The Charlotte Hornets signed forward Sam Thompson and center Jason Washburn to training camp deals, the team announced Tuesday.
Thompson, a 6'7" small forward, played four years at Ohio State, where he averaged 10.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game last season. He went undrafted in 2015. Washburn played in Europe the last couple of years. Washburn also played four years in college, where he averaged 8.7 points, five rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game for Utah.
It's very unlikely either player makes the Hornets' final roster, as the team now has 18 players under contract. At least three players will be cut before the season. Thompson, Washburn, and guards Elliot Williams and Aaron Harrison have non-guaranteed deals this season, making them the likely cuts. Still, it's possible one of the aforementioned players blows the Hornets' front office away. I wouldn't bet on it, though Harrison might have the best chance of the bunch.
Thompson is known an uber athlete: He's fast, strong, and sports a tremendous vertical leap. Otherwise, his game is relatively limited. He made just two of his 24 pull-up jumper attempts and 38.1 percent of his catch-and-shoot attempts in the 2014 season, according to DraftExpress. Luckily, Thompson's freakish athleticism make him a natural on defense, where he's able to lock down smaller, quicker players and occasionally bang with smaller bigs. In other words, Thompson is a perfect training camp invite.
There isn't a lot of information out there on Washburn, but what we do is he's a mobile, big body. The majority of his player pages are blank, and there is little to look at on YouTube. Still, he must have impressed the Hornets' front office, because, well, here he is.
Training camp begins September 26 and ends a few days before the Hornets head to China for two exhibition games against the Los Angeles Clippers.