Trio of undrafted free agents who played at NC State, UNC find teams after NBA draft

Ethan Hyman/ehyman@newsobserver.com
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N.C. State guard Dereon Seabron found a home — or two, actually — as did former North Carolina forward Garrison Brooks. UNC forward Brady Manek signed with the Charlotte Hornets Friday evening after not getting picked in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

Seabron signed a two-way contract with the New Orleans Pelicans early Friday morning. Brooks, who played at Carolina from 2017-21 before spending last season as a graduate transfer at Mississippi State, signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the New York Knicks.

The two-way contract means Seabron will split time being active between New Orleans and its G League affiliate, the Birmingham Squadron. The collective bargaining agreement stipulates a two-way player can spend no more than 45 days on their NBA team.

Seabron, who was a third-year sophomore for the Wolfpack, will have his pay based on how much time he spends in each league.

The 6-foot-7 native of Norfolk, Virginia, had his breakout season jumping from just 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds as a freshman to 17.3 points and 8.2 rebounds as a sophomore. He earned the ACC’s Most Improved Player award and was named second-team all-ACC as a result.

The Exhibit 10 contract means the 6-foot-9 Brooks signed a one-year deal for a minimum salary. The Knicks essentially control his G League rights with the agreement. New York could convert the deal into a two-way contract before the regular season begins. Or if Brooks is cut in training camp, he could earn a bonus of up to $50,000 if he signs with the franchise’s G League affiliate (Westchester Knicks) and stays for at least 60 days.

Brooks expanded his game in his only season with the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-9 forward had just 15 3-point attempts in four seasons with the Heels, but led MSU with a 34.2 3-point percentage, making 26 of 76 attempts. Brooks averaged 10.4 points and led the team with 6.6 rebounds per game and 27 blocked shots.

Manek, a 6-foot-9, native of Harrah, Oklahoma, had a furious run to close the season that helped garner a closer look from NBA teams.

The graduate transfer from Oklahoma played just one season at Carolina. He had a solid start to the season, but his game took off when Dawson Garcia left the team and he was forced to play more minutes.

Manek averaged 16.9 points, shot 43.1 percent from 3-point range and 50.3 percent from the field in the final 21 games after Garcia left. All of those marks were increases from the first 18 games with Garcia, when Manek averaged 12.9 points, shot 36.1 percent from 3 and shot 47.8 percent from the floor.

Manek was not invited to the NBA combine, but he did play in a G League showcase that preceded it. From there, he worked out for several teams including the Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans.