Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets won’t extend qualifying offer to center Bismack Biyombo

The Charlotte Hornets chose not to make a $4.1 million qualifying offer to center Bismack Biyombo (with ball) to restrict his free agency.
The Charlotte Hornets chose not to make a $4.1 million qualifying offer to center Bismack Biyombo (with ball) to restrict his free agency. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The Charlotte Hornets informed center Bismack Biyombo Monday the team will not extend him a $4.1 million qualifying offer to restrict his upcoming free agency.

Hornets general manager Rich Cho on the decision: “Based on the trades we made, we don’t have room in the front court.”

Cho said he was referring to drafting Frank Kaminsky and trading for Spencer Hawes in the deal that sent Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles Clippers. The other big men on the Hornets roster are Al Jefferson, Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams.

The Hornets traded for Biyombo’s draft rights in June of 2011 in a pre-arranged deal with the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings. He was chosen seventh overall, two spots before the Hornets drafted point guard Kemba Walker.

The Hornets made the decision to trade into the No. 7 slot in that draft shortly after Cho was hired. He had closely monitored Biyombo’s development playing professionally in Spain.

Biyombo made 64 game appearances and 21 starts for the Hornets last season, filling in for the injured Al Jefferson. He averaged 4.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.53 shots blocked last season.

Biyombo never developed into much of a scorer in four seasons as a Bobcat/Hornet. However, he was their best defensive big man, particularly as a rim protector.

The Hornets are also not expected to extend a qualifying offer to small forward Jeff Taylor. The then-Bobcats drafted Taylor with the first pick of the second round of the 2012 draft.

Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell

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