Charlotte Hornets: Current roster outlook heading into training camp

After signing Ahmed Hill to a two-way contract & officially signing Kobi Simmons, the Hornets have maxed out their training camp roster at 20. Take a look at who will be in Chapel Hill participating in the team’s training camp at the start of October. 

The Charlotte Hornets are edging closer to the start of training camp and their roster is complete. Training camp will start October 1st in Chapel Hill and Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak has filled out all 20 roster spots after signing Kobi Simmons and Ahmed Hill. Charlotte currently has 13 guaranteed contracts, one non/partially guaranteed contract, two Two-Way Contracts, four Exhibit 10 Deals, and one player left unsigned.

The Hornets are at the dawn of a new chapter, a rebuild, and their training camp roster consists of plenty of young talent that can help turn this franchise around. The Hornets’ primary focus this season is player development, and players will look to improve their craft in Charlotte and Greensboro.

Player development starts at the bottom with the G-league as many of the players on this roster will look to develop in Greensboro for the Swarm this season. Many prominent players in the league today made their way up the talent pipeline via the G-League including players such as Khris Middleton, Robert Covington, Hassan Whiteside, Danny Green, and Quinn Cook. Not every player that participates in training camp will be on the regular season roster, so those guys that end up in Greensboro will just grind the entire year in hopes of being called up or signing an NBA contract. 

Guaranteed Contracts

Charlotte currently has 13 guaranteed contracts for this upcoming season. They can carry 15 players on the official roster during regular season, but don’t be surprised if there is a spot or two open when the season starts. Teams like the Hornets that are in a rebuild tend to leave roster spots open in case a team doesn’t tender a young player with upside.

The following players have guaranteed contracts for the 2019-20 season for the Hornets: Nicolas Batum, Terry Rozier, Bismack Biyombo, Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Malik Monk, P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges, Willy Hernangomez, Cody Martin, Dwayne Bacon, and Devonte’ Graham.

There is a solid balance between veterans and young players on this roster. Obviously the Hornets lacks top-end talent, and it is no secret that the Hornets will be one of the worst teams in the league this season. They have begun a rebuild, thus their main focus being player development, as head coach James Borrego has echoed many times throughout the offseason. Their main priorities will be developing Miles Bridges, Dwayne Bacon, and 2019 first round pick P.J. Washington. Other important young pieces that they will also look to develop this year are Malik Monk, Devonte’ Graham, and Cody Martin. 

Two-Way Contracts

Charlotte has signed players to both of their available two-way contracts, those players being undrafted free agents Robert Franks and Ahmed Hill. Franks, who spent this past summer on the Hornets G-League team, signed his two-way deal shortly after the draft on July 9th. Ahmed Hill officially signed his two-way deal with the Hornets last Thursday after finishing out his collegiate career at Virginia Tech and playing for the Brooklyn Nets during summer league.

Two-way contracts began in the 2017 offseason, as the NBA expanded their rosters from 15 to 17 players, those two extra spots only available for players under “Two-Way Contracts.” Two-way players spend the majority of their season in the G-League and can spend no more than 45 days with their NBA team.

The financial guarantees are not great on two-way deals as the players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. The contracts can be for one or two seasons and can only be given to layers in their fourth NBA season or earlier. Two-way contracts are very flexible and can be converted to an NBA contract at any time or the player can be cut.

Exhibit 10 Deals

The Hornets currently have four players on Exhibit 10 Deals heading into training camp, those players include Caleb Martin, Joe Chealey, Josh Perkins, and Kobi Simmons.

Exhibit 10 Deals are one-year, minimum NBA salary contracts with a specific Exhibit 10 attachment built into it. Players on these contracts are allowed to participate in training camp where their contract can potentially be converted in a two-way contract but only before the start of the season. In Charlotte’s case, they already have both of their two-ways signed, so unless one of them is waived, it is not possible for one of these four players to sign that type of contract.

These contracts are often non-guaranteed, which allows the NBA team to waive the player, thus removing the cap hit from their payroll. These players often sign with the NBA team’s G-League affiliate where the Exhibit 10 attachments allow the player to receive a bonus anywhere from $5,000-50,000 if the player remains with the affiliate for 60 days. So these four players will most likely play for the Greensboro Swarm unless given a full NBA contract or a two-way deal.

The player with an Exhibit-10 deal to keep an eye on is Kobi Simmons. This will be his third NBA season and his third team after spending his first two years in the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies organizations. The Hornets lost their top two point guards this offseason in Kemba Walker and Tony Parker (retirement), so they have a need for another point guard. Kobi Simmons will be fighting for the team’s third point guard spot in training camp with hopes of landing on the Hornets’ regular season roster. 

Non/Partial Guaranteed

The Hornets announced that they signed free agent center Thomas Welsh on August 9th. The terms of the deal were not disclosed at the time of the signing, nor has there been word of what type of contract Welsh signed, but the contract is likely an Exhibit 10 Deal. 

Welsh was selected with the 58th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets where he spent the majority of the year with the Wizards’ G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, and spent four seasons at UCLA.

Jalen McDaniels: Unsigned

The Charlotte Hornets 2019 training camp roster is complete and Jalen McDaniels is not one of the 20 players that will be in participation. McDaniels was drafted with the 52nd overall pick by Charlotte in June’s NBA Draft and is the Hornets only draft pick who was not signed. The team announced last Tuesday that they extended a one-year minimum salary tender to the San Diego State product. The minimum rookie deal is valued at $900k and the money is not guarunteed, so it is not surprising that McDaniels has not signed the deal.

Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak stated prior to this year’s draft that he anticipated both second round picks being on the roster for the 2019-20 season. As it sits now, that will not be the case. If the deal was signed, the Hornets would have retained McDaniels’ rights if he were to go play overseas or sign elsewhere. The Hornets tendered 2018 2nd round pick Arnoldas Kulboka, retaining his rights, as he developed in Europe while finishing off the remainder of his contract playing in the BBL in Germany.