Charlotte Hornets

Julyan Stone Granted Release From Italian Team

AUGUST 14, 7:22pm: Stone has been granted his release from Umana Reyer Venezia and is expected to sign with the Hornets this week, Bonnell reports.

AUGUST 13, 2:30pm: The Hornets plan to sign Stone to a two-year minimum deal with a second-year trigger date, pending clearance from FIBA, per Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter).

10:18amJulyan Stone is making progress toward getting out of his Italian League contract so he can sign with the Hornets, reports Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

The 28-year-old combo guard recently agreed to a two-year extension with defending league champion Umana Reyer, based in Venice. Stone doesn’t have an opt-out clause to leave for the NBA, but he is asking the team to release him from his deal so he can be closer to his father, who is in a coronary care unit in the United States with severe lung, heart and kidney conditions.

Charlotte has a two-year, veteran’s minimum offer waiting for Stone and envisions him as a third-string point guard backing up Kemba Walker and free agent addition Michael Carter-Williams. However, before he can join the Hornets, Stone has to obtain a letter from FIBA stating that he has no contractual obligation to any other team.

Stone has prior NBA experience with the Nuggets and Raptors. He has also played in Turkey and Italy.

Julyan Stone Expected To Sign With Hornets

Expect Julyan Stone to finally sign a contract with the Hornets, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes. The guard is now expected to part ways with Italian club Reyer Venezia and return stateside for a second NBA stint.

As we wrote about last week, Stone had recently inked a two-year contract extension to stay in Italy but was adamantly seeking a way out in order to return to America and be closer to his ailing father.

While terms of Stone’s exit haven’t been made available, it’s worth noting that his contract didn’t include any formal opt out options. Last week, as discussed in our previous coverage of the story, Stone took to Instagram to express frustration with the EuroLeague team’s apparent reluctance to engage in a conversation about him leaving.

Per Carchia, when Stone officially becomes a free agent, he’ll sign a two-year guaranteed deal with Charlotte.

Prior to playing overseas, Stone played sparingly for the Nuggets and Raptors, logging 47 games across three seasons from 2011-2014.

And-Ones: Offseason Winners, Losers

There were no shortage of teams that made big moves in an effort to improve this offseason but the squad that improved its standing the most is Tom Thibodeau‘s Timberwolves, an ESPN report says.

The worldwide leader in sports put the Wolves well ahead of the second-place Sixers who edged out the Nuggets. Also on ESPN’s list were the Bucks, Thunder and Lakers.

It’s hard to disagree with the fact that the Timberwolves took the top honors, the impact that Jimmy Butler will have is almost indisputable.

The Sixers and Nuggets, too, will welcome big names to their lineup, Philly’s of course coming via the past two drafts and Denver’s in the form of free agent Paul Millsap.

There’s more from around the NBA:

  • Turmoil in the locker room could cost the Cavaliers big time, an ESPN report states. The Cavs are considered the team most likely to be adversely affected by off-court moves and issues in 2017/18, ahead of the Knicks, Pelicans, Clippers, Bulls and Rockets.
  • A number of stars will suit up for new squads this season but the biggest addition of the offseason has been Houston’s landmark acquisition of Chris Paul. An ESPN report breaks down why the Rockets fared so well this offseason.
  • An ESPN report suggests that the Hornets‘ decision to acquire Dwight Howard may not bear fruit. Due to concerns about his fit in the modern era, he’s the most likely candidate to be the least effective individual to have changed addresses this summer.

China Is Next Step For Christian Wood

Christian Wood, who has seen scant playing time in two seasons with the Sixers and Hornets, has signed to play in China, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. The 21-year-old power forward has inked a contract with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Undrafted out of UNLV in 2015, Wood signed with Philadelphia shortly before training camp. He was waived twice during his rookie year and spent much of the season in the G-League, but managed to average 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 17 games with the Sixers.

Wood signed with the Hornets in July of 2016, but again was in the G-League for most of the season. He appeared in 13 games for Charlotte, averaging 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in about 8 minutes per night.

The Chinese season typically ends before the NBA’s, so Wood will be eligible to return to the NBA when his commitment in China is complete.

Poll: Which Southeast Team Had Best Offseason?

For multiple teams in the Southeast, the 2017 offseason was more about retaining their own players than going out and making a major splash via trade or free agency. That was especially true for the reigning division champs in Washington.

Not only did the Wizards match Brooklyn’s four-year, maximum salary offer sheet for Otto Porter — the club also completed another four-year, maximum salary extension, locking up John Wall far beyond the remaining two years on his current contract. Washington also made other minor changes to its roster, adding Jodie Meeks and Tim Frazier, but the team’s major moves involved keeping its current core intact.

The same can be said about the Heat, who pursued Gordon Hayward, but missed out and quickly shifted their focus back to their own free agents, finalizing new long-term contracts with James Johnson and Dion Waiters. Miami also made the biggest investment in the division on an outside free agent, striking a four-year, $45.6MM deal with Kelly Olynyk, which could be worth even more via incentives.

The Hawks brought back Ersan Ilyasova and Mike Muscala on new deals, but opted not to re-sign their top free agent, letting Paul Millsap go to Denver. The move was one of several made by Atlanta that will re-shape the roster for 2017/18. Dewayne Dedmon, Miles Plumlee, and Marco Belinelli are among the newly-added Hawks, while Tim Hardaway, Dwight Howard, Thabo Sefolosha, and Mike Dunleavy are a few of the players who left Atlanta this summer.

The Hornets were on the other end of a major trade with Atlanta, landing Howard in exchange for Belinelli and Plumlee. The cap-strapped Hornets didn’t have a lot of flexibility to make upgrades, but the additions of Howard, Malik Monk, and Michael Carter-Williams are intriguing moves for a club that underperformed in 2016/17.

Meanwhile, the Magic didn’t make any big-money investments in free agency, but landed Jonathon Simmons, Shelvin Mack, Arron Afflalo, and Marreese Speights on affordable deals, and added a tantalizing athlete in Jonathan Isaac in the draft.

What do you think? Which Southeast team has had the best offseason so far? Vote in our poll and then head to the comment section to share your thoughts.

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.


Agent Hopeful Stone Can Join Hornets

Julyan Stone‘s agent is hopeful of freeing his client from a European contract so that the point guard can sign with the Hornets, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Charlotte has offered Stone a two-year deal to be its third point guard behind Kemba Walker and Michael Carter-Williams but he first must be released from the contract he signed with Reyer Venezia in the Italian pro league. Stone’s agent, Giovanni Funiciello, told Bonnell that he’s hopeful a compromise can be worked out this week so that Stone can remain in the U.S. and be close to his ailing father.

Family Issues Push Julyan Stone Toward Hornets

The poor health of his father is motivating Julyan Stone to try to get out of his Italian contract and sign with the Hornets, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

The 28-year-old point guard has a two-year offer from Charlotte that he would like to accept, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reported Friday. Stone’s primary motivation is the condition of his father, who is in the United States in a coronary care unit with severe lung, heart and kidney ailments.

Stone has approached his Reyer Venezia club, based in Venice, about getting out of his current deal, but hasn’t made any progress. He posted a message on his Instagram account Friday explaining his father’s dire condition and claiming that Reyer Venezia officials won’t return his repeated messages. Stone would like to return to the NBA to be closer to his father and be in a better position to pay for his care.

Signing Stone would also benefit the Hornets, who are looking for an inexpensive backup to Kemba Walker and Michael Carter-Williams. Charlotte is hovering near the luxury tax line with about $119MM committed in salary for next season, so any roster additions will have to be made at minimal cost.

The Hornets waived Briante Weber in late July before his $1.5MM contract became guaranteed, and they recently held a workout for prospective point guards.

The 6’6″ Stone has previous NBA experience, playing 26 games for the Nuggets over two seasons and 21 with the Raptors in 2013/14.

Hornets Interested In Julyan Stone

Hornets Sign Isaiah Hicks, T.J. Williams

The Hornets have added a pair of players to their training camp roster, announcing today in a press release that Isaiah Hicks and T.J. Williams have signed with the club. Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed, but they sound unlikely to be fully guaranteed contracts.

Hicks, 23, went undrafted this June following the conclusion of his senior year at North Carolina. The 6’8″ power forward, who was 60th on DraftExpress’ prospect rankings, averaged 11.6 PPG and 5.4 RPG in his last season at UNC. He also played for the Clippers’ Summer League squad in Las Vegas last month.

As for Williams, the 6’3″ guard out of Northeastern also earned a spot on DraftExpress’ top-100 list, coming in at No. 98. But like Hicks, he went undrafted. Williams averaged 21.4 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 4.7 RPG in his senior year at Northeastern, then recorded 12.2 PPG for the Cavaliers’ Summer League team in Vegas.

Charlotte’s press release indicates that the team’s roster count is now at 17 players, though that total includes the two youngsters who officially signed two-way contracts with the club earlier today. Assuming Hicks and Williams receive non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals, the Hornets still only have 12 players on fully guaranteed NBA contracts.

Hornets Sign Paige, Mathiang To Two-Way Deals

AUGUST 2: The two-way deals for Paige and Mathiang are now official, the Hornets announced today in a press release.

AUGUST 1: The Hornets will sign Marcus Paige and Mangok Mathiang to two-way contracts, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).

Paige, 23, spent four seasons at UNC, where he averaged 13.1 PPG, 4.3 APG, and 2.8 RPG in 141 games. The Nets drafted Paige with the 55th overall pick in last year’s draft but traded him to the Jazz as part of the deal that sent Isaiah Whitehead to his native Brooklyn squad.

After he was waived in early October 2016, Paige latched on with the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars. In 46 games, he averaged 12.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 2.2 APG in 32.7 minutes. Most recently, Paige was part of the Timberwolves‘ summer league team in Las Vegas.

As for Mathiang, the Lousiville product averaged 7.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 1.1 BPG in his senior year at the college. The 24-year-old appeared for Charlotte in five games during the summer league where posted 4.4 PPG, five boards and 53.3% from the field.

As a side note, the Hornets also guaranteed forward Johnny O’Bryant‘s $1.5MM salary for the 2017/18 season, per Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). Today was the deadline for Charlotte to fully guarantee O’Bryant’s contract.

For more details on what two-way contracts are and how they work, be sure to check out our FAQ.

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