Atlanta Hawks – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-08-03T20:31:59Z WordPress Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[NBA Nears Agreement On Workouts For Teams Not In Orlando]]> 2020-07-26T21:21:27Z 2020-07-25T14:50:53Z The NBA is close to finalizing plans for the eight teams not in Orlando to hold practices and group workouts, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports.

Under the proposal, those teams would be allowed a week of practice at their home facilities, beginning the second week of August. They might also conduct two weeks of group workouts and scrimmages at two of those sites.

The plan would have to be approved by the National Basketball Players Association but talks have progressed to point where an announcement could be made next week, according to Bonnell. If those teams do agree to the two-week workout and scrimmage sessions, they would be subject to the same safety protocols as the players at the Orlando campus.

The teams not currently in Orlando are the Hornets, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, Timberwolves, Hawks, Cavaliers and Warriors.

Many of those teams have been pushing for some sort of organized activities, feeling they’re at a competitive disadvantage compared to the teams on the Orlando campus. However, the Knicks were reportedly reluctant to hold scrimmages against other clubs since they have numerous free agents on their roster.

Currently, players on those teams are only allowed to work on individual skills development, Bonnell notes.

Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Hawks Might Make Run At Giannis]]> 2020-07-25T12:39:02Z 2020-07-25T01:38:44Z
  • There are quite a few free agent point guard options for the Hawks to consider as a backup but the Bulls’ Kris Dunn should be at or near the top of the list, The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner opines. Dunn is an elite level defender, though he’d have to paired up with quality shooters due to his offensive limitations. The Grizzlies’ De’Anthony Melton would also be an interesting option who could be paired with Young at times because of his defensive prowess.
  • It isn’t out of the question the Hawks would make a run at Giannis Antetokounmpo if the reigning Most Valuable Player becomes a free agent next summer, Kirschner adds in the same piece. If the Hawks’ young core shows major progress next season, they may be able to entice the superstar in a similar manner to what the Clippers did to lure Kawhi Leonard and trade for Paul George.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Draft Notes: Tilmon, M. Smith, Early Entrants]]> 2020-07-25T12:41:13Z 2020-07-24T22:00:29Z After Missouri guard Xavier Pinson announced earlier this week that he was pulling out of the 2020 NBA draft to return to school for another year, a pair of his teammates who had been testing the waters have followed suit.

    According to Mizzou Hoops (Twitter link), forwards Jeremiah Tilmon and Mitchell Smith are also returning to the Tigers for their senior seasons in 2020/21.

    Neither Tilmon nor Smith was a full-time starter at Missouri this past season. Tilmon averaged 8.2 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 17 games (19.9 MPG), while Smith recorded 5.1 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 30 games (21.9 MPG). They’ll each play one more season in college before becoming automatically draft-eligible in 2021.

    Here’s more on the draft:

    • NCAA prospects who are testing the draft waters have until August 3 to decide whether or not to withdraw. As Jeff Goodman of Stadium writes, many players still weighing their decisions would like more time, given the uncertainty surrounding the 2020/21 NCAA season and the lack of an NBA combine so far. “It would definitely help (to extend the withdrawal deadline),” Iowa’s Luka Garza said. “The last week has been very stressful mentally thinking about it all. I don’t know what to do.”
    • Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype takes a closer look at Garza and several other prospects who are still testing the waters, examining whether or not it makes sense for them to stay in the draft.
    • The Athletic’s beat writers for the Knicks, Hawks, Warriors, Pistons, and Cavaliers conducted a mini-mock draft for the first five picks, based on a Tankathon simulation. The results were interesting, with Mike Vorkunov taking Anthony Edwards for New York at No. 1, Chris Kirschner selecting Deni Avdija for Atlanta at No. 2, and LaMelo Ball slipping to Detroit at No. 4.
    • Bryant guard Benson Lin has decided to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility and play professionally in China next season, a source tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Lin could technically still enter this year’s draft, since the entry deadline has been pushed back. However, he can go pro without doing so, and Rothstein’s report doesn’t mention the draft.
    Jovan Alford <![CDATA[Drummond Wanted To Be Traded To Hawks]]> 2020-07-23T03:16:33Z 2020-07-23T03:16:33Z In his latest mailbag for The Athletic on Tuesday, Chris Kirschner answered questions relating to the Hawks‘ future, Kevin Huerter, Clint Capela, and a handful of other topics.

    Within the mailbag, Kirschner noted that veteran center Andre Drummond wanted to be traded to Atlanta before the Hawks acquired Capela from the Rockets. According to the Hawks beat writer, Drummond – who is friends with Trae Young – was telling people he wanted to be in Atlanta. However, the 26-year-old center was ultimately traded to the Cavaliers for John Henson, Brandon Knight, and a 2023 second-round pick in February.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Moves 2020 Draft Lottery To August 20]]> 2020-07-21T18:47:13Z 2020-07-21T18:47:13Z The NBA has moved up its 2020 draft lottery by five days, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the event, previously tentatively scheduled for August 25, will now take place on Thursday, August 20.

    The eight teams with the best odds in this year’s lottery are the same eight teams that weren’t invited to participate in the resumption of the 2019/20 season in Orlando. The Warriors, Cavaliers, and Timberwolves each have a 14.0% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, followed by the Hawks (12.5%), Pistons (10.5%), Knicks (9.0%), Bulls (7.5%), and Hornets (6.0%).

    The other six teams that will be part of the 2020 lottery will be determined once this season’s 16 playoff teams have been set, which will happen a few days before August 20. The six clubs in Orlando that don’t make the postseason will occupy the bottom six spots in the lottery standings — their order will be determined by their records as of March 11.

    [RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: NBA Draft Lottery]

    The tentative 2020 NBA draft lottery odds, assuming the Grizzlies, Magic, and Nets all hang onto their playoff spots, can be found right here. This year’s draft will take place on October 16.

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Vassell Might Be Dark-Horse Candidate In First Round]]> 2020-07-21T01:56:35Z 2020-07-21T00:39:07Z
  • FSU wing Devin Vassell is the 16th-rated prospect on ESPN’s 2020 big board, but Chris Kirschner of The Athletic contends that Vassell is a player the Hawks should seriously consider if they end up drafting in the No. 5-7 range this fall.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Hawks Name Tori Miller GM Of G League Team]]> 2020-07-09T18:58:12Z 2020-07-09T18:58:12Z The Hawks have promoted Tori Miller to the role of general manager of the College Park Skyhawks, the team announced today in a press release. The move makes Miller the first woman to ever hold the title of GM in NBA G League history.

    Miller, a native of Decatur, Georgia, began her career as a basketball operations intern with the Suns. She eventually joined Atlanta’s G League affiliate – then the Erie BayHawks – as the club’s manager of basketball operations before being named the Skyhawks’ assistant GM in July 2019.

    Chris Kirschner of The Athletic published a profile of Miller shortly after last summer’s promotion, noting that her goal is to eventually become the general manager of an NBA team.

    “I want to create that path,” Miller told The Athletic at the time. “I want to be the one person where others say, ‘Hey, Tori Miller did it. I want to do it as well.'”

    In addition to Miller’s promotion, the Hawks and Skyhawks announced a handful of other promotions and hires. Notably, former Skyhawks GM Derek Pierce will remain in the organization and will continue to oversee Atlanta’s scouting department as the Hawks’ VP of player personnel.

    Atlanta also promoted Dwight Lutz to senior director of basketball strategy and analytics and Zac Walsh to director of team operations, among other moves.

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Young Can Improve Off The Ball]]> 2020-07-03T01:55:11Z 2020-07-03T00:41:45Z
  • In a discussion between The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner and Sam Vecenie, Vecenie asserts that Hawks star Trae Young needs to prove he can be effective off the ball. The could be the key to Atlanta becoming a playoff team, Vecenie adds. “The next step in his evolution is going to be learning to play more with the ball out of his hands,” Vecenie wrote. “We haven’t really gotten a chance to see that a ton with Atlanta because its backup point guard position has been a black hole thus far in his career. But showcasing the ability to be effective without having to pound the ball into the ground will play a big role in how much he can translate to winning basketball.”
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Expected To OK Chicago Mini-Camps, Games For Bottom Eight Teams]]> 2020-07-02T21:19:36Z 2020-07-02T21:14:37Z 4:14pm: Within her full story on the proposed Chicago campus, MacMullan writes that most of the bottom eight teams would prefer to hold mini-camps in their own markets, but commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts – who have repeatedly expressed that they believe the Orlando campus will be safer than teams’ own markets – want to create a similar environment for the non-Orlando teams before they approve group workouts and scrimmages.

    Seven of the bottom eight teams – all except the Knicks – were on a call today with the NBA to discuss the issue, with the league seeking assurances that teams would send their players to Chicago, per MacMullan. There’s a belief that veterans like Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin may not travel to Chicago for the event, but that younger players would be more inclined to participate.

    Participation would be voluntary and the cost of setting up the campus would be split among the NBA’s 30 clubs, sources tell ESPN. MacMullan notes that some of the bottom eight teams want to wait a couple weeks to see how the Orlando plan plays out, while others are in favor of moving forward with a plan as soon as possible, since they don’t believe there’s a ton of time to work out the details.

    There’s still work to be done before the NBPA signs off on the plan, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

    3:56pm: The NBA is close to signing off on creating a second campus location in Chicago for the league’s bottom eight teams who weren’t invited to Orlando, sources tell ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan (Twitter link via Adrian Wojnarowski).

    As MacMullan reports – and Woj relays – the eight clubs not invited to Orlando would be permitted to hold mini-training camps and inter-squad games in Chicago. The goal would be for the event to take place in September.

    The news comes as a bit of a surprise. Many of the clubs whose seasons are over have been pushing the NBA to allow some sort of offseason team activities along these lines, in the hopes of keeping their young players engaged and active during a nine-month gap between games. However, a report earlier this week suggested that the NBA wasn’t expected to approve mandatory OTAs, and there was skepticism that the league would go to the effort of creating another “bubble” without its massive TV deals – and its 2020 postseason – at stake.

    We’ll have to wait for more details on the NBA’s Chicago plan, but it seems safe to assume there would be more player opt-outs among the bottom eight teams than there have been among the top 22. As Bobby Marks of ESPN points out (via Twitter) that approximately 40 players on the non-Orlando teams could reach free agency in October, limiting their incentive to participate in a September mini-camp for teams they may be leaving a month later.

    The Warriors are the only team without any pending free agents on their roster, but Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes (via Twitter) that their preference has been to hold a controlled mini-camp in the Bay Area — not to participate in a de facto Summer League across the country.

    The Warriors, Timberwolves, Hornets, Bulls, Hawks, Knicks, Cavaliers, and Pistons are the eight teams not playing in Orlando this summer who would be invited to the Chicago campus, assuming the NBA and NBPA finalize an agreement.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Bottom Eight Teams Not Permitted To Start Making Trades]]> 2020-07-02T17:43:27Z 2020-07-02T17:43:27Z During a typical NBA league year, there’s a freeze on trades between the winter trade deadline and the end of a team’s season in the spring. Once the regular season ends, the 14 non-playoff teams are once again permitted to make trades, with other clubs regaining that ability as they’re eliminated from the postseason.

    However, due to the unusual nature of the 2020 NBA calendar, things will look a little different this year. As Bobby Marks of ESPN explains, no teams are currently permitted to make trades, including the bottom eight teams who aren’t participating in the summer restart in Orlando. Even though the offseason has begun for those eight non-Orlando clubs (the Warriors, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Pistons, Hawks, Knicks, Hornets, and Bulls), a transaction moratorium remains in place for them following last week’s brief transaction window.

    According to Marks, the likely outcome is that the league and the players’ union will agree to lift the moratorium once the first round of the playoffs gets underway on August 17. At that point, non-playoff teams – including the six teams in Orlando that don’t make the postseason – would be allowed to make trades, waive players, and sign certain players to contract extensions.

    Of course, while non-playoff teams are generally permitted to make trades and other roster moves as soon as the postseason gets underway, we usually don’t see the first trades of the offseason completed until around the time of the draft. So we shouldn’t expect a flurry of moves if the moratorium lifts in August — most of the offseason’s deals will still likely come in October, when the draft and free agent period take place.

    For the time being, the only permissible NBA transaction is the signing of a substitute player. The 22 teams participating in the restart can sign a substitute to replace any player who voluntarily opts out or who contracts COVID-19. The player being replaced would subsequently become ineligible for the rest of the season.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Won’t Permit Mandatory OTAs For Non-Orlando Teams]]> 2020-06-30T15:05:36Z 2020-06-30T14:26:33Z Many of the eight NBA teams not participating in the summer restart in Orlando had been hoping to hold some form of mandatory offseason team activities to help bridge the gap between seasons and to keep their players engaged and active. However, the NBA and NBPA won’t allow any OTAs for those clubs to be mandatory, sources tell Marc Berman of The New York Post.

    According to Berman, the NBA hasn’t ruled out the possibility of “informal group-setting team workouts” this offseason for those bottom eight teams. But any workouts would have to adhere to the state’s social distancing guidelines as well as league safety protocols. Additionally, they could only be voluntary, per Berman. Currently, players on those eight clubs can only conduct voluntary individual workouts at their teams’ practice facilities.

    The NBA has been prioritizing getting all the necessary rules and guidelines in place for its summer restart for the league’s top 22 teams, so the eight non-Orlando clubs have taken a back seat for now. However, it should just be a matter of time before the league formally addresses potential offseason activities for those franchises.

    Because those teams aren’t expected to play any real games for about nine months, some have lobbied the NBA to allow them to play in a single-site offseason tournament. However, given the level of planning – including a 113-page manual on health and safety protocols – that went into the NBA’s restart, it’s not considered worth it to replicate that process (albeit on a smaller scale) for the other eight clubs, says Berman.

    As Berman notes, with no “bubble” being created for the non-Orlando teams, there’s concern about how to safely hold group workouts for players who would be going home to their families from their teams’ practice facilities. In a conference call last week, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts alluded to the fact that replicating the safety protocols in place in Orlando for the bottom eight teams would be a challenge.

    “Candidly, while I appreciate that there will be a bit of a layoff, I think there are some things these teams can do to get the guys that are not playing some (benefit) by their not being involved in Orlando. But unless we could replicate in every way the protocol that’s been established for Orlando, I’d be — I’m being tame now — suspicious,” Roberts said.

    The Warriors, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets are the eight teams not participating in the restart this summer.

    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[And-Ones: Uninvited Teams, Orlando, Diversity, Schedules]]> 2020-06-28T17:16:09Z 2020-06-27T21:32:23Z Several cities are being considered as possible hosts for the eight teams that weren’t invited to Orlando, reports Sam Amick of The Athletic. Participants in a league conference call this week mentioned Las Vegas and Houston, which were both eyed as potential sites for the 22-team field before Orlando was chosen. Amick states that some of the eight teams involved have expressed interest in hosting the event, citing the Timberwolves as a possibility.

    Sources tell Amick that the Cavaliers, Pistons and Hawks have been the strongest advocates to the league about setting up some type of eight-team arrangement so their players can have the benefit of competition before next season begins. However, the Knicks have been reluctant because they have so many potential free agents who may refuse to participate. He suggests New York would be more willing to get involved if it could use G League players to fill its roster.

    We have more from around the basketball world:

    • The NBA isn’t doubting its decision to bring the restart to Walt Disney World, even though coronavirus cases are rising sharply in Florida, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. He spoke with several league and team officials who expressed confidence in the plan for a bubble environment. Mannix adds that the league might eventually reconsider its policy of not testing some Disney employees, noting that the guidelines issued last week can still be changed.
    • Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA president Chris Paul are both calling on teams to increase diversity in their coaching and front office hires, writes Mark Medina of USA Today. The league currently has just 11 Black head coaches, nine female assistants and nine Black general managers. “There is no doubt there is more we can do internally, the league and our teams and in terms of our hiring practices,” Silver said on a conference call Friday. “The league needs to do a good job, in particular, when it comes to hiring African Americans at every level in the league. It’s something we have been focused on with our teams.”
    • John Hollinger of The Athletic assesses each team’s schedule for Orlando, finding that the Pelicans have the easiest slate and the Heat have the most challenging. Six of New Orleans’ eight games will be against teams with losing records.
    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[NBA Still Considering How To Handle The Eight Teams Not In Orlando]]> 2020-06-28T17:02:03Z 2020-06-27T15:05:10Z Discussions are continuing on what to do with the eight teams not involved in the NBA’s restart in Orlando, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts addressed the topic during a conference call Friday, saying that any proposal must have the same strict health guidelines that are being used at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

    “We want the same (safety) standards to be met,” Tatum said. “There have been conversations that we’ve been having with the players association on how to do that and whether or not we can do that. We know it’s something that our teams would love to do, that some of the players would love to do. But, as Michele said, it has to be done in the right way. We’ll continue having those conversations with Michele and her team on what that looks like.”

    The teams left out of Orlando — the Hawks, Hornets, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Warriors, Timberwolves and Knicks — are concerned about the competitive imbalance from having their players sidelined for so long. Assuming next season starts sometime in December, that will amount to a nine-month stretch without their players being involved in an NBA game.

    The teams have discussed holding a mini-summer league, possibly in August, with a series of shared workouts followed by a few games. Considering the challenges of creating a bubble atmosphere in Orlando, it won’t be easy to find another site that could accommodate all eight teams while minimizing COVID-19 risks to make the setting safe for players and staff members.

    “Candidly, while I appreciate that there will be a bit of a layoff, I think there are some things these teams can do to get the guys that are not playing some (benefit) by their not being involved in Orlando. But unless we could replicate in every way the protocol that’s been established for Orlando, I’d be — I’m being tame now — suspicious,” Roberts said. “I think there are conversations that could be had if there’s anything we can do with the other eight teams. I know there are some players, particularly young players, that seem concerned they’re not getting enough (opportunities). I think our teams are incredibly smart and creative and can come up with ways to get their guys engaged, if not now, before the season starts.

    “But I am very concerned and frankly, my concern aside, our players, our teams are very concerned about any — in terms of play that doesn’t have the same guarantees of safety and health that we’ve provided for the teams in Orlando. So yeah, never say never, but there’s a standard. It’s a standard that’s got to be met, and if it’s not met, next question, as far as I’m concerned.”

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Young Switches To Klutch Sports]]> 2020-06-28T17:00:56Z 2020-06-27T01:41:42Z
  • Hawks star guard Trae Young will sign with Klutch Sports, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Young was previously represented by Octagon. Omar Wilkes, who has been Young’s agent since the guard entered the league in 2018, recently left Octagon to become Klutch Sports’ head of basketball operations, Haynes notes. Young is eligible to sign a rookie scale extension after next season.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[And-Ones: Klutch, T. Young, Blazers, Jazz]]> 2020-06-25T18:50:53Z 2020-06-25T18:50:53Z Veteran NBA agent Omar Wilkes has left Octagon Sports and will become the head of basketball at Klutch Sports, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that the move will create a path for Rich Paul to “expand his scope” as the company’s CEO. Although Paul will continue to work with Klutch’s basketball clients, the hiring of Wilkes will allow him to commit more time to the agency’s newer MLB and NFL divisions, Woj adds.

    Wilkes’ most noteworthy client at Octagon, rising Hawks star Trae Young, has cut ties with the agency and appears likely to follow Wilkes to Klutch, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Chris Kirschner of The Athletic cautions that CAA and Roc Nation have reached out as well, but says Young figures to end up with Klutch, since he and Wilkes are “incredibly close” (Twitter links).

    Cam Reddish, OG Anunoby, and draft prospect Anthony Edwards were among Wilkes’ other clients at Octagon. It’s unclear whether they’ll remain at Octagon or stick with Wilkes as he makes the move to Klutch.

    Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

    • A pair of sports representation agencies – Tandem and You First – have merged, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski relays (via Twitter). Tandem president Jim Tanner will be the president of basketball for the merged firm, which will rebrand with a new name, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Between them, Tandem and You First represent a number of notable NBA players, including Ja Morant, Kristaps Porzingis, and Serge Ibaka.
    • The coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on the Trail Blazers‘ operations, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian, who reports that the team laid off about 40 employees – 15% of its workforce – and reduced salaries for anyone in a director role. The cuts affected multiple departments and also impacted the team’s arena management company, Rip City Management, per Freeman.
    • In an interesting piece for The Athletic, Seth Partnow makes a case against the 82-game season, suggesting that the NBA has an opportunity to experiment in 2020/21, with the season tentatively scheduled to start at least a month or two later than usual.
    • The Salt Lake City Stars took home a pair of NBA G League end-of-season awards, with Martin Schiller earning Coach of the Year honors and VP of basketball operations Bart Taylor named Basketball Executive of the Year. The Jazz‘ NBAGL affiliate finished the 2019/20 season with a 30-12 record, giving the Stars a comfortable hold on the No. 1 seed in the West.