Atlanta Hawks

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/19/17

Here are Sunday’s G League assignment and recalls from around the NBA:

8:30pm:

5:02pm:

  • The Lakers have recalled Ivica Zubac and Josh Hart from South Bay Lakers, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum Sportsnet tweets. In his latest two-game stint with Los Angeles’ G-League affiliate, Zubac averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds per contest.
  • The Knicks have assigned Damyean Dotson to their G-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, per the team’s Twitter feed.
  • The Heat have recalled Derrick Walton Jr. from their G-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the team announces via press release. Walton will continue to shuffle back and forth between the two clubs, as he’s on a newly established two-way deal.
  • The Hawks have recalled Nicolas Brussino, Tyler Dorsey, and Miles Plumlee, from the team’s G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, according to a team press release.

Dewayne Dedmon Making Impact On And Off Court

  • The Hawks picked up Dewayne Dedmon for a relative bargain this offseason and the big man has started to come into his own with Atlanta. Buddy Grizzard of Basketball Insiders writes that, in addition to his 10.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, the 28-year-old brings energy to the team’s locker room.

And-Ones: E. Okafor, Perkins, S. Brown, Wood

Two NBA veterans have been among the most impressive G League standouts early in the season, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Emeka Okafor, 35, has spent the past four years recovering from surgery on a herniated disc in his neck. He joined the Sixers for training camp and opted to stay with the organization’s affiliate in Delaware. He is averaging 14.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game and is shooting better than 60% from the field.

Kendrick Perkins was the Cavaliers’ final roster cut and went to Cleveland’s affiliate in Canton. He is averaging 13.0 points and 10.3 rebounds through three games. He has dropped weight and may still be able to help an NBA team at age 33.

There’s more news from the NBA and the G League:

  • Today is an important day for four players who were claimed off waivers during the offseason, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. The BullsDavid Nwaba and Kay Felder, the HawksNicolas Brussino and the BucksDeAndre Liggins are all now eligible to be traded.
  • The Sixers used the remainder of this year’s cap space for the renegotiation/extension with Robert Covington, leaving just eight teams with cap room, according to Marks (Twitter link). They are the Bulls [$15.1MM], Mavericks [$12.5MM], Suns [$8.9MM], Pacers [$6.1MM], Kings [$4.3MM], Nets [$3.4MM], Hawks [$589K] and Magic [$549K].
  • Veteran guard Shannon Brown has been claimed from the G League player pool by the Wisconsin Herd, tweets Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days. The 31-year-old last played in the NBA in 2014, when he appeared in five games with the Heat.
  • Christian Wood has joined the Delaware 87ers as a returning player, according to Reichert (Twitter link). He played 13 games for the Hornets last year and ended the season in the G League.
  • International stars are having a greater impact on the NBA than ever before, writes Tom Ziller of SB Nation. Many of the league’s best young players hail from overseas, such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kristaps Porzingis, both considered early-season MVP candidates, along with Ben SimmonsAndrew WigginsJoel Embiid and Nikola Jokic. Ziller credits former commissioner David Stern for his focus on expanding the league to overseas markets. That strategy not only created more revenue, it exposed the NBA to an international audience and created a new reservoir of players.

Cavaliers Notes: Thomas, James, Love, Thompson

Isaiah Thomas discusses his injury, the long recovery process, his trade to Cleveland and much more in a new docu-series on The Players Tribune, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Titled “The Book of Isaiah II,” it will trace his experiences from the 2017 playoffs through the present, but the part that should most interest Cavaliers fans is Thomas’ rehabilitation of his injured hip. January 1 has been floated as a possible return date, but Thomas is hoping to make it earlier.

“This is what I live for,” he said. “Every time something happens in my career, I always bounce back and it’s bigger than anything anybody ever thought. And this is just going to be the same thing. I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m excited to be able to be on this stage playing and battling with the best player in the world. … I’m ready for all that, and I’m preparing right now for all of that, and I can’t wait.”

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • The agent for LeBron James says the chance to compete for a title should drive his client’s decision when he becomes a free agent next summer, relays Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. “For anywhere – not Los Angeles, not Miami, not Detroit, Milwaukee – I think for LeBron, and for most athletes, the most important thing is about winning,” Rich Paul said in an interview on The Herd. “At his level, it should be. It should be about winning at his point in his career.” He noted that Cleveland has been very successful since James’ return, with three straight trips to the NBA Finals.
  • The Cavaliers should ask James directly about his plans for the future and explore a trade if he’s not fully committed to Cleveland, suggests Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. James has a contract provision that allows him to reject any deal, but Kyler believes it would be wiser to address the situation now than to have to launch another rebuilding project if James leaves again.
  • Cleveland needs to find an athletic swingman who can guard multiple positions and would be willing to trade Kevin Love or Tristan Thompson to obtain one, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical. However, Mannix says that type of player isn’t on the market right now, with the Hawks’ Kent Bazemore being the closest available version. Mannix speculates that the Cavs would move any asset except James or the Nets’ unprotected first-rounder in the right deal, but nothing is close at the moment.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/15/17

Here are today’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers sent center Ike Anigbogu to their Fort Wayne affiliate, the team announced on its website. A second-round pick in June, Anigbogu has seen limited playing time in Indiana, amassing 17 minutes in six games.
  • The Thunder recalled guard Terrance Ferguson, who was sent to Oklahoma City Blue on Tuesday. Ferguson turned in a 24-point performance for the G League team.
  • The Hawks assigned swingman Nicolas Brussino and center Miles Plumlee to their Erie affiliate. Brussino has appeared in four games for Atlanta, while Plumlee has yet to play because of a strained right quad.

Batum, Green, Ilyasova Returning From Injuries

A trio of players who have been sidelined for most or all of the 2017/18 season due to injuries are set to return to action for their respective clubs on Wednesday night, per various reports. JaMychal Green will play for the Grizzlies, Ersan Ilyasova will return for the Hawks, and Nicolas Batum will make his season debut for the Hornets.

Batum’s return may be the most notable of the three, as he has been sidelined since early in the preseason with a torn ligament in his elbow. Reports on Batum’s injury initially suggested he’d be out for eight to 12 weeks, with the Hornets confirming that they expected the veteran swingman to miss at least six weeks. Thursday will mark six weeks since the team made that announcement, so Batum made a speedy recovery. He’ll start tonight against the Cavs, according to the Hornets (Twitter link).

Green, the Grizzlies’ primary power forward, will return to action tonight after missing all but one game this season with an ankle injury, writes Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jarell Martin, who appeared to be on the verge of losing his roster spot in training camp, stepped into Memphis’ starting lineup in Green’s absence. Martin figures to return to the bench tonight against the Pacers, while Green looks to begin making good on the two-year contract he signed with Memphis in September.

As for Ilyasova, the Hawks’ power forward, who signed a new two-year deal of his own in the offseason, has been on the shelf since October 27 with a bone bruise in his knee. However, after participating in today’s shootaround, he said he’s ready to go, per Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ilyasova opened the season in the starting lineup, but will come off the bench against the Kings tonight, according to head coach Mike Budenholzer.

2018 Salary Cap Outlook: Southeast Division

NBA rosters will undergo some changes over the course of the 2017/18 season, particularly around the trade deadline, and those changes may have an impact on teams’ cap sheets for future seasons. Based on the NBA’s current rosters, however, we can identify which teams are most and least likely to have cap room in the summer of 2018, which will dictate the type of moves those clubs can make in the offseason.

We’re taking a closer look at each of the NBA’s 30 teams by division this week. Today, we’re tackling the Southeast division. With the help of salary information compiled by Basketball Insiders, here’s how the summer of 2018 is shaping up for the five Southeast teams:

Miami HeatTyler Johnson vertical
Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $117,444,952
Projection: Over the cap

Since the start of the 2016 offseason, the Heat have handed out lucrative long-term contracts to Hassan Whiteside, James Johnson, Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk, and Josh Richardson. It will be Tyler Johnson‘s deal that will be the toughest to swallow in 2018/19 though. Because of the way his 2016 offer sheet from the Nets was structured under the old CBA, Johnson’s cap charge will jump from about $5.88MM this season to $19MM+ next year.

Barring major cost-cutting moves, the Heat will be well over the cap in 2018/19, and may end up surpassing the luxury tax line too.

Charlotte Hornets
Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $116,377,251
Projection: Over the cap

The Hornets have six players on their roster set to make at least $12MM apiece in 2018/19, including two – Nicolas Batum and Dwight Howard – earning about twice that. Most of those contracts won’t be easy to move, and Charlotte won’t want to dump the more team-friendly salaries from that group, like Kemba Walker‘s $12MM expiring deal. As such, we can expect the Hornets to head into the 2018 offseason as an over-the-cap club.

Washington Wizards
Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $115,896,497
Projection: Over the cap

Despite the fact that John Wall‘s super-max extension won’t go into effect until 2019/20, the Wizards have nearly $116MM committed to just eight players next season. Even if the team were to trade a non-core player on an eight-figure salary, such as Ian Mahinmi or Marcin Gortat, it wouldn’t be enough to create meaningful cap space.

Orlando Magic
Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $78,180,655
Projection: Up to approximately $19.5MM in cap room

The summer of 2018 will be a good test for just how attached the Magic’s new front office is to the old regime’s top draft picks. Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton will be restricted free agents, and if Orlando intends to retain both players – or even just Gordon – the team’s cap room will disappear. Letting Gordon and Payton walk and waiving Shelvin Mack and his non-guaranteed salary would get the Magic up to nearly $20MM in cap space.

Atlanta Hawks
Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $56,232,915
Projection: Up to approximately $41MM in cap room

The Hawks’ maximum available cap space for 2018 will hinge in part on whether Dewayne Dedmon and Mike Muscala decide to pick up their respective player options. Those options being exercised would reduce the Hawks’ max cap room to about $31MM, which would still be more than enough to make a major addition or two — or to take on a couple undesirable contracts along with picks or young players, if Atlanta isn’t ready yet to accelerate its rebuilding timeline.

Previously:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Plans For Hawks To Apply For Hardship Exception

The Hawks have been hit by the injury bug in the first month of the season, but the team doesn’t have any plans to apply for an injury hardship exception to gain an extra roster spot, according to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). A hardship exception can be granted by the NBA when a team has four players who have missed at least three games, but Travis Schlenk suggests it shouldn’t be necessary for his team.

“All of our guys should be back soon, hopefully,” the Hawks’ general manager said, per Cunningham.

Hawks Assign Tyler Dorsey To G League

  • The Hawks assigned rookie shooting guard Tyler Dorsey to the G League today, the team announced in a press release. Dorsey has appeared in six games for Atlanta so far this season, playing limited minutes in those contests.

Lakers, Bulls, Hawks Eyeing Mindaugas Kuzminskas

The Lakers, Bulls, and Hawks are among the teams expected to have interest in Mindaugas Kuzminskas if the former Knick clears waivers, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link). Kuzminskas, waived today by New York, will become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday if no team claims him.

When Kuzminskas first signed with the Knicks in the summer of 2016, Berman reported (via Twitter) that the Lakers and Hawks nearly beat out New York to sign the Lithuanian forward, so it’s not a surprise that they’d be willing to kick the tires again. The Bulls also make sense as a potential suitor, since they aren’t overly concerned with short-term success and can afford to roll the dice on a project.

Before Kuzminskas is free to sign with any team though, he’ll have to clear waivers. Waiver claims in the NBA are pretty rare, particularly for players earning more than the minimum. Still, it’s worth noting that half the league’s teams have the ability to claim Kuzminskas and his $3MM salary off waivers, if they so choose.

Waiver order is currently determined by last year’s record, with the worst teams getting first priority. Here are the clubs eligible to claim Kuzminskas:

  • With cap room: Kings, Nets, Pacers, Sixers, Suns
  • With cap room if various exceptions are renounced: Mavericks
  • With a trade exception: Bucks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Raptors, Trail Blazers
  • With a disabled player exception: Celtics
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