Jaylen Sims

Hornets Sign Theo Maledon To Two-Way Deal, Waive Three Players

4:58pm: Maledon’s contract is official, according to NBA.com’s transaction log.

In order to make room for Maledon and Edmond Sumner, who is signing a non-guaranteed one-year deal, Charlotte released Angelo Allegri, Tre Scott and Jaylen Sims. All three players were on Exhibit 10 contracts and will likely be heading to the G League.

4:17 pm: Free agent guard Theo Maledon is returning to the Hornets on a two-way contract, sources tell Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms the news (via Twitter).

The Hornets gave Maledon a two-way qualifying offer at the end of June, making him a restricted free agent. He was the last restricted free agent left on the board this offseason, and likely just accepted his QO ahead of training camp.

The French point guard was the 34th overall pick of the 2020 draft. He spent his first two NBA seasons with the Thunder, but was traded to Houston prior to last season. The Rockets waived Maledon, and he signed a two-way deal with Charlotte a few days later.

Maledon averaged 6.7 PPG, 3.5 APG and 2.8 RPG in 44 games for the Hornets in 2022/23 (19.4 MPG), posting a .402/.297/.851 shooting slash line. Overall, he has appeared in 160 NBA games.

The Hornets will have to release someone to make room for Maledon, as their roster is currently at the offseason maximum of 21 players under contract. The 22-year-old will fill the team’s final two-way spot.

Hornets Sign Jaylen Sims, Three Others

The Hornets have officially signed four players, the team announced this week in a press release. While the Hornets didn’t reveal the terms of the deals in their release, Jaylen Sims, Tre Scott, Nathan Mensah, and Angelo Allegri all received Exhibit 10 contracts, Hoops Rumors can confirm.

Sims, who went undrafted out of UNC Wilmington in 2022, spent training camp last fall with the Hornets, then was waived at the end of the preseason. The 6’6″ wing spent his rookie year with the Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte’s G League affiliate, averaging 10.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists 25.3 minutes per night across 39 Showcase Cup and regular season games.

Sims is the only one of Charlotte’s new additions whose deal wasn’t previously reported. Scott reached an agreement with the team in August, while Mensah and Allegri agreed to terms with the Hornets right after June’s draft.

Scott appeared in two NBA games for Cleveland during the 2021/22 season but has primarily played in the G League and overseas since going undrafted out of Cincinnati in 2020. Mensah and Allegri went undrafted this June out of San Diego State and Eastern Washington, respectively. Mensah was a two-time Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year with the Aztecs.

The Hornets now have a full 21-man offseason roster. Their squad features 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, one (Frank Ntilikina) with a partial guarantee, one (JT Thor) on a non-guaranteed deal, a pair on two-way contracts, and four on Exhibit 10 pacts.

Charlotte also reportedly reached an agreement on a non-guaranteed contract with R.J. Hunter. The club will have to make a cut at some point if it still intends to complete that deal — if the signing is just for G League purposes, it may not happen until sometime in October.

Sims, Scott, Mensah, and Allegri will likely all end up being waived and reporting to the Swarm for the start of the NBAGL season. Spending at least 60 days with the Hornets’ G League affiliate would allow each player to earn a bonus worth up to $75K.

It’s worth noting, since Charlotte has one two-way slot available, that Exhibit 10 contracts can be converted into two-way deals anytime prior to the first day of the regular season. However, the Hornets still have a two-way qualifying offer on the table to Theo Maledon, so they may envision him being the one to eventually fill that opening.

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: