Hornets Cut Ish Smith, Frank Ntilikina

The Hornets have officially waived veteran guards Ish Smith and Frank Ntilikina, the team announced today in a press release. Charlotte has now cut three backcourt players since the trade deadline, having also parted ways with James Bouknight.

The Hornets needed to make a series of cuts in order to accommodate their deadline deals. Dropping Smith and Ntilikina allowed the team to take on three players while sending Gordon Hayward to Oklahoma City.

A journeyman who has played for 13 teams across 14 NBA seasons, Smith was the Hornets’ primary backup point guard this season, averaging 3.2 points, 3.4 assists, and 1.8 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game across 43 appearances (five stats). The 35-year-old shot 41.8% from the field.

Ntilikina was initially expected to be LaMelo Ball‘s backup this season, but leg and hip issues have sidelined him for nearly the entire 2023/24 campaign. He played only 43 minutes across five games for Charlotte prior to his release.

Tre Mann and Vasilije Micic, acquired from the Thunder in the Hayward trade, figure to get a shot to earn regular playing time at the point.

Smith and Ntilikina will both become free agents and will be able to sign with any team this weekend once they clear waivers. The Hornets will remain on the hook for their matching $2,019,706 (minimum-salary) cap hits.

View Comments (3)