Charlotte Hornets: Xavier Munford is a Legit Prospect With Plenty of Scoring Upside
In his first season with the Greensboro Swarm, Xavier Munford is proving to be a legit prospect for the Charlotte Hornets’ organization with some serious potential.
After bouncing from the NBA D-League to the NBA and back to the D-League, Xavier Munford has experienced both sides of the spectrum. Now with the Charlotte Hornets‘ Developmental League affiliate in the Greensboro Swarm this season, he is putting up career numbers. The combo-guard is proving that he is a legit prospect with plenty of upside, mainly on the offensive end, going forward.
While he is a prolific scorer, Munford is not a slouch on the defensive end of the floor. He is averaging 1.6 steals per game this year which is top-25 in the D-League of players who have played more than four games. The NBA D-League season has only recently gotten underway but Xavier is already making some noise with his outstanding play.
After only seven games with the Greensboro Swarm, the 24-year old guard was already named the NBA D-League Performer of the Week for the week starting on November 21st and ending on November 27th. If he continues his stellar start, it is only a matter of time before an NBA team takes a chance on him and he returns to the league. The Charlotte Hornets should be hard-pressed to keep him in their system as he could become a valuable rotation player one day in the near future.
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Munford is a D-League veteran as he is entering his third season with the league. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing as he continues to develop his game, grow, and put up better stats each year. After going undrafted out of the Univerity of Rhode Island in the 2014 NBA Draft, Xavier played with the Bakersfield Jam. The following season (2015-16), he got his shot in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies after spending the first half of the year with the Jam.
The stint didn’t last long as he played in 14 games with the team and the season came to an end. While the Grizzlies declined the option for him to return, it gave him another shot at proving himself. After playing in the summer league with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers signed him to their training camp roster. He was eventually cut and then the Charlotte Hornets’ affiliate entering their inaugural season decided to trade for his rights as they needed a veteran and a proven scorer on their squad.
After only averaging 10.9 points in his rookie season, Munford burst onto the scene in 2015-16 by averaging 20.4 points per game. To no surprise, the hardworking guard is now averaging a career-high 22.3 points per game with the Greensboro Swarm this year. He is also averaging 4.7 rebounds per game and 3.9 assists per game.
Aside from Aaron Harrison and Christian Wood, who both already have pro contracts with the Charlotte Hornets, Xavier is one of, if not the, best prospects in the organization’s system at the moment. With the implementation of a D-League affiliate, it gave the franchise a chance to add young, talented players to their pool of potential contributors.
It is clear that Munford has what it takes to play in the NBA. His stats back that up. While he still has some things to improve on, a player with his ability to score the ball should get picked up by an NBA team.
If you haven’t seen a Swarm game of Xavier play yet this season, make sure to do so. He plays at a high level and his scoring ability jumps off the screen. In my opinion, Munford should be close to getting a shot in the NBA and it could happen this season. With his skill and a scoring touch to match, the Charlotte Hornets should look at him in the future as he could be a potential back-up point guard off the bench.