Dedicated fans of the Golden State Warriors have started to hear the name Hilton Armstrong a lot lately. Armstrong is a defensive player who just signed a 10-day contract with the Warriors for the second time in two months. The first contract was in late February, and another 10-day was just announced on Sunday. At 29, Armstrong is a more mature player who has been at it professionally since 2006. Wondering if he may become a more permanent part of the Warriors lineup, I did a little research on Armstrong.
Like so many players in the NBA, Armstrong has signed with more than one team. Armstrong has really made the rounds in his eight years. He was the 12th pick during the 2006 NBA Draft, signing with the New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets for a couple years. An adequate player, he soon became an often traded commodity. Over the course of four years, he played with the Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, and Atlanta Hawks. Then there was a period of international play with the French pro league (ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne), the Chinese pro league (Changsha Bank Guangdong), and the Greek pro league (Panathinaikos). Armstrong played basketball in college at UConn with the Huskies. Not a top performer in his first three years, he came into his own during his senior year, where he vastly improved his stats and subsequently won the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2006.
Armstrong has been a member of the Warriors world for over a year now. In January of 2013, he was hired by the Santa Cruz Warriors, a team in the NBA D-League. He gained a very good reputation in Santa Cruz, earning 2nd Team All D-League Defensive Team honors, and was signed to play with Golden State this past December. For some reason he was waived quickly, and returned to Santa Cruz. Armstrong continued to prove himself in the D-League (he was named to the Future All-Sar roster for the D-League All-Star Game), and now finds himself getting called in for short stints with Golden State.
For Santa Cruz, 29-year-old, 6-11 Armstrong has appeared in 32 games (23 starts) this season. He averages 12 points per game, over 7 rebounds, and is in the D-League top 10 for blocks. For Golden State, he has played eight games this season, averaging 2.3 rebounds in 4.4 minutes. These are solid stats, and I imagine we’ll continue to see him here and there on the roster. Whether he becomes a more permanent fixture, of course, depends on his performance during these 10-day opportunities.