August 22, 2014
Charlotte Hornets sign P.J. Hairston to rookie-scale contract
The Charlotte Hornets have signed rookie P.J. Hairston, the former North Carolina shooting guard they acquired in a draft-night trade with the Miami Heat.
The Heat chose Hairston 26th overall before dealing his draft rights to the Hornets. Under the NBA’s rookie pay scale for first-round picks, Hairston will get a guarantee the next two seasons totaling about $2 million. The Hornets would then hold two one-season options on Hairston before he’d become a restricted free agent.
The Hornets previously signed the No. 9 pick, former Indiana forward Noah Vonleh. Hairston originally retained an agent who hadn’t been certified by the NBA Players Association. That situation had to be resolved before the Hornets could sign Hairston.
A 6-6 shooting guard, Hairston played in the NBA’s Development League last season after being ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Hairston averaged 21.8 points and shot 45 percent from the field and 36 percent from the 3-point line for the D-League’s Texas Legends.
With Hairston’s signing, the Hornets now have 14 players under contract with training camp a little more than a month away in Asheville. Coach Steve Clifford has said he’d like to see the team sign a third center.
August 13, 2014
New-look Hornets will open at home against the Milwaukee Bucks
The new-look Charlotte Hornets will play their first regular-season game at home Oct. 29 against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Observer confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
Also, the Hornets will host the Memphis Grizzlies Nov. 1 in their first season rebranded from their original Bobcats identity.
The NBA will release all 30 teams’ regular-season schedules at around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Bobcats received permission from the league to rebrand as the Hornets, Charlotte’s original NBA franchise. They’ll start the upcoming season with a teal-and-purple color scheme for uniforms, playing surface and signage.
Based on recent history, the Hornets should have a strong chance to open 1-0. The Bobcats won their last five games against the Bucks, sweeping the 2013-14 series 4-0.
The Bucks are rebuilding around former Duke star Jabari Parker, who Milwaukee drafted second overall. Meanwhile the Hornets/Bobcats are looking to reach the playoffs for the second straight season. The Bobcats went 43-39 last season, the first coached by Steve Clifford.
The Bucks game will also be the regular-season debut for new Hornets Lance Stephenson, Noah Vonleh and P.J. Hairston.