The Charlotte Hornets will bring two more players from their summer-league roster — guards Joe Chealey and Josh Perkins — to training camp in September.
Both players signed NBA Exhibit 10 contracts — low-guarantee deals that allow teams to control marginal players going into training camp. Based on these signings, and those of rookies Cody and Caleb Martin last week, the Hornets have 17 players under contract.
Chealey, a 6-3 guard from the College of Charleston, played for the Hornets on a two-way contract last season, spending most of his time with the G League Greensboro Swarm. Perkins, a 6-3 guard out of Gonzaga, played well at Las Vegas Summer League after not being selected in June’s draft. He averaged seven points, three assists, a steal and 20 minutes in four summer-league games.
Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said in July he saw more need for depth at guard than at forward or center. Kupchak’s major offseason move has been a sign-and-trade for former Boston Celtics point guard Terry Rozier, to replace Kemba Walker, who signed with the Celtics.
As the roster stands, Rozier and center Cody Zeller look like locks to start. Other strong candidates to start are Dwayne Bacon and Miles Bridges. There will likely be a competition between Malik Monk and Nic Batum to start at one of the wing positions and probably Bridges and Marvin Williams at power forward.
The Hornets are well over next season’s NBA salary cap. Kupchak still has access to the mid-level exception, but the summer free agent market has mostly dried up after an initial flurry of signings and trades in early July.
The Hornets have two of their three draft picks — first-rounder PJ Washington and second-rounder Cody Martin — under contract. Their second of two second-rounders, San Diego State forward Jalen McDaniels, is not yet signed. It’s possible the Hornets will use a two-way contract on McDaniels. They already signed Washington State forward Robert Franks to one of their two two-ways.