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NBA dreams proceed for Dereon Seabron, former UNC forwards

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N.C. State’s Dereon Seabron (1) heads to the basket during the second half of Clemson’s 70-64 victory over N.C. State in the first round of the ACC men’s basketball tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Tuesday, March 8, 2022.

N.C. State’s Dereon Seabron (1) heads to the basket through the second half of Clemson’s 70-64 victory over N.C. State in the primary round of the ACC men’s basketball tournament on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Tuesday, March 8, 2022.

ehyman@newsobserver.com

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

Seabron signed a two-way contract with the Latest 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 Latest York Knicks.

The 2-way contract means Seabron will split time being energetic between Latest Orleans and its G League affiliate, the Birmingham Squadron. The collective bargaining agreement stipulates a two-way player can spend not more than 45 days on their NBA team.

Seabron, who was a third-year sophomore for the Wolfpack, could 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 three.9 rebounds as a freshman to 17.3 points and eight.2 rebounds as a sophomore. He earned the ACC’s Most Improved Player award and was named second-team all-ACC because of this.

Manek, a 6-foot-9, stretch-4, had a furious run to shut the season that helped garner a better look from NBA teams. He’ll play on the Hornets roster when Summer League begins in Las Vegas on July 8. How he performs there’ll determine what’s next for the Harrah, Oklahoma native.

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

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

Manek was not invited to the NBA mix, 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 Latest Orleans Pelicans.

The Exhibit 10 contract Brooks signed means the 6-foot-9 forward essentially secured at the very least a G League roster spot with the Knicks’ affiliate in Westchester. Latest York could convert his deal right into a two-way contract before the regular season begins. Or if Brooks is cut in training camp, he could earn a bonus of as much as $50,000 to stay with the franchise’s G League affiliate so long as he stays for at the very 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 4 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.

This story was originally published June 24, 2022 1:36 PM.

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C.L. Brown covers the University of North Carolina for The News & Observer. Brown brings greater than twenty years of reporting experience including stints because the beat author on Indiana University and the University of Louisville. After a protracted stay on the Louisville Courier-Journal, where he earned an APSE award, he’s had stops at ESPN.com, The Athletic and even tried his hand at running his own website, clbrownhoops.com.

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