The Charlotte Hornets announced today their final roster cuts as they enter the regular season. University of Kentucky fans will be happy to know that Aaron Harrison has officially made the team. The undrafted rookie showcased himself as a useful third point guard during Orlando Summer League, and he kept up that level of play during training camp and preseason. The rest of the players Charlotte brought into training camp on partially or non-guaranteed deals have been waived.
.@hornets GM Rich Cho announced today that Hornets have waived Sam Thompson, Jason Washburn, Damien Wilkins and Elliot Williams.— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) October 23, 2015
Most of these players weren't expected to make the team, but the two most noticeable names are probably Elliot Williams and Damien Wilkins. Williams had been with Charlotte last season on call up from the D-League, but he didn't manage to impress the team enough to stick around. He got his chance to beat out the undrafted Harrison as the third point guard, but his play throughout preseason just wasn't good enough to convince Charlotte.
Wilkins was never expected to make the team for his ability as a player, but considering the Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injury there was a high chance of him getting a roster spot to provide depth on the wing. The team instead opted to stick with what they had, and not bring Wilkins on as the 15th man. This means Charlotte will be entering the season with a 14 man roster, plus an injured MKG.
So what does this mean for the future of the Hornets? Well, all the guaranteed contract players played well enough to make the team which is a good sign, because theoretically they should play better than the non-guaranteed guys. However, the lack of a player to replace MKG's roster spot either means Charlotte is confident they won't need to go that deep into their bench, or the front office could be looking at a potential trade in the future. This regime has not been afraid to make midseason trades, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them do it again.