Barring an unforeseen holdup, the Charlotte Hornets should have Julyan Stone under contract later this week to be their third point guard.
Stone has gotten his release from Venice-based team Umana Reyer Venezia after several weeks of negotiations, an informed source told the Observer. A 6-6 combo guard, Stone played last season for that team, which won the Italian championship.
Stone signed a new contract with Umana Reyer earlier this season. He asked for his release because of a family medical crisis: His father is in a coronary care unit with severe heart, lung and kidney ailments. Stone wants to play in the United States this winter to be closer to his father.
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Stone is expected to sign a two-year contract with the Hornets for the veteran minimum, probably Thursday or Friday. He can’t sign until the Hornets receive a letter from FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, saying he is no longer under contract elsewhere.
Stone will be the Hornets’ third point guard behind starter Kemba Walker and backup Michael Carter-Williams. His size is a plus: It makes him suitable to play either guard spot and also can help compensate for rookie Malik Monk’s relative lack of height. Monk, a star last season at Kentucky, is 6-3, somewhat small for shooting guard by NBA standards.
Stone went unselected in the 2011 NBA draft after completing his college eligibility at Texas El-Paso. He last played in the NBA in the 2013-14 season for the Toronto Raptors. Previous to that, he played two seasons with the Denver Nuggets.
Since 2014, Stone has played internationally (both Turkey and Italy) and in the G-League (the Fort Wayne Mad Ants).