Jaylen Sims

Hornets Waive Jaylen Sims, Anthony Duruji

The Hornets are beginning to trim down their preseason roster, according to Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer, who tweets that the team is waiving camp invitees Jaylen Sims and Anthony Duruji.

Sims went undrafted this June after spending four seasons at UNC Wilmington. The 23-year-old guard, a native of Charlotte, averaged 16.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 2.4 APG on .383/.357/.820 shooting in his final college season in 2021/22. He played for Toronto’s Summer League team in July before signing an Exhibit 10 deal with the Hornets in August.

Duruji, 24, split his college career between Louisiana Tech and Florida. The undrafted rookie forward averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 55 games (23.4 MPG) over the past two seasons with the Gators, then played for Atlanta at the Las Vegas Summer League before signing his own Exhibit 10 deal with Charlotte.

Both Sims and Duruji appear likely to become affiliate players for the Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte’s G League team.

With two open spots on their 20-man roster, the Hornets can now move forward with their reported two-way deal for Theo Maledon. After signing Maledon, the team would have to make at least two more cuts before Monday’s regular roster deadline. LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Crutcher, and Xavier Sneed remain on the roster on non-guaranteed training camp contracts.

Hornets Sign Four Players To Exhibit 10 Deals

The Hornets have signed Jalen Crutcher, Anthony Duruji, Jaylen Sims and Isaiah Whaley, the team announced in a press release. They all received Exhibit 10 contracts, sources tell Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Whaley was the only name that had been previously reported.

All four players will join Charlotte for the start of training camp on September 27. The Exhibit 10 deals are non-guaranteed and carry a minimum salary, but the players are eligible to receive $50K bonuses if they’re waived before the start of the regular season and join the team’s G League affiliate in Greensboro.

The Hornets now have 18 players on their offseason roster, leaving two openings ahead of camp. Charlotte has 13 players with guaranteed contracts and Bryce McGowens on a two-way deal.

Crutcher, a 23-year-old point guard, was in camp with the Hornets last fall. He spent the season as an affiliate player in the G League, averaging 16.2 points and 6.0 assists in 33 games with the Swarm.

Duruji, 24, split his college career between Louisiana Tech and Florida. The forward averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds over the past two seasons with the Gators.

Sims averaged 12.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in four seasons at UNC Wilmington. The 23-year-old guard is a native of Charlotte.

Whaley, 23, spent five years at Connecticut and was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year for the 2020/21 season. The power forward was part of the Hornets’ Summer League team, but didn’t appear in any games.

MSU’s Max Christie Among Early Entrants For 2022 NBA Draft

The list of early entrants for the 2022 NBA draft continues to grow, as college players put their names into this year’s draft pool ahead of the April 24 deadline.

[RELATED: 2022 NBA Draft Dates, Deadlines To Watch]

Michigan State’s Max Christie is among the players who recently declared for the draft, announcing his intentions in a post on Instagram. The freshman shooting guard stated that he’ll test the draft waters, maintaining his remaining college eligibility for the time being as he gets feedback on his draft stock.

A full-time starter for the Spartans in 2021/22, Christie averaged 9.3 PPG and 3.5 RPG on .382/.317/.824 shooting in 35 games (30.8 MPG). Those numbers are modest, but the 6’6″ guard has shown the potential to develop into a stronger shooter and a solid defender, per ESPN’s Mike Schmitz. Christie ranks 41st overall on ESPN’s big board.

Here are a few more of the college players who have recently entered the draft pool:

Expected to stay in draft, forgoing remaining NCAA eligibility:

Testing draft waters: