The Trae Young-led Hawks enjoyed an exciting 2018/19 season, and their returning players were confronted with big developmental questions, according to The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner. Kirschner revisits an earlier column from before the Hawks’ season kicked off with answers to those questions.
Young’s All-Star performance this season has proved that he has the goods on offense, but many of his teammates have underwhelmed thus far this year as the Hawks have stumbled to a 15-41 record heading into the All-Star break.
FEBRUARY 12: The Hawks have formally announced Goodwin’s promotion, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed him to a multiyear deal.
FEBRUARY 11: The Hawks and guard Brandon Goodwin have agreed to a two-year standard contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). Goodwin, who had spent the season on a two-way deal with Atlanta, will be promoted to the team’s 15-man roster as a result of the agreement.
After going undrafted out of Florida Gulf Coast in 2018, Goodwin appeared in 16 games with the Nuggets during his rookie season, playing sparingly on a pair of contracts with the team. When his two-way deal with Denver expired last summer, he signed a similar contract with Atlanta and has provided depth at the point for the Hawks this season.
In 25 games, Goodwin has averaged 6.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.6 APG in 13.6 minutes per contest. His shooting line is .404/.324/1.000 — he hasn’t missed any of his 24 free throw attempts in 2019/20.
After making a series of deadline-day trades, the Hawks were left with an open spot on their 15-man roster, having sent Jabari Parker and Alex Len to the Kings for Dewayne Dedmon. They’ll use that spot to promote Goodwin, so no corresponding move will be required.
Terms of the agreement haven’t yet been reported, but Goodwin will likely get a minimum-salary contract that’s fully guaranteed for the rest of this season, but not for the 2020/21 season. If he plays out the deal, he’d be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of ’21.
- Hawks point guard Trae Young was one of the notable omissions from the 44-player list of finalists released on Monday for Team USA’s 2020 Olympic roster. Young admitted that he would have liked to receive consideration, as Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt by seeing it,” Young said. “Obviously I would have wanted to play on the team.”
- The Hawks, Knicks, and Pistons project to have more than enough cap room for a maximum-salary player this summer, with the Heat and Hornets potentially joining them, says John Hollinger of The Athletic. As Hollinger observes in his preview of the NBA’s 2020 cap outlook, there are several other teams that could create some cap room if free agents walk or players turn down options, but there won’t be much league-wide space this offseason.
The Knicks have had a miserable 12 months, finishing the 2018/19 season with a league-worst 17 wins, missing out on their top free agent targets, and then firing head coach David Fizdale and president of basketball operations Steve Mills during the 2019/20 season.
None of that seems to have had a noticeable impact on the team’s market value though. Once again, the franchise is considered the most valuable of any of the NBA’s 30 clubs, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. The Lakers and Warriors aren’t far behind, having both surpassed the $4 billion mark for the first time this year.
For the first time, all 30 NBA teams have a perceived worth of $1.3 billion or more, per Forbes’ annual report. Every team’s value increased by at least 6% since Forbes put out their 2019 valuations last February, with a handful of franchises jumping by 20% or more.
The NBA-wide average of $2.12 billion per team in 2020 is also a new record — that league-wide average surpassed the $2 billion mark for the first time. NBA franchise values are up almost sixfold over the last decade, according to Badenhausen.
Here’s the full list of NBA franchise valuations, per Forbes:
- New York Knicks: $4.6 billion
- Los Angeles Lakers: $4.4 billion
- Golden State Warriors: $4.3 billion
- Chicago Bulls: $3.2 billion
- Boston Celtics: $3.1 billion
- Los Angeles Clippers: $2.6 billion
- Brooklyn Nets: $2.5 billion
- Houston Rockets: $2.475 billion
- Dallas Mavericks: $2.4 billion
- Toronto Raptors: $2.1 billion
- Philadelphia 76ers: $2 billion
- Miami Heat: $1.95 billion
- Portland Trail Blazers: $1.85 billion
- San Antonio Spurs: $1.8 billion
- Sacramento Kings: $1.775 billion
- Washington Wizards: $1.75 billion
- Phoenix Suns: $1.625 billion
- Denver Nuggets: $1.6 billion
- Milwaukee Bucks: $1.58 billion
- Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.575 billion
- Utah Jazz: $1.55 billion
- Indiana Pacers: $1.525 billion
- Atlanta Hawks: $1.52 billion
- Cleveland Cavaliers: $1.51 billion
- Charlotte Hornets: $1.5 billion
- Detroit Pistons: $1.45 billion
- Orlando Magic: $1.43 billion
- Minnesota Timberwolves: $1.375 billion
- New Orleans Pelicans: $1.35 billion
- Memphis Grizzlies: $1.3 billion
The Raptors are among this year’s big “winners,” with their value rising 25%, from $1.675 billion a year ago to $2.1 billion this year following their first NBA championship. The Clippers also had a noteworthy bump, moving from ninth place on Forbes’ list to sixth after landing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last summer.
Although every franchise’s value increased, the Nets had the smallest jump, just 6%. The Magic‘s modest 8% increase resulted in the team slipping from 23rd on last year’s list to 27th this year.
It’s worth noting that when a franchise has been sold in recent years, the price often exceeds Forbes’ valuation, so these figures are just estimates.
After engaging with the Kings earlier in the season about a possible Dewayne Dedmon trade, the Hawks didn’t necessarily expect to circle back to those discussions at last week’s trade deadline, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, who says the team felt no real pressure to acquire another center following the Clint Capela trade.
However, Sacramento got back in touch and general manager Travis Schlenk saw an opportunity to land a player he liked, along with a couple second-round draft picks.
“They came in last minute,” Schlenk said of the Kings, per Kirschner. “The way the deal came together was we anticipated Jabari (Parker) was going to probably opt in (to his $6.5MM player option for 2020/21), so we weren’t going to be taking on that much money (by adding Dedmon’s $13.3MM salary for ’20/21).
“Now you’re taking on only $6MM, and we got two seconds. That’s really what drove us. I don’t want to say that we weren’t looking to do it when it came around, but we jumped at the opportunity because it was a small value money-wise, and we got two assets in it.”
Dedmon, who played well for the Hawks before signing with the Kings during the 2019 offseason, struggled in Sacramento and lost his starting role early in the season. According to Kirschner, there’s a belief in Atlanta that the big man was so unhappy with the Kings that it affected him on the court. Atlanta will rely on Dedmon and Capela to help improve an interior defense that has struggled this season.
Let’s round up a few more Hawks notes…
- Schlenk had been eyeing Skal Labissiere since his days working as an assistant GM in Golden State, says Kirschner. The Hawks were able to acquire Labissiere from Portland on deadline day in what was essentially a salary dump, but it sounds as if the team will have interest in keeping him beyond this season if he looks good down the stretch. The big man can become a restricted free agent this summer.
- John Collins‘ name popped up in trade rumors leading up to the deadline and there was speculation that the Hawks may start looking to move on from the former first-rounder if they acquired an impact center. However, Schlenk downplayed that notion, as Kirschner details. “John has been playing with Damian (Jones) all year,” Schlenk said. “His skill set is the same (as Clint’s). John has been playing with Bruno (Fernando) all year long. This isn’t the first time that John has played with another center. I think the public is making a lot more out of it than we are.”
- Asked directly if Collins is considered is still considered a priority for the Hawks’ long-term future, Schlenk responded, “Yeah. John is one of our best players.”
- The Hawks’ deadline moves left them with an open spot on their 15-man roster. According to Kirschner (via Twitter), one option being considered is promoting two-way player Brandon Goodwin to a standard contract. Goodwin has averaged 6.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 24 games (13.9 MPG) for Atlanta this season.
General manager Travis Schlenk also traded Jabari Parker and Alex Len to Sacramento in exchange for Dewayne Dedmon and a pair of second round-picks, later acquiring Skal Labissiere and cash from Portland for a 2024 second-round pick.
The deals received high praise from observers around the league, none more important than one figure in particular: All-Star point guard Trae Young.
“It’s hard to tell because we haven’t played with each other,” Young said when asked how good this current group of players could be, as relayed by Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “I think once we play with each other well really be able to feel if it’s going good. Everyone wants instant gratification and instantly knowing what’s going to happen and what we should expect, but we really don’t know until we play with each other. I feel like it’s going to be great for us but I don’t really know until we play together.
“I definitely feel like a lot of teams made some good moves, but we are up there with making some of the biggest moves. We got some really good guys and I definitely think we are one of the winners of the trade deadline.”
Atlanta now sports a promising core of Young, Capela, Kevin Huerter and John Collins, along with young talents such as De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. The one major question remains how far this group could go in the improving Eastern Conference.
“I think we’re right there,” Young said. “I think we’re ready to make that jump.”
Here are some other notes from the Southeast Division:
- Magic forward James Ennis hopes to find some stability with his new team, Luis Torres of the Orlando Sentinel writes. Ennis, a proven six-year NBA veteran, saw his playing time suddenly decrease in Philadelphia and was traded to Orlando in exchange for a second-round pick last week. Ennis consulted with family members and agent Scott Nichols of Rize Management before ultimately waiving his no-trade clause and accepting the trade. “It came down to what was best for me,” Ennis said. “I gave up a lot in the summer to go [back] to Philly so it was time for me to be selfish. When I saw Orlando wanted me, I was like, ‘I’m gonna go there.’ I feel like it’s a good fit.”
- Magic head coach Steve Clifford was fined $25,000 by the NBA for verbally abusing game officials, the league announced in a press release. The incident occurred at the end of the team’s loss in New York last Thursday.
- Mavericks guard Seth Curry would welcome the opportunity to play in his hometown in Charlotte with the Hornets at some point in his career, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer relays. “I’d love to,” Curry said following the team’s win against Charlotte on Saturday. “If the opportunity came about, I would embrace it.” Curry’s contract with Dallas runs through 2023, so he’s expected to remain with the Mavs for the foreseeable future.
An active 2020 trade deadline has likely watered down the free-agent market this summer, a pattern far from the norm after a combined $4 billion was spent on more than 150 players last July, Bobby Marks of ESPN.com explores.
There were a total of 12 trades within the 48-hour window of the trade deadline this year, with high-profile players such as D’Angelo Russell, Andre Drummond, Andrew Wiggins and Clint Capela switching teams.
As Marks notes, the 2020 free agency class is projected to be mediocre for the most part. The Knicks could have upwards of $50MM to spend (though they’ll likely wait until the following summer for stronger talent), with the Hawks, Pistons, Hornets, Suns, and Heat also set to have north of $20MM.
Beyond Anthony Davis, some of the top unrestricted free agents this summer include Fred VanVleet, Montrezl Harrell, Danilo Gallinari and Serge Ibaka. Drummond ($28.7MM), DeMar DeRozan ($27.7MM) and Evan Fournier ($17MM) all have player options in their contracts, while Brandon Ingram and Bogdan Bogdanovic are set to enter restricted free agency.
Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Free agent guard Archie Goodwin has signed in Germany with Ratiopharm Ulm, the team announced, as relayed by Sportando. Goodwin, 25, holds NBA experience with the Suns, Pelicans and Nets, most recently playing in Turkey. Goodwin was drafted with the No. 29 overall pick by Oklahoma City back in 2013.
- Former NBA forward Thomas Robinson has signed in Russia with BC Khimki, the team announced on social media. Robinson signed a one-month deal with an extension until the end of the season. The 28-year-old has played for Sacramento, Houston, Portland, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Los Angeles across his professional career, spending time with the Spurs during summer league in 2019.
- Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown has agreed to be the head coach of the Nigerian men’s basketball team, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated (Twitter link). Brown will coach Nigeria during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer, with Nigeria BB president Musa Kida reportedly looking for a high-profile coach that holds NBA experience.
New Hawks center Clint Capela aspires to make his debut for Atlanta following the All-Star break, according to The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner (Twitter link). Capela was acquired from Houston in an epic four-team deal last week.
Capela and Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk spoke with reporters ahead of the team’s tilt tonight against another Eastern Conference bottom-feeder, the 17-36 Knicks, tonight, as Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution documents (Twitter link).
The 6’10” Swiss center has been sidelined by plantar fasciitis in his right heel. Capela has not played since January 29. The Hawks’ first game after the break is a February 20 contest against the Heat. The 14-39 Hawks are currently the No. 14 seed in the Eastern Conference. Capela, 25, is averaging 13.9 points and 13.8 rebounds per game.