Hornets sign 'Juice' for summer league

Former Northwestern point guard Michael "Juice" Thompson has signed on to play with the New Orleans Hornets in the NBA summer league in Las Vegas.

Thompson, a Chicago native, was a four-year starter at Northwestern and graduated in 2011. He played in Germany last season.

“It means a lot,” Thompson said by phone on Monday. “After graduating from Northwestern last year, the NBA lockout didn’t allow me to have any opportunities I would have liked to have or I thought I would have. Now I have a great opportunity this year with the summer league. I’m just excited to showcase my talent at the highest level.”

Thompson will participate in a three-day mini-camp in New Orleans beginning on Tuesday and then depart for Las Vegas. The Hornets’ first game in Las Vegas is on July 15.

Thompson said his agent told him the Hornets are looking for a third-string point guard to fill their roster.

“My mindset is I have nothing to lose, everything to gain,” Thompson said. “A lot of people didn’t think I would get this opportunity. I’m just going to play as I have my whole life. Hopefully, it leads to something good.”

The Hornets’ summer league roster also includes 2012 No. 1 pick Anthony Davis, who starred at Perspectives high school in Chicago, and Mac Koshwal, who played at Julian high school in Chicago and at DePaul.

“I don’t know Anthony Davis, but I’ve played against Mac Koshwal,” Thompson said. “Just that Chicago connection is great. I’m sure we can relate in many ways. I always want to play with the No. 1 pick. He’s a great player. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”