Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
If the Hornets wait until Monday to make the signing official, it could be a 10-day contract for Sloan, who got a pair of 10-day deals from New Orleans last season. Otherwise, the 6'3" Texas A&M product is likely in line for a minimum-salary contract for the rest of the season.
The Hornets, at the minimum 13 players after waiving Dominic McGuire on Friday, have been going with two point guards in Greivis Vasquez and backup Brian Roberts. It's unclear whether the addition of Sloan is meant to provide more depth or signals the end in New Orleans for Roberts and his non-guaranteed contract. The Hornets would have to place Roberts on waivers today or Monday to avoid guaranteeing his minimum-salary deal for the rest of the season.
The addition of Sloan, another point guard, runs counter to the indication given this weekend by coach Monty Williams, who said the team wanted to have flexibility to add another small forward. Nonetheless, New Orleans would still have an additional roster spot available even they don't release anyone when Sloan comes aboard.
Hard to believe Roberts would be waived outright considering he's pretty well regarded. For instance, he is 6th in the latest ESPN rookie rankings. However, since Eric Gordon has returned, Roberts' playing time has really taken a dip, not having surpassed 8 minutes on the court in 3 of the last 4 games. In addition, the move would save the Hornets close to $400,000 (currently the Hornets are on the hook for only $100,000 of Robert's $473,000 salary).
If waiving Roberts isn't the plan, what else could the Sloan signing signify? One, Dell Demps is preparing to make a trade which would create a hole at point guard. Monty alluded that McGuire was released because the Hornets were preparing to look at other wing options in the near future. Bringing in Sloan obviously fails to fill this gap so the Hornets could be on the precipice on acquiring a legitimate wing player.
Two, Greivis Vasquez or perhaps some other important member of the rotation is battling an undisclosed injury. Considering his heavy minutes, it wouldn't be all that surprising the General is feeling run down. After all, the Hornets aren't the most vocal organization in updating the health statuses of their players.