Former Texas Longhorns guard Kerwin Roach II didn’t hear his name called last Thursday during the 2019 NBA Draft, but he will have an opportunity to make an impression on the league when he plays with the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA Summer League.
On Monday, news broke that Roach signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Hornets:
After going undrafted, Kerwin Roach has signed a deal with the Charlotte Hornets, according to league source.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 24, 2019
Lasting 11 days and featuring 83 games, the Las Vegas showcase is a key event for undrafted prospects like Roach. A spot on the Hornets roster is the fringe goal, but the more reasonable expectations are to land a two-way contract or land on an affiliated G League roster.
Each team will play for initial games, with the top eight teams advancing to a tournament with the Summer League championship on the line.
Aside from the defensive ability and pure athleticism that make Roach a potentially intriguing player for an NBA organization interested in tracking his progress if he does opt for a season in the G League, Roach also has plenty of ability in the pick-and-roll game:
The Hornets now have two elite creators out of the pick-and-roll on their summer league roster. When including passes, UDFA rookies Kerwin Roach (11.8 points per game) and Josh Perkins (11.4 PPG) both ranked Top 50 in total scoring among all D1 players on this play type. pic.twitter.com/aZD7KCVYl1— Bryan Kalbrosky (@BryanKalbrosky) June 24, 2019
During the NIT run, particularly in the semifinals against TCU, Roach showed that he can be effective running off stagger screens and curling into the paint for aggressive drives to the basket.
Roach averaged 15.1 points per game to lead the Longhorns as a senior, but his final campaign on the Forty Acres was marred by two suspensions bookending the season, with the second particularly damaging. During that final stretch of the regular season, Texas went 1-4, then lost its first game in the Big 12 tournament.