The Charlotte Hornets have signed Kentucky's Aaron Harrison to a two-year deal. The dollar value of Harrison's contract is unknown at this time, but it's safe to assume the Hornets used some of their mid-level exception to sign him. His contract includes a team option for next season.
It doesn't happen often, but once in a while an undrafted summer league invitee will make such a strong impression on a team that the team will actually sign him. Harrison's play at the Orlando Summer League reportedly made a strong impression on head coach Steve Clifford that the Hornets decided they had to sign him.
The 6'6" combo guard played a significant number of minutes for the Hornets last week, and showed excellent scoring instincts and decent defensive ability. While Harrison is undoubtedly a bit of a project, he has significant potential that could be achieved if his reputation as a hard worker is true. He also fits the culture the Hornets have built over the last few years: He's a thoughtful, confident player, much like his brother.
It's unlikely Harrison sees many minutes this season as the Hornets just signed Kemba Walker's primary backup, Jeremy Lin, to a two-year deal a few days ago. Brian Roberts, the Hornets' backup point guard last season, lost his role in the process. Unfortunately for Harrison, Roberts is probably a bit better than he is at this point.
But there's a catch.
Harrison's excellent size allows him to play shooting guard as well, and while the Hornets have a few players capable of playing the position — namely Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb — Harrison might be able to find minutes there in certain lineups. And if, heaven forbid, one of the Hornets' many guards suffers an injury this season, Harrison might carve out a nice role.
It will be interesting to see just how much Clifford plays Harrison as he's the person that pushed for this signing. He shot just 31.5 percent from 3-point range at Kentucky last season, though, and since the Hornets have made a concerted effort to acquire shooting this offseason, Harrison's role will be limited unless he improves significantly in that area.
The Hornets' roster now sits at 14 players, so barring a trade it looks like we're done for the offseason. Welcome your 2015-16 Charlotte Hornets.