Southeast Notes: Hornets Roster, Spoelstra, Jovic, Avdija, Gafford

The Hornets are unlikely to add more players on guaranteed contracts before the season begins, according to general manager Mitch Kupchak, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer tweets.

After coming to terms with restricted free agent P.J. Washington, the Hornets have 13 players on fully guaranteed deals, plus another (Frank Ntilikina) on a partial guarantee. JT Thor has a non-guaranteed contract for the upcoming season.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • It’s possible that Erik Spoelstra, an assistant to Steve Kerr for Team USA, will be game-planning against Nikola Jovic and Serbia in the World Cup championship game. Heat assistant GM Adam Simon is rooting for that outcome, according to  Spoeltra already got a chance to talk to the Heat forward during the tournament. “It’s great that the two of them had a chat for a while in Manila. I hope they will meet again in the final,” Simon told Meridian Sport.
  • Scouts that spoke to The Athletic’s Josh Robbins regarding Wizards forward Deni Avdija believe the Israeli can carve out a lengthy NBA career. However, the consensus opinion is that Avdija hasn’t shown enough offensively to live up to his draft status and become a difference-maker for a contender. Avdija was selected ninth overall in 2020. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer if Washington’s front office extends him a qualifying offer.
  • With Kristaps Porzingis in Boston, Daniel Gafford is the only proven shot-blocker on the Wizards’ roster. That’s one reason why he could see more playing time, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Gafford is also comfortable playing at a faster pace, which the Wizards’ staff wants to implement, and ranks as their best screen-setter.
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