The Charlotte Hornets have signed four players to Exhibit 10 contracts heading into camp. These contracts are unguaranteed minimum deals that provide a bonus to players if they sign with the Greensboro Swarm if and when they’re waived by the Hornets. These players are Kahlil Whitney, Keandre Cook, Javin DeLaurier, and Xavier Sneed. All of them will spend most, if not all of the 2020-21 season with the Swarm unless they end up signing elsewhere.
Whitney was a highly touted recruit coming out of high school, but he was never able to find his footing at Kentucky. After losing playing time over the course of the season, Whitney decided to leave the program and ultimately entered his name into the 2020 NBA Draft.
Whitney is a terrific athlete but an unpolished basketball player. He has all the physical tools teams want in NBA wings—6’7” height, 7’0” wingspan, and a 39” maximum vertical leap. He put that on display at Kentucky, impressively rising up for alley oops and putback dunks. That’s probably where he’ll get most of his buckets with the Swarm, as his floor game has a long way to go. His jumper looks workable, but his collegiate percentages are terrible. The Hornets will hope their development program can make the most of his impressive physical tools.
Cook took a long road to get to the NBA level. He went to Odessa College out of high school before transferring to Missouri State for his final two years of eligibility. He’s a pretty explosive athlete in his own right, and he has a smooth outside stroke to go along with it.
In his final season at Missouri State, Cook averaged 14.9 points per game while shooting 42.3% from three on over five attempts per game. He’s got a good package of moves to create space for himself on the perimeter, but he hasn’t shown much in the way of attacking the basket.
Cook will have a steep transition going from a subpar mid-major school to the professional game, so it may take him some time to find his footing. He should be able to get some buckets for the Swarm, but he needs to show some playmaking and defensive acumen to warrant more looks at the NBA level.
DeLaurier is the one name that Hornets fans are probably most familiar with out of this bunch. He spent four years at Duke, but he only started 23 of the 114 games that he appeared in.
DeLaurier is a prototypical role playing big. He doesn’t shoot jump shots, dribble, or pass particularly well. He plays decent defense and rebounds pretty well, though he does foul a ton. If you look up DeLaurier’s stats at Duke, that’s what I expect his stats to look like with the Swarm.
Sneed was an inefficient shooter in college, but he looks like someone that should be a really good shooter. He shoots it with confidence and great form; it just doesn’t go in enough. The Hornets probably see enough there that they think he can turn into a knockdown shooter in a different situation with some minor tweaks.
He, like the other wings the Hornets brought in on these Exhibit 10 deals, is a good athlete that has the physical tools to be a plus defender, especially at the G League level. He’ll likely function as a 3&D player with the Swarm, where he can focus on spot-up shooting and locking down opponents on the perimeter.