The Charlotte Hornets sent three players from last season’s roster to Orlando Summer League. The trio — Treveon Graham, Johnny O’Bryant III, and Briante Weber — signed multi-year, non-guaranteed contracts last season, making summer league their final audition of sorts.
The Hornets waived Weber last week, however O’Bryant is sticking around. Like Weber, O’Bryant’s contract became fully guaranteed on August 1st. With no announcement from the team, O’Bryant looked locked in, which the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell confirmed on August 2nd:
Center-forward Johnny O’Bryant’s deal – he’s scheduled to make about $1.5 million – is now locked in, according to an informed source.
O’Bryant improved his stock in Orlando after finishing with 26 and 23 points in the final two games. He stepped up Graham’s absence, shooting the ball effectively and from multiple spots on the floor.
However, his role with the Hornets this season isn’t clear. Far down the depth chart, playing time will be limited unless injury occurs. He showed potential as a scorer in Orlando, but translating it to the NBA is another task entirely.
But keeping O’Bryant is smart. With no cap space, O’Bryant is about as good a player the Hornets can expect for the last big on the depth chart. Plus, he doesn’t have to adjust to a new offense (as a free agent would).
Hornets sign training camp invitees
After signing Marcus Paige and Mangok Mathiang to two-way contracts earlier this week, the team signed two more to training camp — former UNC Tarheel Isaiah Hicks, and T.J. Williams from Northeastern.
Hicks is familiar for North Carolinian's. Playing for years at UNC, he averaged 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a senior.
Williams was the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, averaging 21.3 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.7 rebounds. He played for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Las Vegas Summer league, averaging 12.2 points, but shooting just 34.5 percent from the field and 25 percent from the 3-point line.
Neither are likely to make the roster, and the invitation serves more as a chance to audition for the Greensboro Swarm. The Hornets have two open roster spots, but they will likely be filled by veterans (and sometime soon, hopefully).
Nonetheless, both players have the opportunity to impress the coaching staff, even if they are long shots.