Sources told ESPN.com that Mbenga, who arrived in New Orleans to audition for the Hornets earlier Wednesday, received a one-year deal to bolster the Hornets' front line.
The 7-footer had also drawn interest from the Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers this month. Portland worked out Mbenga on Monday after the Blazers also signed free-agent center Steven Hill on the same day.
Mbenga spent the past two-plus seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, playing sparingly but collecting two championship rings. The 29-year-old, who was born in Congo but represents Belgium internationally, has also played for Dallas and Golden State in a career that began in 2004-05.
Mbenga's first career double-double came early last season against the Hornets, when he totaled 10 points and 12 rebounds for L.A. on Nov. 8, 2009.
Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.