FRIDAY, 8:18am: The signing is official, the team announced.
THURSDAY, 12:28pm: The Hornets will sign Jorge Gutierrez to a contract that covers the rest of the season, a source tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). The signing will take place Friday, according to Bonnell, after Gutierrez’s second 10-day contract expires tonight. Most signings that take place this time of the year are for the prorated minimum salary, which would give Gutierrez about $190K, though Charlotte still has its prorated mid-level exception worth about $3.5MM.
Regardless of the terms, the 27-year-old point guard is apparently set to become the 15th Hornets player signed through at least the end of the season, closing off the team’s roster flexibility. That’s even though he’s totaled only 14 minutes across three games so far and hasn’t appeared in Charlotte’s last three contests. He performed well in his sharply limited playing time, making every shot he took as he racked up nine points, three assists and two turnovers. Hornets coach Steve Clifford has frequently praised him, a signal that Gutierrez was likely to stick, Bonnell observed Wednesday (Twitter link).
Once the signing becomes official, it’ll be the third year in a row that Gutierrez will have followed two 10-day contracts with a deal for the rest of the season, as our 10-Day Contract Tracker shows. The contracts he signed for the rest of the 2013/14 season with the Nets and the rest of the 2014/15 season with the Bucks were multiyear arrangements, but both teams ultimately waived him before those deals ran to term. It’s not immediately clear whether Gutierrez will have multiple seasons on his latest pact with the Hornets. Charlotte faces uncertainty after this season, with Nicolas Batum and Al Jefferson headed to free agency and $46MM in guaranteed salary already committed against a salary cap expected to fall between $90MM and $95MM.