The Charlotte Hornets have invited NBA veterans Norris Cole and Donald Sloan to work out this week, as they look to fill their third point-guard spot next season.
Cole, 28, played 13 games last season for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was beaten out for the Thunder’s backup spot, behind Russell Westbrook, by Semaj Christon. Cole has played six NBA seasons, mostly with the Miami Heat. He has also played for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Sloan, 29, played in China last season. He has played for five NBA franchises: Brooklyn, Indiana, New Orleans, Cleveland and Atlanta. Sloan also played for the Guangdong Southern Tigers, who advanced to the finals of the Chinese Basketball Association last season before losing to Xinjiang Flying Tigers.
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The Hornets are looking for a third option at the point behind starter Kemba Walker and recently-signed backup Michael Carter-Williams. It’s possible they will audition other point guards this week, in addition to Cole and Sloan. David Pick, who covers international basketball, first reported the Hornets’ interest in Sloan.
The Hornets have Briante Weber under contract, after Weber played 13 games for Charlotte last season. He averaged 3.8 points and 1.3 rebounds. Weber, 24, has a total of 27 NBA game appearances over two seasons.
Weber started at point guard on the Hornets’ summer-league team in Orlando, Fla. He said in June the Hornets have to decide by early August whether to exercise the option on his $1.47 million salary for next season.
Hornets general manager Rich Cho has said the team would like to firm up the third point-guard spot and possibly add a front-court player before training camp in late September. With the Hornets inching toward the NBA’s luxury-tax line next season (about $119 million), it’s likely those spots would be veteran-minimum salaries.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell