Waived by the Hornets, Josh Perkins could still fit with the Greensboro Swarm

Mitchell Northam

Josh Perkins was waived by the Charlotte Hornets last week, but his time with the franchise might not be over just yet.

The former Gonzaga guard was initially signed by the Hornets to an Exhibit-10 deal, meaning that he was probably always going to end up playing with the Hornets’ G-League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm. The Hornets waiving him just ended the chances him being on the NBA roster when the regular season begins.

Still, it seemed that Perkins was liked by the Hornets, his coaches and teammates. If he clears waivers and chooses to enter the G-League instead of going overseas, he could still have a home in the Hornets’ organization and could be a development project for a club that is putting an emphasis on young talent.

Perkins played well in his limited preseason action, and Hornets’ head coach James Borrego had a few compliments for him.

“He understands the game, high I.Q., he’s poised. He looks like he’s been there before,” Borrego said of Perkins after the Hornets preseason loss to the Heat on Oct. 9. “You can’t speed him up and I thought tonight was a good example of that. He looked very comfortable out there.”

After not playing in the Hornets’ preseason opener in Boston, Perkins played 14 minutes against the Heat last week. In that short time, he racked up four assists – which led the team – and had two points and a rebound. Perkins finished the game with a plus-minus of +9, which was fourth best for the team.

In the Hornets’ next preseason contest – last Friday in Winston-Salem against the 76ers – Perkins played seven minutes and tallied three rebounds and two assists. Although, he missed his only shot and had three turnovers.

Still, Borrego is familiar with Perkins’ pedigree and his reputation as a shot-maker in big games.

“He’s a really steady point guard who has made shots,” Borrego said. “Consistently, through practice and drills and our competition, he’s made a lot of shots.”

Perkins sank a ton of shots during his career at Gonzaga. In five seasons for the Bulldogs, he was twice an All-WCC selection, a Cousy Award finalist and finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in assists with 712. He’s also third all-time in NCAA history in games played with 153. Gonzaga made two Sweet 16’s, one Elite Eight and appeared in a national championship game while Perkins was there.

After going undrafted, Perkins earned a spot on the Hornets' summer league team and shined enough in Las Vegas to earn a training camp invite. Perkins averaged seven points and three assists per-game over four summer league contests.

The Park Hill, Colorado native is 24-years-old, stands at 6-foot-3, and has a resume that includes playing in big games with real stakes. He’s a capable passer and a solid shooter. At the very least, playing with a point guard with his experience could help the other players Charlotte aims to develop budding prospects in Greensboro.

Caleb Martin, a fellow undrafted guard from the mid-major ranks, enjoyed playing with Perkins and found some chemistry on the court with him.

“I love Josh. Man, Josh is nice. I’ve been really impressed with the way he plays,” Martin said. “He plays with such a good pace and he’s good at setting guys up. He’s one of those dudes that’s really underrated and guys might look down on him because of his size but, he’s just such a good overall player.

“He just makes things happen.”