Charlotte Hornets sign former UCLA/Nuggets big man Thomas Welsh

Charlotte Hornets Thomas Welsh (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Thomas Welsh (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets announced the signing of former UCLA Bruins and Denver Nuggets player Thomas Welsh this morning.

Eighteen. That’s how many players the Charlotte Hornets have under contract right now and will be bringing to training camp. They’ll have to eventually trim the roster down before the start of the 2019-20 season, but Charlotte is doing their due diligence.

Their latest signing, Thomas Welsh, was the 58th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and started his career on a two-way contract with the Nuggets. Welsh was waived by Denver earlier this off-season and will now join a young, rebuilding team in Charlotte.

His odds of making the final roster are low, but signing him and bringing him to training camp allows Charlotte to maintain his rights. He’s going to suit up for the Greensboro Swarm and is worth keeping an eye on after averaging 10.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in the G-League last season.

Welsh is an interesting prospect. He’s not the most physically polarizing player, but he relies on skill and basketball IQ to make an impact. In college, he was known for his mid-range shooting. He was a pick-and-pop master and rarely missed from that range.

During his senior year at UCLA, Welsh averaged 12.6 points and 10.8 rebounds while shooting 40 percent from deep. He put himself on draft radar after the strong season and even had a pre-draft workout with Charlotte prior to the draft.

Since entering the NBA, Welsh has been working on extending his range. He hasn’t gotten the chance to showcase it much, but in 11 games with the Nuggets last year, Welsh made three three-pointers and shot over 40 percent from deep.

I know it’s a small sample size, but if he can continue to improve from the outside, he could become a serviceable big coming off the bench. For now, he’ll have to show that he belongs by continuing to play well in the G-League.

Despite not playing a lot, Welsh was a favorite in the Nuggets locker room last season. His teammates loved being around him and appreciated the hard work he put in throughout the season. It’s good to have a guy like Welsh in the locker room; a guy who is team-first and so positive.

After signing Welsh, the Charlotte Hornets are nearly set for next months training camp. They have two roster spots left, and one of those spots figures to go to second round draft choice Jalen McDaniels. Welsh will fight for a spot on the roster, but I don’t think he’ll get it.

This move was strictly for adding him to the Swarm for next season. Charlotte clearly likes his game, so we’ll see how he does during the G-League season and maybe he can get another NBA shot at some point, hopefully with the Hornets.

The Swarm are going to have some legit talent for this upcoming season by adding the likes of Welsh, Josh Perkins and Robert Franks to the roster. Franks is on a two-way contract and will likely see heavy minutes in the G-League.

Next. Predicting each players stats for 2019-20 season. dark

Thomas Welsh is a good player, but also a good human. Even if the odds are stacked against him, he’s going to fight hard in training camp and try to find a way to make it onto the Charlotte Hornets official roster.