The Hornets have signed Noah Vonleh, the No. 9 overall pick in last month’s draft, the team announced via press release. He’ll likely receive a salary of more than $2.5MM this year, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-round draft picks shows.
Vonleh quickly showed an acumen for rebounding in his lone season at Indiana University, grabbing 9.0 boards in just 26.5 minutes per game. He also averaged 11.3 points and 1.4 blocks per contest, and while he ventured outside the three-point arc for only 1.1 shots per game, he nailed 48.5% of them. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranked him as the fifth best prospect, though Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress had the raw 18-year-old down at No. 10.
It’ll probably take a while for Vonleh to show his full potential in the NBA, as Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors wrote when he examined the power forward’s prospect profile, but his upside appears high. The departure of Josh McRoberts in free agency this summer could open up some more playing time for Vonleh this year, though he’s still expected to be a reserve.
Charlotte has yet to sign No. 26 overall pick P.J. Hairston, whose rights the Hornets obtained in a draft night trade with Miami, though that might have to do with Hairston having hired an agent who wasn’t certified.