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The Hornets are probably not interested in Ekpe Udoh

Charlotte is among a few teams rumored to be interested in signing Udoh, but there’s little reason to believe it at this point.

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The NBA news wire is pretty inactive at the moment, but that doesn’t stop rumors from filtering through. One of them involves the Charlotte Hornets, and their apparent interest in former NBA big man Ekpe Udoh. From the article:

Former lottery pick Ekpe Udoh has been named MVP of the Euroleague Final Four and may be looking for a return to the NBA.

Oh, and then the part where Charlotte is mentioned.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are among the teams expected to show interest this offseason if Udoh is willing to consider coming to the NBA at the right price.

Others who have expressed a stronger interest in Udoh recently include the Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets.

The amount of speculative terminology laced through this article is remarkable. Udoh “may be looking for a return” and “is willing to consider coming to the NBA”. The Cavalivers are, “among the teams expected to show interest” and the Hornets are one of a few teams who’ve shown “stronger interest.”

All of this really amounts to little, and comes off as Udoh and his agency looking to test the waters and garner interest around the league, which frankly is a pretty smart thing to do when you’ve just been named MVP of the Euroleague Final Four. And while it makes sense that NBA teams would potentially be interested in Udoh after such a strong season in the Euroleague, it makes less sense for Charlotte, since they weren’t among the five teams that sent executives to watch the Euroleague final (Sacramento was the only team among those listed that did).

And looking at Udoh’s career numbers, there’s even less reason to think the Hornets are interested. Playing five seasons in the NBA for three teams, the 30 year old Udoh has a career average of 4.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per game. His Euroleague numbers from this past season are much better at 12.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game, but his game doesn’t really check any boxes for the Hornets other than as a possible rim protector, and even that is a hard sell. He would add depth, but wouldn’t be an upgrade at the center position.

So don’t read much into this right now. There are other cost-effective avenues the team could take this summer that make more sense.