Mangok Mathiang is getting his NBA opportunity. On Tuesday, he signed a two-way contract with the Charlotte Hornets, which will allow him to dabble on the roster while spending the bulk of his time with the team's G-League affiliate. He wasn't the only player to be extended an olive branch from the organization, though; Charlotte will also be bringing in Marcus Paige, who shares a connection with team owner Michael Jordan.

Mathiang gets a deal

Mathiang is a former center for the Louisville Cardinals. Last season, the 24-year old averaged 7.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. After going undrafted, he joined the Hornets' Summer League squad, where he averaged 4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 53.3% from the floor. His collegiate team lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to the Michigan Wolverines, but Mathiang served as Rick Pitino's captain for the year.

The Australia native will likely get the opportunity to get plenty of run at the G-League level. He never attempted a three-pointer in college, so he doesn't have the perimeter game of the modern NBA big man. But his 6-foot-10 frame should allow him to develop into a decent rebound artist and shot blocker at the next level. During his stints with the Hornets, Mathiang should attempt to learn from new Charlotte center Dwight Howard, who was one of the best defenders in the league towards the beginning of his career.

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Charlotte signs Marcus Paige

In addition to Mathiang, Marcus Paige is getting a two-way deal with the Hornets as well. The former North Carolina Tar Heel was a senior leader for the team two years ago when they barely fell short of a national title in the championship game against the Villanova Wildcats. He spent most of last season on the Utah Jazz's development team after being traded from the Brooklyn Nets; Paige averaged 12.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in 46 appearances, including 40 starts.

Paige spent this summer on the Minnesota Timberwolves' team but didn't earn a contract. His signing could be seen as a favor from one Tar Heel - Hornets owner Michael Jordan - to another. He'll work hard to validate his place on an NBA roster, though. Like Mathiang, he'll have a great player to learn from at the next level in Charlotte: Kemba Walker. The two signings are prospects at best, but their success at college suggests they could become factors at the next level.

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