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Hornets Assign Noah Vonleh, Jeff Taylor to D-League

The Charlotte Hornets assigned rookie Noah Vonleh to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (IN) of the NBA Developmental League. Vonleh, who the Hornets selected with the 11th overall pick this year, had yet to break Charlotte’s rotation. Vonleh played college basketball at Indiana, which should attract more fans to go watch him play for the Mad Ants.

“It’s the speed of the game; to play consistent, regular minutes, you have to have a comfort level with how the NBA game is played,” Steve Clifford said. “Unfortunately, once the season starts you only have certain stretches of the year where you can practice a lot. He’s a 19-year-old who missed all of September, when the foundation was put in, all of October, and is now playing catch-up. The thing that gives him a chance is he’s very gifted and a great worker. But it would be tough for anybody.”

“We believe Noah would benefit greatly from additional game experience,” Hornets general manager Rich Cho said. “He will be able to get that playing time through this D-League assignment.”

Vonleh had sports hernia surgery in September. He’s appeared in just four games for the Hornets this season (all during mop-up time), averaging 2.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 8.0 minutes.

UPDATE: The Hornets also assigned Jeff Taylor to the Austin Spurs of the D-League. Taylor hadn’t played in nearly a year until recently vs. the Utah Jazz, after tearing his achilles in a game last December with the Bobcats and then having to serve a 24-game suspension for his domestic violence charges stemming from late September.