Hornets Sign Four Undrafted Free Agents
The Charlotte Hornets have signed Jalen Crutcher, Anthony Duruji, Jaylen Sims and Isaiah Whaley, President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced Monday. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Crutcher, a 6-2 guard, averaged 16.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from 3-point range last season in 33 games with the Greensboro Swarm. He recorded 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in five contests with the Hornets in the NBA 2K23 Summer League.
Crutcher appeared in 118 games (108 starts) over four seasons (2017-21) at Dayton, averaging 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 34.7 minutes per game for his career. He helped the Flyers to a 29-2 record and a No. 3 ranking in the final AP Poll as a junior. As a senior, Crutcher posted 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists and was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 for the second-consecutive season.
A 6-7 forward, Duruji held averages of 8.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 120 games (97 starts) across four seasons at Louisiana Tech (2017-19) and Florida (2020-22). Duruji averaged 9.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in two seasons at Louisiana Tech before transferring to Florida, where he spent his final two collegiate seasons and averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Sims, a Charlotte native, posted 12.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in 112 contests (70 starts) over four seasons (2018-22) at UNC Wilmington. Sims, a 6-6 guard, led the Seahawks to a 27-9 record and a Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title as a senior, notching team-highs in points (16.4) and rebounds (5.8), while also contributing 2.4 assists per game. He earned all-state recognition as a high school senior at United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte.
Whaley, who starred at Evelyn Mack Academy in Charlotte, appeared in 138 games (72 starts) in five seasons (2017-22) at UConn, averaging 5.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 18.9 minutes per game. A 6-9 forward, Whaley earned Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2020-21 after averaging career-highs in steals (1.0) and blocks (2.6). He was a part of the Hornets’ NBA 2K23 Summer League roster but did not see action.