Every year, NBA teams invite players to participate in training camp. The vast majority of these players do not end up making the final roster, which teams must cut from a maximum of 20 players to 15 players before the start of the NBA regular season. Recently, Steve Clifford, the Charlotte Hornets head coach, stated the need for another big man due to the injury of Noah Vonleh. In the wake of this dilemma, the Hornets have announced the addition of three players for training camp:
Hornets add 3 free agents for training camp: Guard Justin Cobbs, forward Dallas Lauderdale and center Brian Qvale.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) September 22, 2014
Maybe one of these guys will stick around and make the team, or maybe they won't and this will be the last the NBA ever hears from them. In order to make a guess one way or the other, here is a little breakdown of each of the new camp signings.
Dallas Lauderdale - 6'8" 265 lbs PF/C
|2008 - 11||Ohio State||138||20.5||0.734||N/A||0.41||3.5||0.2||0.3||1.5||0.8||1.1||4.2|
Stats from Sports-Reference.
The news of Dallas Lauderdale joining the Hornets training camp broke a couple of weeks back. Lauderdale played on some very good Ohio State teams from 2008 to 2011 (and, in 2009 he shared a locker room with THE Byron Mullens). Mainly around for his defensive presence and hustle, Lauderdale struggled to contribute offensively due to a very poor jump shot, evident in his collegiate career mark of 41 percent from the charity stripe. However, he knew his limits and was very selective with his shots, proven by his career 73 percent field-goal percentage. After college, Lauderdale went undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft and spent a year playing overseas in Poland. Check out this awesome YouTube clip of him blocking shots and running the floor.
Last year, he played for the NBA D-Leauge's Idaho Stampede. Despite solid defensive production, Lauderdale has not increased his usage rate or made much progress in his free throw percentage. Considering that he is now 26 years old, it may be safe to assume that he will always be a a strong defender but a liability on offense due to his poor free-throw shooting. Also, he may be able to get away with playing center in lesser leagues, but in the NBA he will likely struggle to make an impact there and play at power forward, his natural NBA position due to his lack of size.
Conclusion: It seems unlikely that the Hornets will be adding Lauderdale to the active roster before the regular season, but he'd certainly be a cheap option.
Brian Qvale - 6'11" 245 lbs C
|2008 - 11||Montana||117||28.7||0.589||N/A||0.638||6.2||0.6||0.4||2.1||1.3||1.6||9|
Stats from Sports-Reference and RealGM.
Another big man, Brian Qvale, is more of a traditional center when compared to Lauderdale. Qvale spent four years playing for Montana from 2008 to 2011 (and unfortunately never shared a locker room with THE Byron Mullens). Unlike Lauderdale, who has proven to be a small part of any team's offensive game plan, Qvale finished 24 percent of Montana's possessions his senior year and scored 14.9 points per game. Sporting just a 6'11" wingspan, he still managed to block three shots per game that year, albeit in the Big Sky conference. After college, Qvale went undrafted and spent three years playing overseas. In that time, he built on his production from Montana and remained a fairly productive offensive center, but his blocks have significantly decreased, which was expected with him playing in a more competitive league (13 points and 1.29 blocks per game last year for Medi Bayeruth in the German basketball league). According to RealGM, the Hornets' training camp will be his first NBA experience. If you're looking to learn more about the 25 year old center, check out his website.
After reviewing the tape and doing some research, Qvale doesn't appear to have the size or athleticism to translate what he's doing in Europe to the NBA game. It will be interesting to see if he can get any preseason minutes for the Hornets to prove that assumption wrong.
Conclusion: Qvale is not likely to make it to the final roster but, like Lauderdale, he could potentially come quite cheap.
Justin Cobbs - 6'3" 195 lbs PG
|2009 - 14||Minn/Cal||136||28.2||0.453||0.34||0.823||2.5||4.2||0.8||0.1||2||1.5||11.3|
Stats from Sports-Reference.
The only non-big of the bunch, and therefore far less likely to make the regular season roster, Justin Cobbs is the team's other camp invite. Cobbs spent four years playing in the NCAA (the first for Montana and three for California). For California, he played major minutes as the starting point guard and in his senior year averaged 15.6 points, 5.8 assists and shot 46 percent from the floor. In June, he went undrafted and then signed with the Memphis Grizzlies' Summer League team, where he saw zero playing time. He appears to be a pretty traditional point guard with a good assist-to-turnover ratio, who also shot fairly well from three-point range during his college career. His size is also very good for a point guard, which is something Charlotte hasn't had since Shaun Livingston was around.
Conclusion: Although there is basically zero chance Charlotte signs a fourth point guard, having Cobbs in camp gives the team a look at a guy that might be a cheap third guard option down the road.
The three camp invites aren't very inspiring but one of the two big men may wind up with a non-guaranteed contract to help Charlotte weather the Noah Vonleh injury for the start of the season.