2016-17 Season in Review | Johnny O’Bryant
By Sam Perley, hornets.com
2016-17 Review | Johnny O’Bryant
More from Johnny's 2016-17 season:
Another late-season addition to the roster, forward Johnny O’Bryant signed with the Charlotte Hornets in late February only to parlay his efforts into a multi-year deal with the organization. Although O’Bryant’s season ended prematurely, his play this year provided the Hornets with glimpses of another potential frontcourt option down the line.
A second-round pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014, O’Bryant was waived by the Washington Wizards in preseason before latching on with the NBA D-League’s Northern Arizona Suns in mid-November. He averaged 18.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25 total games for the team this year, earning the former LSU Tiger a NBA D-League All-Star berth in the process.
O’Bryant’s impressive play landed him a pair of 10-day deals with the Denver Nuggets in late January, where he averaged 2.9 points on 46.7 percent shooting and 1.6 rebounds in 6.6 minutes over seven total appearances.
O’Bryant Settles in Charlotte
After the Nuggets declined to sign him for the rest of the season, O’Bryant inked the first of another two 10-day deals with the Hornets on Feb. 24. He made his debut for the team on March 2 and one game later erupted for a career-high 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting and a season-high six rebounds in Charlotte’s 112-102 road win over O’Bryant’s former Denver squad.
Two games after his career performance, O’Bryant exited midway through the team’s 108-101 road loss to the Miami Heat on March 8 with a sprained right ankle. Although the injury ultimately ended O’Bryant’s season, the Hornets still secured his rights by signing him for the rest of the year on March 16.
“It was frustrating [to get hurt] especially because I was playing really well before the injury. It’s all a part of basketball and you just got to take the good with the bad,” said O’Bryant during exit interviews on April 12.
In four appearances with the Hornets this year, O’Bryant registered 4.5 points on 53.3 percent shooting and 2.0 rebounds in 8.6 minutes of action. Overall, the 23-year-old averaged 3.5 points on 50.0 percent shooting and 1.7 rebounds in 7.3 minutes over 11 total NBA games this season for both Denver and Charlotte.
2017-18 Season Outlook
O’Bryant has a non-guaranteed contract with the Hornets for the 2017-18 campaign, which will essentially act as a team option if he can make the roster out of training camp next year. During end-of-season media availability, O’Bryant looked back on his tenure with the Hornets organization so far.
“I came here on a 10-day [contract] and got to play right away and then unfortunately got hurt. My time [in Charlotte] has been cool. I like the guys, coaching staff. Everybody welcomed me with open arms. I feel like I fit in pretty well. Guys like Kemba, MKG and a lot of other guys helped me when I got here with everything from the defense to the offense.”
“I’m going to try and stay off the ankle and make sure it’s completely healed. Before I come back, I always want to make sure I’m in the best shape possible. Continue to work on my range, my offensive game and just be ready to bring that toughness.”
O’Bryant is expected to play for Charlotte in the Orlando Pro Summer League beginning on July 1 along with Treveon Graham, Briante Weber and any of the team’s incoming rookies.