Charlotte Hornets: Why Briante Weber is the Answer at Backup Point Guard

Mar 12, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Briante Weber (2) reacts against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Grizzlies 95-83. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Briante Weber (2) reacts against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Grizzlies 95-83. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Briante Weber is the newest backcourt option for the Charlotte Hornets and he seems to be the perfect fit for the backup point guard role going forward.

The backup point guard spot has been a question mark this season for the Charlotte Hornets. After going through multiple options, the team still hasn’t found a reliable player to play behind Kemba Walker. Briante Weber might be the answer that they have been searching for as they recently signed him to a 10-day deal. (Shams Charania)

With the summer signing of Ramon Sessions not working out the way the Hornets had hoped, then with his major knee injury, Steve Clifford has been forced to use Brian Roberts over the past few weeks. Looking at their stats, neither of those two players have lived up to expectations. Ray McCallum, who the team signed to two 10-day contracts, didn’t work out either as he never appeared in a game for Charlotte.

Once his second 10-day deal expired, Rich Cho and the front office were on the search for backcourt depth once again. Luckily, Weber’s second 10-day contract with the Golden State Warriors expired at the same time and instead of keeping him for the remainder of the season, the defending Western Conference champions chose to go in a different direction with Jose Calderon.

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That worked in the Hornets favor as they were able to sign Briante, the guy they wanted to get all along. Charlotte was originally linked to the 24-year old point guard before he chose to sign with the Warriors. They decided to go with McCallum as a plan B but now, nearly a month later, the team has their guy.

There is something to be said about the Hornets acquisition of Weber. Many might see it as a simple 10-day contract but it speaks volumes that the 6’2 guard was Charlotte’s top target earlier this year. Not to mention that the team also passed on Brandon Jennings as they were “happy” with the move for Briante. (Marc Stein)

Looking at his fit with their current roster, Weber can slide right into the third point guard role being Kemba and Roberts with Sessions out. That will be his role at the very least but Briante can easily make the backup point guard spot his own. There is no definite date for Ramon’s return and even when he does, the veteran hasn’t played all that well this season.

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As for Brian, he hasn’t been a convincing backup to Walker during the past few weeks. Since February 1st, he only averaging 3.4 points per game and 1.9 assists per game in 10.7 minutes per game. It is clear that Steve Clifford doesn’t totally trust his backups enough as he has been forced to use Kemba for a large chunk of minutes recently.

If Weber plays above the level of Ramon and Brian, he could take over the backup point guard spot for the remainder of the season (providing the team signs him for that long). Briante has bounced around a bit during his NBA career after going undrafted in the 2015 draft out of VCU as he’s played for the Memphis Grizzlies, the Miami Heat and the Warriors, including a few stints in the D-League.

That isn’t to discredit him because the Virginia native was ranked as the highest prospect in the D-League this season. During his time in the D-League this year with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Weber averaged 16.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 7.4 APG while shooting 45.6% from the field and 35.9% from three in 36.8 minutes per game. he also recorded 11 double-doubles and five triple-doubles in only 31 games.

While Briante isn’t a lights out shooter from deep, he has more than enough shooting ability to make an outside shot with consistency. His length will give the Hornets some size on the perimeter and his playmaking ability is up there with some of the best in the D-League. What I think he will bring best to Charlotte is his ability to attack the rim and score inside. We saw only glimpses of that with Golden State this year but his D-League highlights will showcase that on full display.

More than anything else, it looks like Weber truly wants to be a part of the Hornets and make a name for himself in the NBA with the Charlotte franchise. In a short talk, Briante told Oliver Maroney of Dime on UPROXX, “I look forward to bringing maximum energy to this team,” Weber said. “I’m going to do whatever this team needs for us to win. I will bring some grit, toughness and a pitbull mentality to this team.” (

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We’ll have to wait and see how Steve Clifford uses Briante during his 10-day contract but it couldn’t hurt a team that’s already struggling to give a young prospect a shot. If they give him a few minutes a game, the Charlotte Hornets can see what Weber brings to the table. If he plays well, they can sign him to a second 10-day deal then eventually long term.