J.P. Macura

Hornets Adding Robert Franks On Two-Way Deal, Signing Josh Perkins

Washington State’s Robert Franks will sign a two-way contract with the Hornets, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

A 6’9″ forward, Franks had an outstanding senior season with the Cougars, posting a 21.6/7.2/2.6 line and shooting .399 from 3-point range while taking seven per game. He earned first team All-Pac 12 honors.

Joe Chealey and J.P. Macura were Charlotte’s two-way players last season, but both are free agents.

The Hornets will also ink Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins to an Exhibit 10 deal, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link). A 6’3″ guard, Perkins averaged 11.0 points and 6.3 assists per game as a fifth-year senior.

Hornets Waive Mangok Mathiang

The Hornets have waived big man Mangok Mathiang, per an official release from the team and announcement from President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Mathiang, 25, signed a two-way contract with the Hornets a little over one year ago today.  He played in four games during the 2017/18 season, averaging 2.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 5.0 minutes per contest.

The 6’10” center also appeared in 43 games (36 starts) for Charlotte’s G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, where he averaged 10.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 assists in 25.3 minutes per game.

After waiving Mathiang, the Hornets now have an open two-way spot on their roster, with rookie guard J.P. Macura holding down the other two-way contract for Charlotte.

Hornets Sign J.P. Macura To Two-Way Deal

JULY 2: The Hornets have officially signed Macura to a two-way contract, the team confirmed today in a press release.

JUNE 23: Former Xavier wing J.P. Macura will sign a two-way contract with the Hornets for the 2018/19 season, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Macura, whose deal can’t be finalized until the new NBA league year begins, went undrafted on Thursday night.

As a senior with the Musketeers in 2017/18, Macura averaged 12.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 2.9 APG with a shooting line of .479/.377/.821. Givony, who had Macura ranked 84th on his big board, describes the youngster as a “tough, high-IQ shot maker with a ton of game.”

The Hornets were one of several teams to work out Macura during the pre-draft process, along with the Suns, Grizzlies, and Spurs.

After carrying Marcus Paige and Mangok Mathiang on two-way deals in 2017/18, Charlotte appears poised to give Macura one of those two slots. According to Basketball Insiders’ data, Mathiang’s agreement spans two years, so Macura seems more likely to take Paige’s spot. Teams can only carry two players on two-way contracts at a time during the regular season, along with 15 players on standard NBA deals.

Draft Workouts: Sixers, Grizzlies, Pacers, Hornets, T-Wolves

The Sixers will host Kentucky forward Kevin Knox and Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith for the second time on Tuesday, according to a team release. Knox’s workout will be separate from the other six players they will bring in, including Smith. The Sixers hold the No. 10 selection in the lottery. Knox is currently ranked No. 9 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, while Smith is slotted at No. 16.

The other members of the group workout are all guards, including B.J. Johnson (La Salle), De’Anthony Melton (USC), Tyler Nelson (Fairfield), Malik Newman (Kansas) and Landry Shamet (Wichita State). Melton (No. 24, Givony) is a possibility for the Sixers with their other first-rounder at No. 26.

We have numerous other draft workouts to pass along:

Draft Updates: Bamba, Jackson Jr., Sexton, Knox

Texas center Mo Bamba got high praise from the Suns after working out for the team Saturday, relays Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix is very likely to take another center, Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton, with the top pick, but GM Ryan McDonough believes Bamba has a bright NBA future, comparing him with Defensive Player of the Year finalist Rudy Gobert.

“At 20 years old, I think he’s ahead of where Rudy was,” McDonough said. “Now Rudy has made tremendous strides over the last three or four years. I think the question for Mo will be, can he build out his body like Rudy has? But in terms of measurements, they’re similar and in terms of willingness and desire to anchor a defense and protect the rim, they’re similar. It’s a great comp for Mo.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Bamba is part of a series of top prospects the Suns are working out this week. Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. is in town today, the team announced on its website, following appearances by Ayton and Marvin Bagley III.
  • Bamba looks like the definition of a modern NBA center and could wind up being the best player in the draft, writes Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Bamba provides size, a draft combine record 7’10” wingspan, mobility and intelligence, Givony notes, but there are questions about his physical frame after putting on 30 pounds in three years and his uneven performance in college. “Although there’s no one I really pattern my game after, I am a firm believer in stealing stuff from other people,” Bamba said. “When I sat down with [ player development specialist Drew Hanlen], we watched a lot of Jo-Jo [Joel Embiid], we watched a lot of AD [Anthony Davis]. Guys who can step out and move their feet and create their own shot offensively as a 7-footer.”
  • Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert called Collin Sexton a “very interesting prospect” after getting an up-close look at the Alabama guard during a workout Saturday, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.
  • Kentucky’s Kevin Knox and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges worked out for the Knicks on Saturday, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post“I’m the second-youngest player in the draft this year, but that doesn’t mean anything,’’ said Knox, who is still 18. “It’s not an excuse. I’m in the NBA and I put my name in the draft for a reason — because I think I’m ready. My age has nothing to do with it.’’ Also participating in the workout were SMU’s Shake Milton, Miami’s Bruce Brown , Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith and Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo.
  • The Jazz are hosting six players for a session today, the team announced on Twitter. Attending will be Utah’s Justin Bibbins, Purdue’s Vince Edwards, Australia’s William McDowell-White, France’s Amine Noua, Marshall’s Ajdin Penava and Lincoln Memorial’s Emanuel Terry.
  • Duke’s Grayson Allen had to pull out of today’s workout with the Hawks after suffering a minor injury during warmups, tweets Michael Cunningham of The Journal-Constitution. Also at today’s session were Creighton’s Marcus Foster, Louisville’s Anas Mahmoud, Rhode Island’s E.C. Matthews, UNLV’s Brandon McCoy and Boston College’s Jerome Robinson.
  • The Hornets will host their sixth pre-draft workout Monday with Southeastern Louisiana’s Jordan Capps, Notre Dame’s Matt Farrell, Mercer’s Ria’n Holland, Xavier’s J.P. Macura, Illinois-Chicago’s Tai Odiase and Queens College’s Todd Winters scheduled to attend.

Draft Notes: M. Bridges, Pinson, Farrell, Rowsey

With the deadline passing for underclassmen to withdraw from the NBA draft, pre-draft workouts are taking on a new level of importance. Here are a few notes to pass on as the draft looms 20 days from now:

Draft Workouts: Grizzlies, Delgado, Huerter, Alkins

While the Grizzlies hold the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, the group of prospects working out for the team on Thursday won’t be candidates to come off the board that early. Memphis also holds the No. 32 selection, so today’s workout participants will vie to receive consideration at that spot. According to a team release, Braian Angola (Florida State), Justin Bibbs (Virginia Tech), Chris Chiozza (Florida), Josh Okogie (Georgia Tech), Admiral Schofield (Tennessee), and Jonathan Stark (Murray State) are getting a look today from the Grizzlies.

Here’s more pre-draft workout news:

  • Seton Hall big man Angel Delgado and Maryland guard Kevin Huerter each have workouts on tap with the Lakers and then the Jazz, per Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter links).
  • In addition to his previously reported workouts, Arizona guard Rawle Alkins has an audition with the Suns scheduled for next week, according to Zagoria, who adds that Alkins will also have a Pro Day next Thursday.
  • Zagoria provides another workout update, tweeting that Miami’s Dewan Huell has auditioned for the Thunder, Cavaliers, Bucks, Hawks, and Grizzlies so far. Huell, who is testing the waters without an agent, remains undecided about whether or not to stay in the draft.
  • After working out for Washington this week, Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham will work out for the Suns, Hawks, Rockets, Grizzlies, and about six or seven teams after that, he tells Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link).
  • Xavier’s J.P. Macura, who has a workout lined up with the Spurs, met with the Bucks, Clippers, Magic, and Pacers at this week’s Pro Basketball Combine, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.