Coming from one of Austin Rivers most ardent supporters, it doesn't bring me great pleasure admitting this, but it's time the Hornets designate him for assignment with the Iowa Energy in the NBA D-League. Although Austin has yet to set the NBA on fire, his play of late has easily been worst of his young career. For the month of January, he is averaging 1.3 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Sure, he's only averaged around 13 minutes during this time frame, but he is shooting 13% from the floor, 20% from beyond the arc and 16.7% from the line! It's obvious to all observers that any confidence he may have had at an earlier point in the season is buried, dead and done.

There are some that view a trip to the NBA D-League as something derogatory. A deep stigma exists that it is such a low level league; that it's barely any better than a good local recreational league. However, these are just old perceptions that have failed to accept it's recent success stories. At the end of last season, 27 percent of NBA rosters (over 120 players) had experience participating in it's league. Players such as Marcin Gortat, Matt Barnes, Jeremy Lin, Danny Green, Brandon Bass and Ramon Sessions spent valuable developmental time playing in their games.