Hawks Rumors

Hawks Sign Tahjere McCall

2:01pm: The Hawks have officially signed McCall, the team announced today in a press release.

10:47am: Tahjere McCall has agreed to an Exhibit 10 contract with the Hawks, tweets Ben Stinar of AmicoHoops. McCall’s agent, Andre Buck of Arete Sports, confirmed the deal, Stinar adds.

The 25-year-old shooting guard’s NBA experience is limited to four minutes in one game with the Nets last season. He has spent most of his time with Long Island in the G League after going undrafted out of Tennessee State in 2017. McCall was among 80 players invited to participate in the G League Elite Camp in May.

The signing brings Atlanta to the league limit of 20 players heading into training camp. The Hawks have just 13 guaranteed contracts, so McCall will have a shot at winning at roster spot.

Vince Carter Re-Signs With Hawks

SEPTEMBER 20: Carter’s signing is official, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

AUGUST 5: Vince Carter, the oldest player in the NBA, has agreed to return to the Hawks, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Carter, 42, will be playing for a record 22nd season. It’s expected to his last, Wojnarowski adds.

Carter will surpass Dirk NowitzkiRobert Parish, Kevin Willis and Kevin Garnett, who each played 21 seasons. Carter had already established the record for most seasons by a wing player. Kobe Bryant played 20 seasons.

Carter’s return to Atlanta was not a surprise. The team had held a roster spot open for him in anticipation a deal would eventually get done. The Hawks will now have 14 players with guaranteed contracts.

Other than Carter, the Hawks have the league’s youngest roster that includes rookies Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter and Bruno Fernando and last season’s Rookie of the Year finalist, Trae Young.

Carter proved that he was still an effective and durable player last season in Atlanta, appearing in 76 games, including nine starts. He averaged 7.4 PPG and shot 38.9% beyond the arc in 17.5 MPG. The future Hall of Famer began his career in 1998 with Toronto. The Hawks became the eighth team to acquire his services prior to last season.

Carter will add depth at the wing positions while also serving a mentorship role.

Carter Happy To Be In Atlanta

Kevin Huerter Talks Hawks’ Draft, 2019/20 Goals

Culture and locker-room fit were important considerations for the Hawks as they made roster moves this offseason, second-year shooting guard Kevin Huerter tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. As Huerter explains, head coach Lloyd Pierce talked on multiple occasions about not bringing in anyone who would be detrimental to the culture the team is trying to build in Atlanta.

“I think every player we brought in has some sort of relationship with one of our coaches or [executives], so they know that we’re bringing in really good guys,” Huerter said. “I think that was really important, first and foremost, especially with a team that could still go through a lot of ups and downs. You don’t want someone in the locker room who is making everyone miserable.”

While Huerter is optimistic about what Allen Crabbe, Jabari Parker, Evan Turner, and Chandler Parsons can contribute on the court, he views those incoming veterans as guys who will “contribute off the court as well,” as he tells Kennedy.

Huerter spoke to Kennedy about many more topics, including the Hawks’ draft, their future free agent outlook, and their expectations for the 2019/20 season. The Q&A is worth checking out in full, but here are a few highlights from the former Maryland standout:

On the Hawks drafting De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and Bruno Fernando:

“I thought our draft was great. There are very few teams that can come out of the draft saying they got exactly who they wanted, but those three guys are literally the exact players we wanted going into the draft. Anytime that happens, it’s an extremely successful draft.

“I think those guys bring a different dynamic to our team that we didn’t have. De’Andre is a 3/4 and he’s a really good defender, so he was a great pick for us. Cam just has so much potential on the offensive end and what his ceiling could be makes him great for us as well. Bruno is NBA-ready. I think it can be tough for some bigs as they enter the NBA because of how physical it is, but Bruno is physically NBA-ready. Again, I thought it was a really good draft for us.”

On whether free agents will seriously consider the Hawks as they continue to improve:

“Hopefully. Any team that wins becomes pretty attractive to free agents. You see that happen a lot. But for me, our core group of guys could – and should – be enough for us. That’s the way that winning teams are built, at least in the old days. When you want to want to build something that lasts, it’s homegrown guys. But, again, hopefully if we win, [players will want to sign here] and we can figure out which positions we need moving forward. Adding free agents down the line won’t be a bad thing, but first you need to win and then everything else comes with it.”

On whether the Hawks have discussed a goal of making the playoffs in 2019/20:

“Honestly, no. Playoffs, for us, isn’t really a word we talk about – all we talk about is winning more than 29 games. We know how honestly close we were last year – we weren’t too far off from that eighth seed – but we’re probably not going to talk about it for most of the year. It’s not something we talk about in the locker room, trying to sneak in [to the playoffs]. It’s literally just, ‘We’re going to win more than 29 games and continue to get better.’ Then whatever happens, happens.”

Hawks, Warriors, Grizzlies Have Made Most Offseason Trades

A total of 43 trades have been completed by NBA teams since the 2018/19 season ended, including three deals involving three teams and one that included four teams. No club has been more active on the trade market during that time than the Hawks, who completed eight deals. However, the Warriors and Grizzlies have been hot on their heels, with seven trades apiece.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Offseason Trades]

The Hawks were active early and often in the offseason. They were involved in the first trade agreement of June when they agreed to acquire Allen Crabbe from Brooklyn on June 6, then were part of the league’s first two officially-finalized pre-draft deals when they sent one second-round pick to the Warriors and another to the Heat.

Atlanta didn’t make any massive splashes on the trade market, but the trade up to No. 4 to land De’Andre Hunter‘s draft rights from New Orleans involved eight total players or picks, qualifying it as a modest blockbuster.

The Warriors made one massive move, acquiring D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade deal with Brooklyn, but otherwise their summer swaps mostly focused on keeping team salary in check below the hard cap. Golden State moved veterans like Andre Iguodala and Damian Jones to cut costs, while acquiring second-round picks such as Alen Smailagic and Eric Paschall for their modest cap hits.

As for the Grizzlies, they’ve been one of the NBA’s most active teams after overhauling their front office in the spring. Their seven deals were all made with an eye toward the future, as they moved on from franchise point guard Mike Conley and loaded up on draft picks, netting three first-round selections and three more second-rounders over the course of the summer.

Here are a few other notable details related to this offseason’s trades so far:

Teams that have made the most trades:

  • Atlanta Hawks: 8
  • Golden State Warriors: 7
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 7
  • Philadelphia 76ers: 5
  • Washington Wizards: 5
  • Brooklyn Nets: 4
  • Detroit Pistons: 4
  • Miami Heat: 4
  • New Orleans Pelicans: 4
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 4
  • Phoenix Suns: 4
  • Utah Jazz: 4

Teams that have made the fewest trades:

  • Toronto Raptors: 0
  • Charlotte Hornets: 1
  • Chicago Bulls: 1
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: 1
  • Houston Rockets: 1
  • New York Knicks: 1
  • Orlando Magic: 1
  • Sacramento Kings: 1
  • San Antonio Spurs: 1

Players who have been traded multiple times:

2019 All-Stars or All-NBA players who have been traded:

2020 first-round picks that have been traded:

  • Bucks‘ 2020 first-round pick to Celtics (via Suns; top-7 protected).
  • Cavaliers‘ 2020 first-round pick to Pelicans (via Hawks; top-10 protected).
  • Jazz‘s 2020 first-round pick to Grizzlies (1-7, 15-30 protection).
  • Nuggets‘ 2020 first-round pick to Thunder (top-10 protected).
  • Nets‘ 2020 first-round pick to Hawks (top-14 protected).
  • Pacers‘ 2020 first-round pick to Bucks (top-14 protected).
  • Sixers‘ 2020 first-round pick to Nets (top-14 protected).
  • Warriors‘ 2020 first-round pick to Nets (top-20 protected).

Future first-round picks that have been traded:

  • Heat‘s 2021 first-round pick to Thunder (via Clippers; unprotected).
  • Lakers‘ 2021 first-round pick to Pelicans (9-30 protected).
  • Clippers‘ 2022 first-round pick to Thunder (unprotected)
  • Heat‘s 2023 first-round pick to Thunder (via Clippers; top-14 protected).
  • Clippers‘ 2024 first-round pick to Thunder (unprotected).
  • Lakers‘ 2024 first-round pick to Pelicans (unprotected).
  • Rockets‘ 2024 first-round pick to Thunder (top-4 protected).
  • Warriors‘ 2024 first-round pick to Grizzlies (top-4 protected).
  • Clippers‘ 2026 first-round pick to Thunder (unprotected).
  • Rockets‘ 2026 first-round pick to Thunder (top-4 protected).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Remaining Offseason Questions: Southeast Division

NBA teams have now completed the brunt of their offseason work, with the draft and free agency practically distant memories. Still, with training camps more than a month away, many clubs around the league have at least one or two outstanding issues they’ve yet to address.

We’re in the midst of looking at all 30 NBA teams, separating them by division and checking in on a key outstanding question that each club still needs to answer before the 2019/20 regular season begins.

After focusing on the Atlantic on Monday, we’re moving onto the Southeast today. Let’s dive in…

Atlanta Hawks
How will the Hawks use their remaining cap room?

The Hawks are the only NBA team that has any real cap room remaining. Currently, the team is sitting on about $6.95MM in space, per Early Bird Rights. That’s not a ton of room, particularly when there are probably no free agents left on the market worth more than the minimum. But it could come in handy.

It’s not clear if Atlanta has any plans in mind for that cap room, but the club is likely holding off on making Vince Carter‘s new deal official in order to maximize its options. Once Carter signs his minimum-salary contract, the Hawks’ cap space will dip to approximately $5.33MM.

The most likely scenario for the Hawks is probably holding onto their cap room into the season and then seeing if it helps create any trade opportunities later in the year. Still, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the team using that space to accommodate a deal before the season begins.

Charlotte Hornets
What are the Hornets’ plans for second-round pick Jalen McDaniels?

McDaniels is one of four 2019 draft picks who has yet to sign an NBA contract or commit to playing overseas.

While it remains to be seen what the Hornets‘ plans are for McDaniels, a two-way contract is an outcome that would make sense for both sides. The three players selected before McDaniels (from Nos. 49-51) and after him (Nos. 53-55) in the draft all signed two-way deals, and Charlotte currently has a slot open.

Of course, the Hornets also project to have an opening or two on their 15-man regular season roster, so it’s possible McDaniels and his reps have their eye on one of those spots. The club currently has 13 players on guaranteed contracts, with Thomas Welsh, Caleb Martin, Joe Chealey, and Josh Perkins among the non-guaranteed players possibly in the running for the 14th and/or 15th spot(s). We’ll have to wait to see if McDaniels gets a chance to compete with them or if he gets Charlotte’s second two-way deal.

Miami Heat
How will the Heat’s hard cap affect their remaining roster decisions?

After signing Udonis Haslem earlier this month, the Heat are about $855K below their hard cap for the 2019/20 league year, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The minimum rookie salary for this season is $898K, so Miami can’t add any more guaranteed salaries to its books without making a corresponding roster move to clear guaranteed money.

In other words, barring a trade or a last-minute use of the stretch provision, the Heat’s roster is mostly set for the regular season. The team just needs to make a pair of roster decisions: Will Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn fill out the 14-man roster?

Robinson’s $1,416,852 salary is already guaranteed for $1MM, so waiving him would create little flexibility for Miami. Nunn’s partial guarantee is only worth $150K though. If the club has any doubts about his ability to contribute in 2019/20, his roster spot could be in jeopardy. Waiving Nunn would open up enough room for the Heat to bring in another veteran on a minimum-salary deal.

Orlando Magic
When will the Magic sign Chuma Okeke?

As noted above, there are four 2019 draft picks who remain unsigned. Of those four, Okeke is the only unsigned first-round pick. Because the rookie scale for first-rounders is fairly inflexible, those players typically sign within the first week or two of the league year, so the delay on Okeke is unusual.

It’s probably not a coincidence that Okeke is the only first-round pick who is unlikely to see the court much – if at all – during his rookie season. He tore his ACL in March and is still recovering from that injury.

While virtually every first-round pick signs for 120% of his rookie scale amount, the Cavaliers were able to get Kevin Porter for lower than that earlier in the offseason — it seems likely at this point that the Magic – who don’t have much breathing room below the luxury tax line – are exploring something similar with Okeke.

Washington Wizards
Will Bradley Beal sign a contract extension?

Beal is eligible for a veteran extension, and the Wizards offered as many years and as much money as NBA rules allowed. They also did so as soon as league rules allowed. However, Beal didn’t immediately accept that offer.

It’s easy to point to the Wizards’ 2018/19 record (32-50) and unfavorable cap situation and surmise that Beal is eager to leave D.C., but that’s not necessarily the case. He has said he wants to assess the team’s new management group, led by general manager Tommy Sheppard, before making any decisions. Plus, it would be financially advantageous for him to wait at least a year before signing a new extension, as we explained in-depth last month.

Beal has until October 21 to sign an extension. Otherwise, he won’t be eligible again until next July. John Wall thinks his backcourt mate will accept Washington’s offer and he might be right, but if I had to place a bet, I’d guess that Beal will enter the 2019/20 season without a new deal in place.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hawks Sign Armoni Brooks

11:51am: Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirms (via Twitter) that Brooks received an Exhibit 10 contract.

11:13am: The Hawks have officially signed undrafted rookie guard Armoni Brooks to a contract, the team announced today in a press release. Details of the deal weren’t disclosed, but it figures to be a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract.

Brooks declared for the draft this spring as an early entrant after a junior season in which he posted 13.4 PPG and 6.3 RPG in 37 games for Houston. Of his 425 field goal attempts, 310 came from beyond the arc.

Word broke shortly after the draft that Brooks was signing with the Wizards as an undrafted free agent, but it appears that agreement was only for the Summer League. The 6’3″ guard struggled in limited minutes in Las Vegas, making just 4-of-24 shots from the floor in three games (12.7 MPG) for Washington.

The Hawks now have 18 players formally under contract, with Brooks joining Marcus Derrickson and Ray Spalding as training camp invitees without guaranteed salaries. Vince Carter has also reached a deal with the team, so Atlanta will have just one open spot left on its 20-man offseason roster once Carter officially signs.

Hawks Sign Marcus Derrickson To Exhibit 10 Deal

AUGUST 23: The signing is official, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

AUGUST 2: The Hawks have reached an agreement to sign free agent forward Marcus Derrickson to an Exhibit 10 contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Derrickson, 23, spent the 2018/19 season with the Warriors on a two-way contract. He appeared in just 11 games for the NBA club, averaging 4.2 PPG in limited action. However, he played a much more substantial role for the Santa Cruz Warriors, recording 13.7 PPG and 5.6 RPG on .467/.419/.841 shooting in 35 G League contests (27.2 MPG).

The Hawks, who have 13 players on guaranteed contracts, are also bringing Ray Spalding to training camp on an Exhibit 10 deal, and will likely keep adding to that list as September approaches.

If Atlanta doesn’t sign any more veteran free agents, it could open the door for Derrickson, Spalding, and other camp invitees to compete for regular season roster spots.

Bucks Sign Jaylen Adams To Camp Deal

August 20: The signing is official, according to the team’s website.

August 16: The Bucks are signing guard Jaylen Adams to a training camp deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Adams became a free agent in mid-July after the Hawks waived him before his $1,416,852 salary became guaranteed. Milwaukee’s contract offer is apparently an Exhibit 10 deal. The Bucks targeted Adams for an affiliate contract spot with their G League team, the Wisconsin Herd, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets.

Adams signed a two-way deal with Atlanta last summer, then had it converted to a standard contract in February. He went undrafted out of St. Bonaventure.

The 23-year-old Adams appeared in 34 NBA games last season, averaging 3.2 PPG and 1.9 APG in 12.6 MPG.

Milwaukee had 16 players under contract (14 with fully guaranteed deals), along with a pair of two-way players.

The 6’2” Adams faces an uphill battle to gain a roster spot. The Bucks already have Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Donte DiVincenzo and two-way player Frank Mason at the point.

Peers Choose Zion, Morant As Top Rookie Of Year Candidates

Top pick Zion Williamson of the Pelicans is considered the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award by his peers, but he’s not a clear-cut choice. The second pick in the draft, point guard Ja Morant of the Grizzlies, finished a close second in the voting. However, that might not be such a good thing for either player.

For the 11th time in 13 years, John Schuhmann of NBA.com got the opportunity to ask the NBA’s incoming crop of rookies a series of questions related to their fellow draftees.

Historically, the NBA rookies haven’t been soothsayers. They haven’t accurately identified a Rookie of the Year winner since Kevin Durant in 2007/08. Last season, Deandre Ayton and Collin Sexton were considered the co-favorites. Luka Doncic ended up winning the award with Trae Young finishing a solid second.

Here’s some of the highlights from the survey:

  • Williamson got 35% of the vote for the Rookie of the Year prize, while Morant received 27% backing. No one else got more than 5%.
  • Nuggets second-round pick Bol Bol and Cavaliers’ late first-rounder Kevin Porter Jr. were considered the steals of the draft, with each getting 19% of the vote.
  • Two players stood out to their peers as being the best defenders in the draft — the Sixers’ Matisse Thybulle and the Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter. Thybulle collected 37% of the votes in that category, while Hunter received 29% backing.
  • By a wide margin, Williamson was chosen as the most athletic rookie, garnering 87% of the votes. Morant was selected as the best ball-handler, receiving 40% of those votes.
  • The Heat‘s Tyler Herro (33%) edged out the Kings’ Kyle Guy (29%) as the best shooter.
  • LeBron James (38%) got the highest total in the ‘Favorite player in the league’ category with Kevin Durant (20%) finishing second.