Free agent guard Elliot Williams can’t predict how long he’ll be with the Charlotte Hornets this time.
But this much he knows: This stint will be longer than his previous one.
The Hornets signed Williams to a 10-day contract in February. He lasted just five days before being waived because the Hornets needed a roster spot to facilitate the trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Mo Williams and Troy Daniels.
Williams understood being cut because the Hornets needed immediately help at the point with Kemba Walker hurt. But he never got a chance to show what he might do in Charlotte, so he appreciates this second chance.
“Circumstances happened and I left,” Williams said Tuesday after signing a contract at Time Warner Cable Arena. “This year I’m excited for training camp. I’m coming in trying to do all I can with my intangibles and try to make the team.”
Williams is the 16th player the Hornets have signed for a maximum 15 regular-season roster spots. Something else, like a trade or an injury, might have to happen for him to have a realistic shot at staying beyond the preseason. But he appreciates the chance to be here in September, preparing for the season.
The Hornets signed Elliot Williams to a 10-day contract in February, but he only lasted five days before being waived to facilitate a trade.
Williams, 6-6, has played 104 NBA games for four different franchises – the Portland Trail Blazers, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Trail Blazers selected him with the 22nd overall pick of the 2010 draft, but he never stuck with Portland because of a variety of injuries.
He missed the 2010-11 season following knee surgery and later suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.
“Last year was my (first) really-full year of being healthy,” said Williams, who spent most of last season in the NBA’s Development League. “Now I feel like I’m 100 percent and ready to go.”
Williams said he feels a level of comfort with the Hornets for multiple reasons: General manager Rich Cho and assistant general manager Chad Buchanan were both with the Trail Blazers when Williams played there. Also Williams started his college career at Duke before transferring to Memphis.
“Last time I didn’t get on the court because of a trade,” Williams said. “This time I’ll just show them what I can do. I’ve gotten a lot healthier. A lot of things in the past they were unsure about” because of his injuries.
In his limited stints around the NBA Williams has averaged 5.4 points on 43 percent shooting from the field. He can play point guard or shooting guard.
While he’s likely on the outside looking in in regards to the Hornets’ regular-season roster, Williams said he feels no special need to make an immediate impression.
“You can’t think like that,” Williams said. “You just have to come and play your game. The coaching staff, they have a plan and all I can do is what I do and play well.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell