The Charlotte Hornets had a shopping list and a math problem Monday.
They needed a backup point guard and a big man still capable of fitting into the playing rotation. And combined, those two players had to fit into a little more than $10 million in room under the salary cap.
Quickly as free agents were agreeing to deals, there was some urgency to complete this process before whatever talent left was exhausted. That had to be balanced with the reality they didn’t have the cap flexibility to overspend.
The Hornets’ front office checked off both boxes Monday, coming to terms with point guard Ramon Sessions and center Roy Hibbert.
According to a knowledgeable source, Sessions will sign a two-season deal. If he’s here for both seasons, he’ll make a total of $12.3 million. However, the second of those seasons is at the Hornets’ option.
Hibbert will sign a one-season contract for $5 million.
The Hornets had already come to terms with two of their own players, forwards Nic Batum and Marvin Williams, and have a trade pending with the Sacramento Kings that will acquire shooting guard Marco Belinelli.
None of these transactions can become official until the NBA’s annual moratorium on signings ends Thursday. That’s when the NBA’s new salary cap of just more than $94 million per team will become official.
Sessions spent one season with the then-Bobcats in Charlotte and was traded the next season to the Milwaukee Bucks. His biggest strength was probably the ability to create trips to the foul line with his moves to the rim.
Sessions, 30, grew up in Myrtle Beach. He last played for the Washington Wizards, where he averaged 9.9 points and 2.2 assists. Sessions was a fill-in starter at the end of last season when John Wall missed the end of the season with injury.
Sessions said after the season that he hoped to find a team where he could compete for a starting spot, but with the Hornets, he’ll play behind incumbent Kemba Walker.
The Hornets needed another big man after center Al Jefferson left in free agency. Jefferson agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract with the Indiana Pacers.
Hibbert, 7-foot-2, was twice an All-Star when he played for the Pacers, the second of those appearances during the 2013-14 season. But he fell out of favor with Pacers player-personnel chief Larry Bird, and was traded to the Lakers before last season.
Hibbert struggled with the Lakers, scoring a career-low 5.9 points and a modest 4.9 rebounds. He averaged 23 minutes per game, his fewest since his rookie season in 2008-09.
After agreements with Sessions and Hibbert, the Hornets’ primary needs are addressed. The Hornets could keep looking for trades or perhaps use a veteran-minimum slot on a third point guard, but the roster as currently constructed could be enough for training camp.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell