Archive for the ‘ Charlotte Hornets Blog ’ Category

The Charlotte Hornets have assigned guard Devonte’ Graham to the Greensboro Swarm, the team’s NBA G League affiliate.

Graham has appeared in two games averaging 3.5 points and 1.5 assists in 9.5 minutes per game in his rookie season with the Hornets. Charlotte acquired the rights to Graham, the 34th overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, from the Atlanta Hawks in a draft night trade. Graham, a 6-2 guard from Kansas, was the 2017-18 Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American after averaging 17.3 points, 7.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 37.8 minutes in 39 games played as a senior.

This marks the Hornets first player assignment to the Swarm this season. The Swarm open their regular-season schedule this weekend with contests at Wisconsin on Nov. 2 and at Capitol City on Nov. 3. The Swarm will return for their Home Opener at the Fieldhouse at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex against the Grand Rapids Drive on Friday, Nov. 10.

The Charlotte Hornets today exercised their third-year option on guard Malik Monk.

The 6-3 Kentucky product is in his second NBA season after appearing in 63 games during his 2017-18 rookie campaign in Charlotte. Through seven games this season, Monk is averaging 11.0 points per game on 35.1% shooting. He holds career averages of 7.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 14.6 minutes per game in 70 contests. Monk was selected by the Hornets 11th overall in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Hornets host the Miami Heat tonight at 7 p.m. at Spectrum Center in the first game of a four-game homestand. Charlotte hosts Oklahoma City on Thursday, Nov. 1, Cleveland on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Atlanta on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

On the Hornets and their playoff hopes

Here’s the Charlotte Observer with a look at the Hornets schedule for the rest of 2018, and what it could mean in regard to their playoff hopes:

For the Charlotte Hornets to break a two-season streak of missing the playoffs, the push can’t wait until March and April.

That’s the reality of a schedule front-loaded with home games.

Starting Tuesday night against the Miami Heat, the Hornets play 17 of their next 24 games at Spectrum Center. By the end of December, the Hornets will have already played 21 of their 41 home dates, including all four against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks, teams they should dominate if they expect to reach the post-season.

Last season, the Hornets were 21-20 at home, but 15-26 on the road, which sunk their playoff chances.

It’s common for the Hornets to play a disproportionate number of home games before New Year’s Day because typically Spectrum Center hosts a number of non-Hornets events in February and March. This season, the Spectrum Center hosts the NBA All-Star Weekend (Hornets will be out of town the week before to make way for arena preparations) and the CIAA and ACC tournaments.

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The Charlotte Hornets have exercised the two-way player conversion option on guard Joe Chealey.

Also, the team announced they have waived forward Zach Smith.

Chealey, a College of Charleston product, was originally signed by the Hornets on July 27 as an undrafted free agent. He has appeared in three preseason contests with Charlotte and has averaged 4.3 points and 1.0 assists per game. The 6-3 guard participated in the 2018 MGM Resorts NBA Summer League with the Hornets. In four games, he averaged 6.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 17.4 minutes per game.

The Orlando, Fla. native played in 129 collegiate games over four years (2014-18) for the Cougars, finishing his career with averages of 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 31.1 minutes per game. Chealey left Charleston as the school’s all-time leader in free throws (582), ranked fourth in scoring (1,825) and eighth in assists (395). As a senior in 2017-18, he averaged 18.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 34 games played, earning both All-CAA First Team and All-Tournament Team honors for a second consecutive season.

Chealey joins JP Macura as the two-way players under contract with the Charlotte Hornets for the 2018-19 season. The 2018-19 season is the second year NBA teams can utilize two-way contracts, in which teams will be permitted to carry two such players on their roster in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. Charlotte’s two-way players will spend time with the team’s NBA G League squad, the Greensboro Swarm, as well as the main club, but are allowed no more than 45 days in the NBA, not including any time prior to the start of the Swarm’s training camp and at the end of the Swarm season.

Smith, originally signed by the Hornets on July 26 as an undrafted free agent, appeared in one preseason game for Charlotte. The 6-8 forward spent four seasons at Texas Tech University where he helped the Red Raiders to two NCAA Tournament appearances. Smith played in 117 career games for the Red Raiders and was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2016 and 2017.

Hornets waive Isaiah Wilkins and Jaylen Barford

The Charlotte Hornets have waived Isaiah Wilkins and Jaylen Barford.

Barford, a 6-3 guard, spent two seasons at the University of Arkansas where he was a First Team All-SEC selection for the 2017-18 season. The Jackson, TN native did not appear in any preseason games with Charlotte.

Wilkins, a 6-8 forward from Virginia, played in 132 career games with the Cavaliers and was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2017-18. The Lilburn, GA native appeared in one preseason game with Charlotte, playing three minutes vs. the Miami Heat.

The Hornets roster now stands at 17 players.

The 2018-19 NBA preseason began Friday, with a Hornets victory over the Celtics. Some quotes on the game:

Charlotte Observer: “Jeremy Lamb says his dream growing up was to be an NBA starter. That didn’t look plausible based on most of his pro career to date, but he sure made a case in the Charlotte Hornets’ first exhibition. Lamb, starting at shooting guard, hit three of his five 3-pointers, finishing with 15 points and looking generally impressive in the Hornets’ 104-97 victory over the Boston Celtics at the Smith Center on North Carolina’s campus.”

The Observer on Celtics guard Kyrie Irving: “The Celtics’ point guard looked sharp in his first game back since a knee procedure in March that ended his season.”

Boston Herald: “Gordon Hayward’s first game in roughly a year had predictable rust, and the equally expected self-critique by the Celtics forward when it was all over. But forget about the warts and the Celtics’ 104-97 loss to Charlotte in their exhibition season opener in the Dean Smith Center. He was playing again. “It definitely was (a small victory),” Hayward said after scoring 10 points in 22 front-loaded minutes. “I’ve been through a lot this last year. Just to be out there in front of the fans and playing with my teammates – there were moments last year when I definitely was not able to do that. Definitely a win.”

Hornets make multiple moves in basketball operations department

The Charlotte Hornets have added Nate Mitchell, George Rodman, Matt Carroll, Gary Sacks, Kevin Grevey, Anthony Gacona, Quinton Crawford and Alexander Powell to the team’s basketball operations staff. Additionally, Drew Perry, David Duquette, Jakub Kudlacek, Phil Park and Jon Moul have all been retained in new roles.

Nate Mitchell joins the Charlotte Hornets as an Assistant Coach, bringing four years of coaching experience at the G League level and international coaching experience with the Canadian Men’s National team. Mitchell most recently spent the last three seasons as an Assistant Coach of the Raptors 905, the Toronto Raptors G League affiliate. Prior to his experience with the Raptors 905, Mitchell spent one season as an assistant with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League. Mitchell began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Fresno State Men’s Basketball team.

George Rodman comes to the Charlotte Hornets for his first season as Director of Basketball Analytics & Strategy after spending five years with the Orlando Magic. While working in Orlando, Rodman held the position of Basketball Operations Manager and also served as the Erie Bayhawks’ General Manager. Prior to being in Orlando, Rodman spent four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs as a Basketball Statistical Analyst. Rodman graduated in 2006 from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management.

Matt Carroll enters his first season as Director of Player Programs/Player Development Assistant. Carroll brings ten years of NBA playing experience having spent seven seasons in Charlotte as well as time in Portland, San Antonio and Dallas. In his new role, Carroll will be responsible for player programs, player appearances and player development. Along with his new responsibilities, Carroll will continue in his role as a community ambassador and radio analyst for the team’s broadcasts on WFNZ.

Gary Sacks joins the Hornets as a Scout after previously working with the Los Angeles Clippers for more than 20 seasons. Sacks worked in a variety of scouting and basketball operations roles including rising to the team’s Vice President of Player Personnel from 2012 to 2014 and serving as the Assistant General Manager until 2017. Anthony Gacona returns to the team as a Scout, a role he previously served in from 2012 to 2015. Kevin Grevey joins the team as a Scout after previously having served as a Scout for the Los Angeles Lakers for the last 17 seasons.

Quinton Crawford joins the Hornets organization as the Head Video Coordinator. Prior to coming to Charlotte, Crawford spent two years with the Orlando Magic. He started as their Assistant Video Coordinator, and was promoted to Head Video Coordinator/Player Development a year later in August of 2017. Before Orlando, Crawford held the position of Assistant Video Coordinator for the Sacramento Kings. A former graduate assistant for Pepperdine University, Crawford was also a NBA Summer League intern in the summer of 2014. Crawford was a two-year letter winner for men’s basketball at the University of Arizona.

Alexander Powell joins the Hornets as a Basketball Analyst after finishing a four-year playing career at Kenyon College. In addition to his playing career, Powell worked as a Sports Information Statistician during his college tenure and previously interned for the Hornets as a Basketball Analytics Intern.

The Hornets Basketball Operations staff additions also include Justin Jordan, Brett Levy, Jackson Simmons and Jordan Surenkamp as Assistant Video Coordinators. Jordan joins the organization having recently completed his collegiate playing career at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Levy most recently served in a similar capacity with the Brooklyn Nets for three seasons and previously worked for the Mavericks as a Player Development Intern. Simmons joins the Hornets after serving last season as the Director of Basketball Operations for Western Carolina. Surenkamp joins the team having previously worked as a Video Coordinator for the Long Island Nets.

Additionally, Drew Perry has been retained as the Director of Pro Scouting, David Duquette has been retained as the Director of Basketball Strategy/Team Counsel. Jakub Kudlacek has been retained as the Director of International Scouting. Phil Park enters his first season as Coordinator of Basketball Operations and Jon Moul has been retained as a Basketball Operations Assistant.

The Charlotte Hornets have named Joe Wolf head coach of their G League team, the Greensboro Swarm. Wolf becomes the second head coach in franchise history.

“We are excited to have Coach Wolf join our organization,” Kupchak said. “Joe has a wealth of experience at the collegiate and professional level and knows what it takes to develop young players. Coach Wolf will be an integral part of the program we are building. He is familiar with the region’s passion for basketball and we are excited for him to lead the Swarm in Greensboro.”

Wolf, 53, joins the Swarm after being an assistant coach at UNC Wilmington under C.B. McGrath. Prior to UNCW, Wolf was an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets (2014-17) and Milwaukee Bucks (2008-13). In total, Wolf brings over 14-years coaching experience to the job.

“I am thrilled to be the head coach of the Greensboro Swarm and join the Hornets organization,” Wolf said. “I want to thank Michael Jordan, the Jordan family, Mitch Kupchak, Buzz Peterson and James Borrego for giving me this opportunity in the G League. I am looking forward to developing young players, implementing Coach Borrego’s system and playing an exciting brand of basketball. I cannot wait to get to work.”

A native of Kohler, Wisconsin, began his coaching career after playing professionally for 11 seasons in 2003-04 at William & Mary. Wolf was the head coach for the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association from 2004-06 before becoming the head coach/general manager of the Colorado 14ers in the NBA Development League (2006-08). During his tenure with Idaho and Colorado, 17 players were called up to the NBA. At the international level, Wolf served as an assistant coach the Ukrainian National Team, helping the court qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

Wolf played for seven franchises since being drafted as the No. 13 overall selection in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. Including two stints with the Hornets, he played for the Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks. He also played one season in Spain’s top league, the ACB, with Leon.

Kemba Walker discusses his future

The Knicks could use a well-established point guard. Kemba Walker fits that description. But he’s a Hornet, and isn’t predicting that to change anytime soon. Of course, in this particular situation it makes all the sense in the world for Kemba to talk about the Hornets and no one but the Hornets. Here’s the Hartford Courant with more:

Kemba Walker can’t avoid it. Whenever he sets foot in the five boroughs, the questions come from every direction.

“I’ve been hearing it for years,” Walker said Thursday, after working with youngsters at the National Basketball Players Association summer camp. “Every time I come home, ‘When are you going to come home and play for the Knicks?’ I know it’s a special place, I was a Knicks fan growing up, always rooted for the home team. But I just can’t see myself in a Knicks jersey, only because I’ve only been in one jersey.”

Walker, 28, a two-time All-Star, is seven years removed from that never-to-be-forgotten UConn finish, and seven years into his NBA career, all with the Hornets, entering his prime and a year away from free agency…

There is also temptation for the Hornets to trade him now and get maximum value in return. Walker, who has averaged more than 20 points per game in each of the last three seasons, has been a popular figure in the summer’s trade rumors.

“At first, it bothers you,” he said. “Who wouldn’t it bother? Who wants to hear his name in trade rumors? But I’m seven years in, it’s not the first time. It’s something I’ve gotten over. What can I do?”

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Former NBA GM Bob Bass dies

Some sad news in the NBA world came Friday. Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

Bob Bass is the one general manager ever to trade former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.

He did so much more than that in a pro basketball career that spanned five decades. He was the most impactful GM in Charlotte NBA history. Bass died Friday in San Antonio at the age of 89. He suffered two strokes recently.

Bass began as Hornets GM in 1995, working for owner George Shinn, and retired in 2004 after guiding the franchise through the move to New Orleans. Yes, he traded two future Hall of Famers in Bryant and Alonzo Mourning. He also got the Hornets to the playoffs in seven of his nine seasons, oversaw the only two seasons of 50 or more victories in franchise history, and won the NBA Executive of the Year in 1997 after the Hornets won 54 games.

Bass was as old-school as anyone I’ve covered. He grew up in Oklahoma, married a fellow coach, Pat, of Native American descent, and built a career working for pre-merger American Basketball Association teams on shoestring budgets. He once told me about selling off office furniture to pay some bills at one of his ABA stops in Denver, Miami, Memphis and San Antonio.

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Here’s a statement on Bob Bass from the Charlotte Hornets: “The Charlotte Hornets are saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Bass. After coming to Charlotte in 1995, Bob was responsible for some of the most successful teams in Hornets history and left an indelible mark on our franchise. Under his leadership the Hornets never finished a season with a record under .500, and his team building earned him the NBA’s Executive of the Year Award in 1997. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Pat, sons Kelly and Kip, and the entire Bass family.”

And here’s a statement from Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich: “Over the course of four decades, Bob Bass had a huge impact in both the ABA and NBA. BB was a true pioneer in the world of professional basketball. His knowledge, passion and dedication to the game were inspiring. We send our condolences to the entire Bass family.”

Hornets waive Mangok Mathiang

Yesterday, the Charlotte Hornets waived Mangok Mathiang.

Mathiang signed a two-way contract with Charlotte on Aug. 2, 2017. In 2017-18, the 6-10 forward from Louisville appeared in four games with the Hornets, averaging 2.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 5.0 minutes per contest. He also appeared in 43 games (36 starts) for the Hornets G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, averaging 10.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 assists in 25.3 minutes per game.

The Charlotte Hornets have signed guard Jaylen Barford and forwards Zach Smith and Isaiah Wilkins to the team’s training camp roster.

In two years at Arkansas, the 6-3 Barford averaged 15.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 28.3 minutes per game in 71 contests. An undrafted free agent, Barford recorded averages of 17.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 35 games as a senior in 2017-18. The Jackson, Tennessee, native finished the season amongst the SEC leaders in the following categories: field goals made (first, 224), points scored (third, 628), points per game (third, 17.9), three-point field goals (fourth, 87) and field goal percentage (sixth, .470). As a junior, he averaged 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

Smith, an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech University, appeared in 117 career games over four years (2014-18). In 117 contests, he finished his collegiate career with averages of 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 28.7 minutes per game. The Plano, Texas native averaged 6.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 blocks in 23 games as a senior in 2017-18. Smith received All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for both of his final two seasons.

Wilkins was a four-year collegiate player at Virginia (2014-18) where he appeared in 132 career games, posting averages of 9.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 21.7 minutes per game. Wilkins recorded averages of 6.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks as a senior in 2017-18. The Lilburn, Georgia, native was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and named to the All-ACC Defensive Team.

With the addition of Barford, Smith and Wilkins the Hornets roster stands at 18 players.

The Charlotte Hornets today unveiled a new white Classic Edition uniform to be worn during the 2018-19 season when the franchise celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the inaugural 1988-89 Hornets season.

Like the teal version from the 2017-18 campaign, the uniform echoes the design worn by the original Charlotte Hornets from their inception in 1988 through 1997.

“With the success of our teal Classic Edition uniforms last season, we felt it was only right to bring the white version back this year as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “As we look to replicate the experience and excitement of the early days of the Hornets, wearing the white uniform that the original team wore every night at the Charlotte Coliseum brings another layer of authenticity for our fans.”

The new uniform will be worn during the series of “Classic Night” games, which will celebrate the history of the Hornets and feature music and game presentation elements designed to take fans back to the Charlotte Coliseum of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The “Classic Night” games will honor some of the organization’s all-time great players and feature giveaways, including bobbleheads and T-shirts, that highlight some of the top players and moments in Hornets history.

There will be a minimum of six “Classic Night” games during the 2018-19 season.

Based on the uniform worn during the Hornets’ first decade, the white jersey includes the familiar crossover v-neck and multi-colored pinstripes in light blue, royal blue, green and purple. The shorts feature the classic Hornets logo on the waist and the identical royal blue, white and teal trim as the original.

Like the rest of the team’s uniforms, the white Classic Edition features the logos of Nike’s Jordan Brand on the right chest and partner LendingTree on the left chest.

Hornets officially sign Tony Parker

The Charlotte Hornets’ signing of veteran point guard Tony Parker became official today.

According to the Charlotte Observer, “ESPN reported Parker is guaranteed $5 million for next season, with the 2019-20 season a team option at $5.25 million. The Spurs expressed some interest in re-signing him and the Denver Nuggets also were interested.”

“We are thrilled to add a player of Tony’s caliber and experience to our roster,” said Kupchak, “We believe his track record of success and playoff resume will add backcourt depth to our roster and veteran leadership to our group. Parker’s experience with Head Coach James Borrego will be an invaluable asset to us moving forward as well. We are excited to welcome Tony to Charlotte and for him to continue his Hall-of-Fame career with the Hornets.”

Parker, who turned 36 years old this past May, is past his best days as a basketball player. He’ll likely come off the bench in Charlotte, playing backup to starter Kemba Walker.

More from the Charlotte Observer: “Parker’s relationship with Batum could be constructive, with Batum looking to bounce back from a sub-standard season. Batum is still owed about $75 million remaining on a 5-year, $120 million contract he signed in the summer of 2016.”

Parker appeared in 55 games with San Antonio during the 2017-18 season, averaging 7.7 points and 3.5 assists in 19.5 minutes per game. The French native joins Charlotte after spending the past 17 seasons in San Antonio where he was originally drafted 28th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft. Parker holds career averages of 15.8 points, 5.7 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game in 1,198 regular-season contests. The 6-2 guard has received All-NBA honors four times in his career (2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014) and has been named an NBA All-Star six times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014). Parker is the Spurs all-time leader in assists and ranks third among active players in the NBA with 6,829 career assists.

The 17-year NBA veteran ranks sixth in NBA history in playoff games played at 226 (second among active players: LeBron James, 239) and ranks fifth in NBA Playoffs history in total assists with 1,143 (second among active players: LeBron James: 1,687). Parker was a member of four NBA Championship teams in San Antonio (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014) and was named the 2007 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. Parker joins the Hornets as one of only four players in NBA history to total 4,000 or more points and 1,000 or more assists in the postseason (Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James).

Parker has enjoyed a decorated international career. He played in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics for Team France and won a 2013 FIBA Eurobasket Gold Medal alongside fellow Charlotte teammate Nicolas Batum.

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has acquired center Bismack Biyombo and two second-round draft picks from the Orlando Magic.

In a three-team trade with the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls, Charlotte received center Bismack Biyombo and two future second-round picks in the 2019 and 2020 NBA Drafts while sending Timofey Mozgov to the Magic and Julyan Stone to the Bulls.

Additionally, Orlando received guard Jerian Grant from Chicago in the deal.

Biyombo played in all 82 regular-season games with Orlando last season (25 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and a team-high 1.2 blocks in 18.2 minutes per contest. With 95 blocked shots in 2017-18, he ranked 19th in the NBA. Biyombo scored in double figures 14 times, including a career-high 21 points at Washington on Jan. 12. He also recorded seven double-doubles last season.

The seventh-year center began his NBA career in Charlotte after being selected by Sacramento in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft and sent to Charlotte in a draft night trade. Biyombo has appeared in 529 career NBA regular-s‎eason games (210 starts) with Charlotte, Toronto and Orlando, averaging 5.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game, while shooting .513 (992-1933) from the floor. He has also played in 23 career NBA playoff contests (11 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24.1 minutes per game.

Biyombo, who played for Charlotte from 2011-14, remains fifth in Hornets history in career blocks (443) and blocks per game (1.6), and ranks seventh in career offensive rebounds (571).

Mozgov was acquired by the Hornets in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets on July 6, 2018. Mozgov holds career averages of 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game over the course of eight NBA seasons with the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.

Stone (6-6, 200) has played in the NBA for four seasons with career averages of 1.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He went undrafted in 2011, but signed with the Denver Nuggets as a free agent and made his NBA debut on Jan. 11, 2012. Stone has also seen time with the Toronto Raptors (2013-14), and most recently with the Hornets, where he played in 23 games in the 2017-18 season. He also has G League experience with the Idaho Stampede, Iowa Energy and Greensboro Swarm.

Hornets sign rookie Devonte` Graham

The Charlotte Hornets have signed rookie guard Devonte’ Graham.

The Hornets acquired the rights to Graham, the 34th overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, from the Atlanta Hawks in a draft night trade. Graham, a 6-2 guard from Kansas, was the 2017-18 Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American after averaging 17.3 points, 7.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 37.8 minutes in 39 games played as a senior at Kansas. He led the Big 12 and ranked ninth nationally in minutes played, ranked second in the Big 12 and sixth nationally in assists, ranked second in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6) and ranked third in the Big 12 in scoring. The native of Raleigh, North Carolina, set school single-season records for total assists (282) and minutes played (1,474), and was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award and Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.

Graham concluded his four-year career with the Jayhawks ranked second in school history in minutes played (4,498), second in three-point field goals (296), fifth in assists (632), seventh in steals (197), 11th in three-point percentage (.409) and 13th in scoring (1,750). During his four seasons, Kansas won four Big 12 regular-season titles and two Big 12 Tournaments and reached three NCAA Tournament Elite Eights and one Final Four.

The Charlotte Hornets today acquired a 2019 second-round draft pick and cash considerations from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the draft rights to Hamidou Diallo, the 45th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Hornets acquired Diallo’s rights, along with center Timofey Mozgov, a 2021 second-round draft pick and cash considerations, from the Brooklyn Nets earlier today in exchange for Dwight Howard.

Diallo (6-5, 198), was originally selected by the Brooklyn Nets with the 45th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Kentucky product started all 37 games as a redshirt freshman and averaged 10.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.8 minutes per game and scored in double figures in 16 games.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Diallo represented the U.S. in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup and 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

The Charlotte Hornets have acquired center Timofey Mozgov, the draft rights to Hamidou Diallo (45th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft), a 2021 second-round draft pick and cash considerations from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Dwight Howard.

According to multiple reports, the Nets will likely buy out Howard’s contract. After that, Howard may sign with the Wizards.

UPDATE: The Nets have waived Howard.

An eight-year NBA veteran, Mozgov has played in 454 career games (273 starts) for the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets with career averages of 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game. The 7-1 center was a member of Cleveland’s NBA Championship team in 2015-16. In his lone season with the Nets in 2017-18, Mozgov appeared in 31 games (13 starts) and averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest.

Howard originally joined the Hornets on June 20, 2017, in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks. He played in and started 81 games in Charlotte, averaging 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game.

The Charlotte Hornets have declined to give Treveon Graham and Marcus Paige qualifying offers, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Both players will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Graham, a 6-5 guard/forward from Virginia Commonwealth, appeared in 90 games for the Hornets during the last two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18), averaging 3.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game. He was originally signed by Charlotte as a free agent on July 26, 2016.

Paige signed a two-way contract with Charlotte on Aug. 2, 2017. In 2017-18, the 6-1 guard from North Carolina appeared in five games with the Hornets, averaging 2.4 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 5.6 minutes per contest. He also appeared in 46 games (39 starts) for the Hornets G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, averaging 15.2 points, 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per game.

Should the Hornets trade Kemba Walker?

The Hornets are going nowhere fast. They get big production from Kemba Walker, but Dwight Howard is on his way out, and the rest of the squad is mostly supporting cast material. (A healthy Nic Batum can be excellent. But anyway:) Should the Hornets trade Walker? Here’s the Charlotte Observer with some opinion:

Next season will be the last on Kemba’s contract. He will make $12 million, which is to the NBA what $8 an hour is to the rest of North Carolina. He is a blue-light special bargain. He never will be again.

If the Hornets don’t trade him, they could lose him after next season. He can walk, and his employer gets nothing.

If the Hornets retain Kemba, he presumably will insist on a five-year contract. No other team can sign him to more than four. And he will want huge money, Nic Batum money, and he has earned it. The Hornets signed Batum to a five-year $120 million contract.

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