Atlanta Hawks

Five Trade Candidates Who Can Veto Deals

Only two NBA players – LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony – technically have no-trade clauses included in their current contracts. However, there are several players around the league with the ability to block trades that would involve them.

A player who re-signs with his previous team on a one-year contract – or a two-year deal with an option year – is given no-trade protection, and so is a player who accepts his qualifying offer after his rookie deal expire. If one of those players is dealt, he’d lose his Bird or Early Bird rights, which is a key reason he must approve a move.

A player who signed an offer sheet and had that offer matched by his previous team can also veto trades, and can’t be sent to the team that attempted to sign him during that same league year. That means, for instance, that the Wizards can’t trade Otto Porter to the Nets this season.

There are 17 players around the NBA that meet one of those criteria, bringing the number of players with a no-trade clause – either official or unofficial – to 19. While most of those players probably aren’t going anywhere at the trade deadline anyway, there are a handful of trade candidates who would have to consent to a move, creating an added wrinkle as those players’ teams consider their trade options.

Here are some notable players whose consent is required in order to trade them:

  1. Nikola Mirotic verticalNikola Mirotic, PF (Bulls): We’ve covered Mirotic’s unofficial no-trade clause many times over the last few weeks, but it’s worth noting that his situation is a little different than anyone else’s on this list. Mirotic’s contract is actually a two-year pact, with a team option for the second year. So while he has veto power for now, that would disappear if the Bulls were to pick up his $12.5MM option for 2018/19. If the Bulls find a trade they like for Mirotic, he could use his veto power as leverage, pushing the club to exercise that option. And he might get his wish — any team willing to give up something of value for the veteran forward might not mind locking him in for an extra year as part of the deal.
  2. Nerlens Noel, C (Mavericks): As we noted on Thursday when we identified Noel as a trade candidate in the Southwest, the young center’s value is complicated by the fact that he’s currently sidelined with a thumb injury. Noel may be back in early February though, in which case potential suitors would have a chance to see if he’s healthy before pursuing a deal. The union between Noel and the Mavericks has been a rocky one, and it seems unlikely to turn into a long-term relationship, so if Dallas finds a taker for the 23-year-old, I expect he’d sign off, even if it means losing his Bird rights — those Bird rights probably won’t matter much this offseason if the Mavs don’t plan to retain him.
  3. Alex Len, C (Suns): Like Noel, Len had trouble finding an offer sheet on the restricted free agent market last summer and ultimately signed his qualifying offer. Unlike Noel though, Len has had a regular role and a solid year, averaging 8.5 PPG with career highs in RPG (8.3) and FG% (.552). The Suns have a bit of a logjam in the middle, and Len might have more trade value than Greg Monroe or Tyson Chandler, but Monroe is on an expiring contract and Chandler is 35 years old, making them more expendable for the rebuilding Suns. In other words, even though he’ll be a free agent again in July, Len remains the center most likely to stick in Phoenix for the next several years. I don’t expect the team will ask him to approve a trade.
  4. Ersan Ilyasova, PF (Hawks): The Hawks are reportedly seeking a high second-round pick in exchange for Ilyasova, and that price doesn’t seem unreasonable for a productive stretch four on an affordable contract, even if that contract will expire this summer. While Ilyasova may hesitate to surrender his Bird rights by approving a trade, those Bird rights aren’t as valuable to him as they would be to a star player, since Ilyasova is unlikely to earn more than the mid-level in free agency. The veteran sharpshooter has also led a nomadic NBA existence in recent years, playing for five different teams since the start of the 2015/16 season, so he’s accustomed to bouncing around and may not mind leaving the 13-31 Hawks to join a contender.
  5. Shabazz Muhammad, SF (Timberwolves): Muhammad hasn’t been mentioned in any trade rumors yet, but he can’t be thrilled with the way this season has played out for him in Minnesota. After failing to find a lucrative deal on the free agent market in the offseason, the 25-year-old accepted a one-year, prove-it deal from the Timberwolves, and has fallen out of the rotation over the course of the season — he has played just 17 minutes since the start of December. Muhammad isn’t a great defender or distributor, and he has been ineffective as a scorer this season (.376/.211/.750 shooting), so he’ll have little to no trade value. Still, he’s only earning the minimum, so there may be a team willing to roll the dice. It’s also worth mentioning that Muhammad’s deal includes a player option for 2018/19, which may be a minor motivating factor for the Wolves to explore a deal rather than keeping him around for depth purposes — the team’s roster will get more expensive next season, so removing even a modest amount of potential guaranteed money for a non-essential player could help.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seven Southeast Trade Candidates To Watch

The NBA trade deadline is just over three weeks away, and there’s no shortage of players around the league who could change teams. Over the next week, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of those top trade candidates, breaking them down by division.

While our focus will be primarily on teams expected to be sellers at the deadline, our lists may also include some players on contenders who could be used as trade chips when those teams look to make upgrades.

We’re examining the Southeast Division today, so let’s dive in and identify seven players who could be on the move on or before February 8…

  1. EvanFournier verticalEvan Fournier, SG (Magic): Fournier has been the subject of several trade rumors already in 2018. Marc Stein of the New York Times said this week that rival executives expect Orlando to actively shop him; Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders suggested last week that Fournier is the Magic player drawing the most trade interest from rival teams; and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier in January that the Pistons pursued a deal for the veteran sharpshooter. Fournier, who is scoring a career-high 18.0 PPG this season to go along with a very respectable .396 3PT%, would certainly be an intriguing addition to a contender, but his contract may complicate matters. He’s owed $17MM annually through at least 2019/20, with a $17MM player option for 2020/21. Matching that salary with contracts the Magic are willing to take on won’t necessarily be easy for Fournier’s suitors.
  2. Nikola Vucevic, C (Magic): Vucevic, Fournier’s frontcourt teammate, has the more palatable contract of the two — he’s earning $12.25MM this season and then will make $12.75MM in the final year of his deal in 2018/19. That single year of control beyond this season may make him attractive to teams that want more than a rental but prefer not to make long-term commitments. Vucevic is also enjoying a nice bounce-back year after struggling in 2016/17, averaging 17.4 PPG and 9.3 RPG. He has even added a semi-reliable three-point shot to his game. However, a broken hand suffered last month throws a wrench into the Magic‘s chances of moving Vucevic. That injury is expected to sideline the big man for six to eight weeks, which would put him on track to return around the time of the deadline, or right after it. Any team with interest in Vucevic will be keeping a very close eye on his recovery process over the next few weeks.
  3. Dewayne Dedmon, C (Hawks): While DeAndre Jordan‘s name has popped up in trade rumors more frequently, Dedmon looks to me like a more prudent investment for teams targeting centers. With an increased role in Atlanta this season, Dedmon is enjoying a career year, posting 10.8 PPG and 7.8 RPG. And after attempting just one three-pointer in his first four NBA seasons, Dedmon has made 16 of 39 (41.0%) from outside in 2017/18. Although he missed 19 games with a left tibia stress reaction, Dedmon is back on the court now, and at $6MM, his cap hit makes him an attractive target for contenders with potential luxury-tax concerns and a need at center, such as the Cavaliers and Bucks. The only downside is that his $6.3MM player option for 2018/19 means he’ll probably opt out this summer and would be a rental for any club acquiring him.
  4. Ersan Ilyasova, PF (Hawks): Like Dedmon, Ilyasova has a reasonable $6MM cap charge for this season, and will be eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer. However, Ilyasova figures to receive interest from teams looking for a different sort of skill set — he won’t offer much rim protection or rebounding for a big man, but Ilyasova’s ability to shoot three-pointers (.393 3PT% this season) is valuable for a club looking to stretch the floor and give another frontcourt player more room to operate down low. A return to the Sixers might make some sense for Ilyasova. I could also see him fitting in with the Thunder in the role that Patrick Patterson has struggled to fill. Ilyasova is unlikely to push a team over the top, but he’s the sort of player who should be capable of making an important shot or two in the postseason.
  5. Marco Belinelli, SG (Hawks): Speaking of shot-makers, teams in need of outside shooting may prefer a backcourt option like Belinelli over a stretch four like Ilyasova. The Italian swingman has been as effective as ever from three-point range this year, making 39.2% of his attempts, and playing for a new team is unlikely to derail him — he’s currently suiting up for his eighth NBA squad, so he’s accustomed to bouncing around. At $6.6MM, Belinelli is yet another Hawk with an affordable expiring deal, and I expect him to be on the move in the coming weeks if Atlanta can extract a solid second-round pick from a trade partner.
  6. Marvin Williams, F (Hornets): Identifying the top trade candidates on the Hornets is tricky. Some of the team’s higher-paid players, including Nicolas Batum, have negative trade value, but Charlotte likely won’t want to move a bargain like Kemba Walker or a prospect like Malik Monk. If the team wants to cut long-term costs and avoid flirting with the luxury-tax line again next season, Williams would make the most sense as a trade chip. He’s well-compensated, but at $14MM in 2018/19 and $15MM (player option) in 2019/20, his contract isn’t as pricey or as lengthy as Batum’s. Williams is also enjoying an excellent season as a three-and-D wing in Charlotte, with career highs in FG% (.485) and 3PT% (.448). There haven’t been many rumors swirling around Williams yet, but the Hornets are generally active at the deadline, and the former UNC standout is one of a small handful of Charlotte players that would appeal to contenders — and that the Hornets might be open to moving.
  7. Hassan Whiteside, C (Heat): Whiteside’s super-sized contract, which will pay him $25.4MM next year and features a $27MM+ player option for 2019/20, would be a major roadblock to a deal. There have also been no legitimate indications that the Heat are interested in dealing him. Still, Bam Adebayo has been impressive in his rookie season, and Miami’s go-to fourth quarter lineups no longer include Whiteside. Since returning from his knee injury last month, Whiteside has averaged just 23.6 minutes per game, way down from the 32.6 he averaged last season. I don’t expect Whiteside to go anywhere at this point, but there are hints that the Heat would consider the possibility.

Here are a few more potential Southeast trade candidates to monitor:

  • Elfrid Payton, PG (Magic): Rival executives reportedly expect the Magic to shop Payton and Mario Hezonja.
  • Kent Bazemore, G/F (Hawks): Bazemore is said to be drawing some interest, and the Hawks are open to listening.
  • Justise Winslow, F (Heat): Winslow has been identified as a potential trade chip and probably makes more sense in a deal than Whiteside.
  • Kemba Walker, PG (Hornets): Walker almost certainly won’t be dealt by February 8, but the Hornets appear lottery-bound and the point guard’s free agency looms in 2019, so he’s worth watching.
  • Ian Mahinmi, C (Wizards): The Wizards surely wouldn’t mind moving Mahinmi and his over-sized contract, which is out of proportion with his modest role. He has negative value though, so Washington would likely have to attach draft picks to ship him out.

Andrew White Signs Two-Way Deal With Hawks

JANUARY 15: White’s two-way deal with the Hawks is now official, according to a press release issued today by the team.

JANUARY 13: The Hawks will sign forward Andrew White to a two-way contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

White has been playing with the Celtics’ G League affiliate in Maine, where he is averaging 16.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in 22 games. He signed a partially guaranteed deal with Boston in August, but was waived in the preseason.

The Hawks have a two-way slot open, so no other move will have to be made before adding White. Josh Magette holds Atlanta’s other two-way deal.

Draft-And-Stash Prospect Isaia Cordinier Out For Season

  • Hawks draft-and-stash prospect Isaia Cordinier will undergo season-ending knee surgery, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando writes. The 2016 second-round pick has been struggling with tendinitis since at least the summer.

Hawks Set Asking Price On Belinelli, Ilyasova

The Hawks are looking to acquire a high second-round pick in exchange for either guard Marco Belinelli or forward Ersan Ilyasova, league sources tell Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week that Belinellii and Ilyasova are among the Hawks veterans who are expendable as the team looks to stockpile more draft picks and young players.

While the Hawks are well out of the playoff race in the East, both Belinelli and Ilyasova have been their usual productive selves this season. Belinelli has matched his career high in scoring with 11.8 PPG so far, converting 38.6% of his three-point attempts. Ilyasova has also been effective from long-range, posting a .400 3PT% to go along with 11.2 PPG.

Neither player has an exorbitant salary, making them attractive trade pieces for contenders in need of another rotation piece. However, both veterans would likely be rentals for any team acquiring them — Belinelli is on a $6.6MM expiring contract, while Ilyasova is earning $6MM before becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.

Scotto likens the Hawks’ situation to the Suns shopping P.J. Tucker at last season’s deadline. Tucker, who was in the final year of his contract, was sent to a contender in Toronto, with the Raptors surrendering a pair of second-round picks for him. Like last year’s Suns, who acquired Jared Sullinger‘s expiring salary in that Tucker deal, the Hawks wouldn’t want to take back any undesirable multiyear contracts.

Of course, if Atlanta wants to land a high second-round pick for Belinelli or Ilyasova, working something out with a playoff team may be tricky. For instance, would-be contenders like the Timberwolves and Thunder hold their own second-rounders, but those picks figure to fall in the 50s, or at least the late-40s. The Sixers, who hold multiple 2018 second-round picks, including the Nets’ selection, are among the clubs that might make more sense as potential trade partners for Atlanta, given the Hawks’ asking price.

Pistons Notes: Van Gundy, Jackson, Leuer, Moreland

Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy addressed trade rumors surrounding his team during a session with reporters today. Detroit is among several teams linked to Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic as the Pistons try to remain in the playoff race with a roster weakened by injuries.

“We have a roster spot available and there’s people calling,” Van Gundy said in comments tweeted by Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “We’re just seeing if there’s anything that makes sense for us. When you’re down a starting point guard, there’s not a lot of people shopping their starting point guard to you.” (Twitter link).

Reggie Jackson is out until at least the All-Star break with a sprained right ankle. Forward Jon Leuer hasn’t played since October 31 because of a sprained left ankle and may be headed for surgery. After a fast start, the Pistons have fallen into a sixth-place tie in the East at 21-18 and are barely holding on to a playoff spot.

“We’ve got [Leuer] down and [Jackson] down,” Van Gundy added. “There’s a lot of need and we’re looking around. We don’t have anything going on right now, but we’re looking around for people to fill holes.”

There’s more today out of Detroit:

  • The Pistons have plenty of options to target before the February 8 deadline, writes Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. He lists Orlando’s Evan Fournier, Brooklyn’s Joe Harris, Miami’s Wayne Ellington, Dallas’ Wesley Matthews and Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore as players to watch.
  • Pistons center Eric Moreland has a bit of security for the first time in his career, notes Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Moreland had his $1,739,333 contract guaranteed this week, providing him with some stability after four years of trying to earn a steady NBA job. Moreland went undrafted out of Oregon State in 2014 and signed with the Kings, but played just 11 games at the NBA level in two seasons. He signed a partially guaranteed three-year deal with the Pistons over the offseason, but says he hasn’t been focused on this week’s guarantee deadline. “I play the same way, money or no money,” he said. “I don’t even play basketball for money. I just want to go out there and keep learning. This is my first year playing. I can’t get involved in that. That’s just not my mentality. I’m not trying to survive like that.”

Dedmon Returns After 19-Game Absence

Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon returned to the active roster on Monday evening against the Clippers, Jeff Siegel of reports. Dedmon missed 19 games with a left tibia stress reaction, which was expected to sideline him 3-6 weeks. Atlanta has been the league’s third-worst defensive club since the Dedmon injury in late November, Siegel notes. Dedmon, who played for the Spurs last season, signed a two-year, $12.3MM deal with the Hawks in July. He holds a player option for next season.

Woj’s Latest: Pistons, Fournier, Lakers, Hawks

Shooting guards and small forwards are in high demand as the trade deadline approaches, and there simply aren’t that many quality wings expected to be available, Adrian Wojnarowski writes in his latest report for As Wojnarowski details, the Pistons, Knicks, Pelicans, and Trail Blazers are just a few of the many teams looking for upgrades on the wing.

DeMarre Carroll (Nets), Alec Burks (Jazz), Kent Bazemore (Hawks), and Evan Fournier (Magic) are among the veterans attracting some interest on the trade market, according to Wojnarowski, who notes that the Pistons pursued a deal for Fournier. Such a trade would be hard to pull off without including Reggie Jackson‘s contract, so nothing’s imminent at this point, but the Pistons continue to be aggressive on the trade market, a reflection of Stan Van Gundy‘s desire to win now, says Wojnarowski.

As for the Pelicans, they also remain active in trade talks despite their limited assets, according to Wojnarowski, who notes that Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca have negative value and won’t be movable without New Orleans attaching a draft pick or two. If the Pelicans can’t trade for a wing, they’ll have to count on getting Solomon Hill back healthy for the home stretch of the season.

Here’s more from Woj:

  • The Lakers have “made it clear” that Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr. are available in trades, reports Wojnarowski. The club had been planning on waiting until after the season to try to move Clarkson, but there may be a mutual desire to get something done on that front sooner rather than later.
  • Bazemore, Ersan Ilyasova, and Marco Belinelli are expendable in Atlanta, where the Hawks are focused on unloading veterans and stockpiling more young players and draft picks, per Wojnarowski.
  • The Bulls still plan to trade Nikola Mirotic after January 15, assuming he OK’s a deal. According to Wojnarowski, Mirotic is somewhat intrigued by the Jazz and their head coach Quin Snyder, who has a reputation for maximizing offensive talent.
  • It’s possible their outlooks could change by the trade deadline, but the Thunder and Pelicans currently have no plans to trade Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins, respectively. Both players can become unrestricted free agents this July.
  • We passed along more rumors from Woj in full stories earlier today, providing the latest on DeAndre Jordan and examining the Grizzliesasking price for Tyreke Evans.

Hawks To Guarantee Contracts of Cavanaugh, Taylor

Per a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Hawks are expected to guarantee the contracts of Isaiah Taylor and Tyler Cavanaugh before tomorrow’s guarantee deadline. Combined, that adds up to almost $2.0MM in guaranteed money that Atlanta could have saved by waiving the two players.

Taylor, a second-year guard out of Texas, played in seven total games for Houston last season as a rookie before signing with the Hawks in October. He has averaged 5.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game in 31 games so far this season primarily as a backup to Dennis Schroder.

Cavanaugh, an undrafted rookie big man out of George Washington, signed a two-way contract with the Hawks in November before ultimately having his contract converted to a standard NBA deal last month. In 26 games played so far this season, he has averaged 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

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