The Charlotte Hornets announced on Monday that Jalen Crutcher, Anthony Duruji, Jaylen Sims and Isaiah Whaley had been signed. The Charlotte Observer’s Rod Boone reported soon after that all four players were signed to an Exhibit 10 contract.
#Hornets have signed Jalen Crutcher, Anthony Duruji, Jaylen Sims and Isaiah Whaley. All are Exhibit 10 deals, per sources. Whaley, a Gastonia native who played 5 seasons at UConn, was on the summer league team. Sims is a Charlotte native who played 4 seasons at UNC Wilmington.— Rod Boone (@rodboone) September 12, 2022
Here’s the skinny on what exactly an Exhibit 10 contract is; Exhibit 10 contracts are given to players who aren’t expected to make an NBA team’s regular season roster but have shown enough to stick with the organization in some capacity. If the player signs an Exhibit 10 before/during training camp, they’re entitled to a $50K bonus if they spend 60 days with a team’s G League affiliate after being waived prior to the start of the regular season. Essentially, it gives players a financial incentive to play for an NBA team’s G League affiliate.
Jalen Crutcher is the returner among the group, spending most of last season as the primary point guard for the Greensboro Swarm. He flashed potential as a floor-spacing distributor during the 2021-22 G League season but struggled with efficiency during the 2022 Summer League. Presumably, Crutcher is being given a chance to fight for one of the backup point guard spots in Charlotte with a starting role in Greensboro as his plan B.
Despite not playing a single second in Summer League, Whaley seems to have impressed behind the scenes. An undrafted forward out of Connecticut, Whaley projects as a play-finishing energy big at the next level. He’s also from Gastonia and played at Evelyn Mack Academy in high school, so it’s cool to see him land with his homestate organization.
Duruji and Sims both went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft — Duruji out of Florida and Sims out of UNC-Wilmington. Duruji, a 6-foot-7 forward, also projects as a role-playing frontcourt piece at the NBA or G League level while Sims is a floor-spacing guard/wing that was born in Charlotte and played high school ball at United Faith Christian Academy.
By my calculations, the Hornets have now filled 18 of the 20 available offseason roster spots, with 13 being guaranteed contracts. A Two-Way slot is also still open, so there’s more shuffling to be done throughout the preseason. Given the current standing of the depth chart, it appears the two guards Crutcher and Sims are the only E-10 signings with a remote chance at making the roster. These may not be the signings fans were hoping for or expecting, but it’s nice to see some activity.