Mangok Mathiang, JP Macura, and Joe Chealey played a total of 73 NBA minutes spread across two seasons while on two-way deals with the team.

But those Hornets teams were scratching and crawling to sneak into the playoffs. They didn’t have the luxury of throwing new blood into the fire just to see what they had. This team is different. Expectations couldn’t be lower, and the team is expected to emphasize youth and development over wins for the time being.

That opens the door for the players on two-way contracts to see meaningful minutes with the Hornets, especially if they can shoot the ball as well as advertised.

Robert Franks, Forward

The Hornets wasted no time inking Robert Franks to a two-way deal—the move was reported just hours after the Washington State product went undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft.

Franks curiously didn’t see a lot of minutes in the Summer League, but his reason for being here is obvious—he can shoot. Over his final two seasons at Washington State, Franks connected on 40.2% of his 6.2 3-point attempts per game. He led the Cougars in scoring both seasons.

If that shooting ability translates to the pro game and Franks proves he can defend at a passable level, he’ll hang around for a long time.

Ahmed Hill, Guard

The Hornets took their time finding their second two-way player, ultimately inking Ahmed Hill to the deal in early September.

Hill profiles similarly to Franks. In four years at Virginia Tech, he connected on 39% of his 4.4 3-point attempts per game. He didn’t put up the prolific scoring numbers that Franks did for Washington State, but Hill showed more defensive promise. He was never higher than third on the Hokies in scoring, so he should already be comfortable in a complementary role.

The Hornets clearly value outside shooting, so both of these two-way players could play their way onto the Hornets roster with some strong showings in Greensboro.