The Charlotte Hornets have used 10-day deals to their advantage this season and they may have even found a found prospects for the future.
10-day contracts are a great way for NBA teams to try out unproven prospects or bolster their roster. For the Charlotte Hornets, they needed to use those deals this season because of injuries. With multiple players missing a number of games this year, they needed a cheap way to help add depth to their roster and 10-day contracts were the best and most efficient way of doing so.
As it turns out, Rich Cho and the Hornets have done a solid job of locating talent through the D-League and the 10-day deals. Charlotte has used these contracts more than any other team in the NBA this season signing four players to a total of eight 10-day contracts. It ended up paying off in the end as they signed Briante Weber and Johnny O’Bryant to multi-year deals after their second 10-day’s expired.
That will allow the Hornets to get an even longer look at them over the summer and during training camp. While this season hasn’t been great for the team, the use of the 10-day contracts to find under the radar talent might be a bright spot. That is if Weber and O’Bryant pan out to be contributors but in the small sample size that they have with Charlotte so far, it looks like they will be.
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There is also a method to the Hornets’ madness with the use of these 10-day deals. They aren’t going out and looking to sign veteran players like Lance Stephenson (just an example of a veteran signed to a 10-day not because anyone in the organization wants him back), Derrick Williams or Jarrett Jack. They are looking for young players with potential who could possibly help them down the road if they are developed correctly.
Even though Ray McCallum and Mike Tobey, who were each signed to 10-day deals before Briante and Johnny, didn’t pan out into full contracts, they were both solid prospects. McCallum was the second ranked prospect in the D-League at the time while Tobey was playing some great basketball for the Hornets’ D-League affiliate in the Greensboro Swarm. While Ray didn’t see any minutes, Mike did contribute off of the bench when the team was dealing with frontcourt injuries.
As for Weber, he has seemingly taken over the backup point guard role from Brian Roberts. Expect him to be battling for that spot during the offseason for next year. Charlotte may have found a diamond in rough with Briante as he was the #1 ranked D-League prospect earlier this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is on the team making key contributions to the 2017-18 campaign.
With O’Bryant, he has been dealing with an ankle injury for some time but before the knock, he scored a career-high 15 points in one game where he helped lead the Hornets to a much-needed win. That performance essentially secured his roster spot with the team for this season.
Charlotte may not draft particularly well but they have done a solid job of bringing in talented players through 10-day deals. Most 10-day signees are overlooked but the Hornets didn’t waste their opportunity.
So while many teams never use a 10-day contract throughout a season, the Charlotte Hornets are making the most of them this year. When they were plagued with injuries or made trades that opened up a roster spot, they looked to fill their rotation with young players that had potential. Now, they have found two prospects in Weber and O’Bryant who could be cheap options (salary cap wise) to help the team next season.