OCTOBER 15: The Hornets have officially signed Maleon to his two-way deal, the team confirmed today in a press release. Charlotte created room on its roster by waiving Jaylen Sims and Anthony Duruji on Friday.
OCTOBER 14: Theo Maledon, who cleared waivers on Thursday after being cut by Houston on Tuesday, won’t have to wait long to get back on an NBA roster. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), Maledon is signing a two-way contract with the Hornets.
Maledon, the 34th overall pick of the 2020 draft, appeared in 116 regular season games (56 starts, 23.3 MPG) with the Thunder over the past two seasons before being traded to the Rockets last month. He averaged 8.8 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 2.9 APG on .371/.322/.766 shooting across those two years.
While Maledon struggled to score efficiently in Oklahoma City, he has good size for a point guard (6’4″) and is still just 21 years old, so it seemed likely that another NBA team would take a flier on him. The Frenchman reportedly wanted to remain stateside rather than returning to Europe to continue his career.
There could be an immediate path to playing time for Maledon in Charlotte, where starting point guard LaMelo Ball is recovering from a Grade 2 ankle sprain. Terry Rozier is expected to be the Hornets’ primary ball-handler while Ball is on the shelf, but the team doesn’t have a ton of depth at the position — Dennis Smith Jr., who is in training camp on a non-guaranteed deal, will likely be the backup.
The Hornets are currently only carrying one two-way player, Bryce McGowens, so the other two-way slot is open. However, the club has a full 20-man roster and will have to waive one of its camp invitees to make room for Maledon.