NBA contracts became fully guaranteed on Friday (a full list of all non-guaranteed players across the NBA can be found on the SBNation NBA page).
Johnson and Summers would have earned a combined $1.3M between the two of them. Summers has been used largely as a utility player till this point, playing at multiple positions and even starting six times due to injuries to other players. While Squeaky had seen increased minutes lately due to the absence of Jarrett Jack, his minutes as a third string point guard had been very inconsistent throughout the year.
That said, both players certainly had clearly defined (if minimal) roles with the team, with very limited financial commitment required to retain them. So the next question, naturally, is whether either move (or both) precedes another transaction, perhaps one involving Chris Kaman.
Including the 10-day contract recently signed by Lance Thomas, the Hornets were at the roster limit of 15 players before today - Jarrett Jack, Greivis Vasquez, Squeaky Johnson, Eric Gordon, Marco Belinelli, Xavier Henry, Trevor Ariza, Al-Farouq Aminu, DaJuan Summers, Carl Landry, Jason Smith, Lance Thomas, Emeka Okafor, Gustavo Ayon, and Chris Kaman.
So the current roster size now falls to 13, allowing the Hornets to potentially take back extra players in a Kaman deal, making something alone the lines of our hypothesized Houston Rockets deals (Jordan Hill, Hasheem Thabeet, draft pick) a possibility. Keep in mind, though, that even if these cuts were made with a trade in mind, we may still be a couple weeks away from a Chris Kaman trade. By cutting Squeaky and Summers today, the Hornets saved themselves at least a little bit of cash, something that can't be underrated for a team that doesn't have an owner.