The Charlotte Hornets tendered a minimum contract to second-round pick Jalen McDaniels on Tuesday, which protects the Hornets’ draft rights should McDaniels sign elsewhere.
That tender offer is only for a rookie minimum salary (about $900,000) and is not guaranteed, so it’s unlikely McDaniels would sign such a contract. It’s possible McDaniels, a 6-10 forward out of San Diego State, could still end up in Hornets training camp either on a two-way contract or some other minimum deal.
The Hornets open training camp Oct. 1 and have 18 players signed, 13 of them to guarantees. The Hornets can have up to 15 players on the regular-season roster, plus up to two two-way contracts, designed for developmental players who would play primarily in the G-League next season.
A source confirmed an ESPN report that the Hornets are interested in Virginia Tech shooting guard Ahmed Hill. However, the source said Hill has not yet been signed. The Hornets can bring up to 20 players to training camp and are expected to use all 20 spots for this camp.
Unlimited Digital Access: Only $0.99 For Your First Month
Get full access to The Charlotte Observer content across all your devices.
While the Hornets can have a pair of players under two-way contracts, that can be a fluid situation; financial obligations for two-ways are small, so the Hornets would have the flexibility to shift those contracts based on performance. Shortly after the draft, the Hornets signed Washington State forward Robert Franks with the intention of him filling a two-way contract.
Hill played four college seasons at Virginia Tech. He was a strong 3-point shooter for the Hokies (39 percent for his career) and averaged 13.1 points his senior season. Hill played for the Brooklyn Nets’ summer-league team, averaging 6.8 points and shooting 41 percent from the NBA 3-point line.
McDaniels was drafted 52nd overall, the second of the Hornets’ two second-round picks, after they selected Nevada guard-forward Cody Martin 36th overall. General manager Mitch Kupchak said prior to the draft that he anticipated both second-rounders being on the roster for the 2019-20 season.
The Hornets knew when they drafted McDaniels that he was being sued by two women from the Seattle area, who accused him of taking videos of each of them during sexual activity without their consent. Kupchak said on draft night he was aware of the lawsuit, declining further comment.
In 2018, the Hornets drafted Lithuanian forward Arnoldas Kulboka 55th overall with the intention of Kulboka staying in Europe and developing while the Hornets retained his rights.
McDaniels played sparingly for the Hornets’ summer-league team, averaging just 13 minutes in five games in Las Vegas. He averaged 3.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 39 percent shooting from the field.