Thursday , Jul , 06 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets ink pair of first round draft picks

Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – The Hornets continued a flurry of
activity in wake of the NBA Draft by signing their two first round draft
picks, Hilton Armstrong and Cedric Simmons, to contracts late Wednesday.

“We’re excited to have Hilton and Cedric officially signed so they can begin
their NBA careers,” said Hornets general manager Jeff Bower. “We look forward
to their Hornets debut in summer league and to watching them develop as we
head toward the start of the regular season.”

Armstrong blossomed during his senior season at Connecticut, taking home Big
East Defensive Player of Year honors while averaging 9.7 points, 6.6
rebounds and 3.2 blocks per contest.

Simmons was an honorable mention All-ACC Selection and an All-ACC Defensive
team performer as a sophomore with North Carolina State last season. The big
man totaled 11.8 points per game and 6.3 rebounds for the Wolfpack while his
115 career blocks ranks seventh best in school history.

Before inking the pair of young frontline stoppers, the Hornets kicked off
free agency by agreeing to terms with several players. New Orleans/Oklahoma
City improved its backcourt by reportedly agreeing to contracts with Bobby
Jackson and Peja Stojakovic and yesterday apparently added more size to its
frontcourt by trading P.J. Brown and J.R. Smith to Chicago for Tyson Chandler.
Those deals can’t become official until July 12th.