Hawks Rumors

Southeast Notes: Lin, Young, Gordon, T. Brown

While opening night is thrilling for everyone, that’s especially true for new Hawks guard Jeremy Lin, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin is coming off two frustrating years in Brooklyn, where injuries limited to a total of 37 games. He suffered a torn right patellar tendon in the first game of last season and hasn’t played since.

“I think I’m just going to be really excited, really grateful,” Lin said before tonight’s game. “I’m going to be like, ‘Dang, in a lot of ways I made it. I made it back.’ The rehab process — not just the knee, the hamstring and all the other stuff — those were tough, to watch all those games. For me, to just get back on the court, I’m going to be super happy.”

Lin remains disappointed that he couldn’t contribute more to the Nets after signing a three-year, $36MM contract in 2016. His focus now is on putting together a healthy season in Atlanta and rebuilding his value for another shot at free agency next summer.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks‘ decision to trade down and draft Trae Young was the result of a compromise between the team’s ownership group and the front office, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The owners wanted to keep the No. 3 pick and take Luka Doncic, while the front office preferred Jaren Jackson Jr., who wound up in Memphis with the fourth selection. The parties elected to swap picks with Dallas and take Young, whom everyone in the organization agreed on.
  • The Magic showed their faith in Aaron Gordon with a new four-year, $76MM contract this summer, and president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman tells Josh Robbins of The Athletic that Gordon’s intangibles factored into the decision. Gordon is coming off a breakthrough season in which he raised his stats to 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. “Organizationally, we wouldn’t have done what we did if we didn’t have the utmost confidence that he’s going to be able to not just become a good player in his own right, but a player that lifts others,” Weltman said.
  • Wizards rookie Troy Brown can expect to spend at least part of the season in the G League, tweets Doug McKinney of NBC Sports. The additions of Jeff Green and Austin Rivers over the summer will limit Brown’s opportunities for playing time at the NBA level.

NBA Teams With Most, Least Roster Continuity

As usual, the 2018 NBA offseason featured plenty of player movement, with new rookies entering the league, free agents changing teams, and a total of 31 trades being completed between the end of the 2017/18 season and 2018/19’s opening night.

Some teams were more involved in that summer carousel than others. The Hawks, for instance, will enter the season carrying only seven players who finished last season with the team. The Suns will also bring back just seven players from last year’s squad, and that number figures to drop to six once the team completes its reported signing of Jamal Crawford, assuming Davon Reed is the odd man out.

Because teams are permitted to carry 15 players on standard contracts and two more on two-way deals, the maximum number of players a club could have brought back was 17. No team got that high, but the Heat and Jazz are each bringing back 14 players from last year’s rosters. Impressively, all 14 players on Miami’s standard roster are returning players — only the club’s two-way players are new.

[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Roster Counts]

While many teams turned over their two-way contract slots entirely, several clubs are bringing back those players, either keeping them on two-way deals or promoting them to their active rosters. The Nuggets, Bulls, Pacers, and Lakers are among the teams who retained both of their two-way players from last season.

[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Listed below are the number of returning players for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, from most to fewest. Bringing back a significant number of players doesn’t necessarily lead to regular season success, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few of the teams near the top of this list enjoy fast starts due to their players’ familiarity with each other, while teams near the bottom of the list may take some time to get used to their changes.

Here’s the returning-player count for each team:

  1. Miami Heat: 14
  2. Utah Jazz: 14
  3. Boston Celtics: 13
  4. Chicago Bulls: 12
  5. Denver Nuggets: 12
  6. New York Knicks: 12
  7. Cleveland Cavaliers: 11
  8. Indiana Pacers: 11
  9. Philadelphia 76ers: 11
  10. Portland Trail Blazers: 11
  11. Sacramento Kings: 11
  12. Toronto Raptors: 11
  13. Charlotte Hornets: 10
  14. Detroit Pistons: 10
  15. Golden State Warriors: 10
    • Note: Patrick McCaw remains a restricted free agent. The Warriors’ returning player count could increase to 11 if he re-signs.
  16. Los Angeles Clippers: 10
  17. Milwaukee Bucks: 10
  18. Dallas Mavericks: 9
  19. Memphis Grizzlies: 9
  20. Minnesota Timberwolves: 9
  21. New Orleans Pelicans: 9
  22. Oklahoma City Thunder: 9
  23. Orlando Magic: 9
  24. Washington Wizards: 9
  25. Brooklyn Nets: 8
  26. Houston Rockets: 8
  27. Los Angeles Lakers: 8
  28. San Antonio Spurs: 8
  29. Atlanta Hawks: 7
  30. Phoenix Suns: 7
    • Note: The Suns’ returning player count will drop to 6 if Jamal Crawford replaces Davon Reed on the roster, as is expected.

Hawks Pick Up 2019/20 Options For Three Players

The Hawks, as expected, have picked up their 2019/20 team options for three players on rookie scale contracts, per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Taurean Prince and DeAndre’ Bembry have had their fourth-year options exercised, while John Collins‘ third-year option has also been picked up.

Prince and Collins are two key pieces of Atlanta’s young core. Prince, who averaged 14.1 PPG and made 38.5% of his three-pointers last season, will now have his $3,481,986 cap hit guaranteed for 2019/20 and will be eligible for a rookie scale extension as of next July. Collins, who emerged as Atlanta’s starting center down the stretch in his rookie season, recorded 10.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG in 74 games (24.1 MPG). His ’19/20 cap charge of $2,686,560 is now locked in.

As for Bembry, he has struggled to make the same impact as some of his fellow first-rounders so far, having averaged just 5.2 PPG in 26 games last season, but the cost of his fourth-year option ($2,603,982) is barely more than the minimum salary, making it an easy decision for the rebuilding Hawks.

The full list of rookie scale option decisions for 2019/20 can be found right here.

2018/19 Over/Unders: Southeast Division

The 2018/19 NBA regular season will get underway tomorrow, which means it’s time to get serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from Bovada and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, to have you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having already looked at the Atlantic, Central, Southwest, and Pacific divisions, we’re moving onto the Southeast today…

Washington Wizards

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Wizards poll)

Miami Heat

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Heat poll)

Charlotte Hornets

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Hornets poll)

Orlando Magic

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Magic poll)

Atlanta Hawks

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Hawks poll)

Previous voting results:


  • Boston Celtics (59.5 wins): Over (53.63%)
  • Toronto Raptors (55.5 wins): Over (56.95%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Under (51.19%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (31.5 wins): Under (56.04%)
  • New York Knicks (28.5 wins): Under (54.13%)


  • Houston Rockets (56.5 wins): Over (69.33%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (45.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (44.5 wins): Under (60%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (34.5 wins): Over (55.16%)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (34.5 wins): Under (60.87%)


  • Indiana Pacers (47.5 wins): Over (62.04%)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (47.5 wins): Over (73.7%)
  • Detroit Pistons (38.5 wins): Over (56.36%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (30.5 wins): Over (55.42%)
  • Chicago Bulls (29.5 wins): Over (61.8%)


  • Golden State Warriors (62.5 wins): Over (53.45%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (48.5 wins): Over (55.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (36.5 wins): Under (55.7%)
  • Phoenix Suns (29.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • Sacramento Kings (25.5 wins): Under (63.87%)

John Collins Undergoes Non-Surgical Ankle Procedure

Hawks Cut Thomas Robinson, R.J. Hunter, C.J. Anderson

The Hawks have trimmed their preseason roster by three, waiving Thomas Robinson, R.J. Hunter, and C.J. Anderson, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Atlanta’s roster is now at the regular season limit of 17 players, including two on two-way contracts.

Robinson, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft, has appeared in 313 career regular season games, but didn’t play in the NBA last season and was always a long shot to make the Hawks’ regular season roster, since the team is already carrying 15 players on guaranteed contracts. Hunter is also a former first-round pick who has struggled to find an NBA home.

Anderson, meanwhile, went undrafted out of the University of Massachusetts after averaging 10.6 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 5.0 RPG with a .414/.400/.813 shooting line as a senior in 2017/18. If he clears waivers, the Hawks would hold his G League rights as an affiliate player, so he may end up with the Erie BayHawks.

Hawks Sign C.J. Anderson, Waive Isaac Humphries

The Hawks made a minor change to their roster today, announcing in a pair of press releases that they’ve signed former UMass guard C.J. Anderson, waiving recently-added big man Isaac Humphries in a corresponding move.

Humphries, a native of Australia who went undrafted out of Kentucky in 2017, signed with Atlanta on Monday after having spent his first professional season with the Sydney Kings and Serbian club FMP. The 20-year-old only spent about 24 hours under contract with the Hawks, but his signing was designed to secure his G League rights — he figures to end up playing for the Erie BayHawks, Atlanta’s NBAGL affiliate.

The Hawks likely have a similar plan in mind for Anderson, who averaged 10.6 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 5.0 RPG with a .414/.400/.813 shooting line for the University of Massachusetts during his senior season in 2017/18. Atlanta has 15 players on guaranteed salaries already, so Anderson figures to be cut sometime before next week’s roster deadline. If he clears waivers, the Hawks would hold his G League rights as an affiliate player.

Hawks Sign Isaac Humphries

The Hawks have filled the open spot on their 20-man roster by signing forward/center Isaac Humphries, the team announced today in a press release. While terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, it’s almost certainly an Exhibit 10 contract.

Humphries, a native of Australia, arrives in Atlanta after having spent his first professional season with the Sydney Kings in 2017/18. The 20-year-old played a part-time role for the NBL club, averaging 6.9 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 1.0 BPG in 26 games (16.5 MPG). Humphries, who went undrafted out of Kentucky in 2017, also played for Serbian club FMP last season.

According to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Humphries is expected to ultimately end up with the Erie BayHawks, Atlanta’s G League affiliate, so he’ll be waived within the next several days. The Hawks are now back up to 20 players and will have to make a few cuts before next Tuesday in order to set their regular season roster.

Hawks Had Offseason Interest In Kevon Looney

  • Warriors forward Kevon Looney drew lukewarm interest from a handful of teams in free agency, he revealed to Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News. The Rockets, Timberwolves, Clippers, Sixers and Hawks made contact but “nobody really offered,” Looney said. He was an unrestricted free agent after Golden State declined to pick up his option last fall but he settled for a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal.

Cole Aldrich Waived, Expected To Play In China

2:32pm: The Hawks have waived Aldrich, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). The timing of the move is likely no coincidence, as the path is now clear for the center to sign a deal overseas.

2:15pm: Veteran NBA center Cole Aldrich is expected to play in China during the 2018/19 campaign, a source tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Goodman doesn’t offer any specifics on which team Aldrich is expected to join for the coming season.

Aldrich, who will turn 30 later this month, remains under contract with the Hawks for now. However, he has a non-guaranteed contract, and Atlanta is already carrying 15 players on fully guaranteed salaries, making the big man a long shot to earn a spot on the regular season roster.

It’s not uncommon for a player to line up a contract agreement in another league if he expects to be released by his NBA team. Earlier this offseason, for instance, news broke of David Stockton‘s new deal with German team Medi Bayreuth approximately two weeks before he was actually waived by the Jazz.

In Aldrich’s case, he and his representatives may have received word that a roster spot in Atlanta isn’t in the cards and gotten a head start on seeking out another professional opportunity. That remains unconfirmed though.

Aldrich spent the last two seasons in Minnesota, playing a limited role for the Timberwolves. In 2017/18, he appeared in just 21 games and played only 49 total minutes. While his contract covered the 2018/19 season, Aldrich’s salary for the coming year only featured a modest partial guarantee, so the Wolves waived him in June before the full guarantee kicked in, making him an unrestricted free agent. He subsequently received a camp invite from the Hawks.