Atlanta Hawks Rumors

And-Ones: Love, Mudiay, Byron Scott

July 29 at 10:22pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Here are a few miscellaneous news and notes to pass along out of the Association tonight:

  • It’s a safe bet that Kevin Love will be traded from the Timberwolves before opening night this upcoming season, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
  • The NCAA had cleared top 2015 draft prospect Emmanuel Mudiay to play academically, but there were still issues about his status as an amateur when he decided earlier this month to instead play in China, multiple sources tell Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link).
  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak insisted in a press conference today that the team saw Byron Scott as its preferred candidate from the beginning of its coaching search, as Mike Trudell of Lakers.com notes via Twitter. Kupchak also said that Scott’s appeal to Lakers fans and experience as a former Lakers player played a role in the team’s decision, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
  • Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson has changed agents, dropping Arn Tellem in favor of Rich Paul, the agent for LeBron JamesTNT’s David Aldridge reports amid his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. Jackson denied a report before the Cavs hired David Blatt that he was interested in Cleveland’s head coaching job.
  • Hawks swingman Kyle Korver has gone from being the 51st pick in the 2003 draft to arguably becoming one of the league’s most valuable role players, and Grantland’s Zach Lowe takes a comprehensive look at the evolution of the sharpshooter’s game over the years. In another piece, Lowe briefly touches on the effect that Jeff Hornacek had on Korver’s development when Hornaceck was an assistant on the Jazz.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

Mike Scott Mulling Offer From CSKA Moscow

July 29 at 4:26pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Hawks restricted free agent Mike Scott is thinking about taking a lucrative three-year offer from Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow even though he’d prefer to remain in the NBA, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The Hawks have been working to re-sign the power forward, as Wojnarowski noted last week when the team reached agreement with Shelvin Mack, its other restricted free agent, but there’s seemingly been little progress toward a deal.

Mack said in May that he wanted to remain with the Hawks, but other NBA teams were reportedly confident as free agency began this month that they could pry him from Atlanta. News has been otherwise quiet on the Aaron Mintz client, as I noted last week in a look at the remaining restricted free agents across the league, and it seems that going overseas is growing more appealing for Scott as NBA interest stagnates.

Scott, 26, grew into a more prominent role for the Hawks this past season after mostly manning the bench as a rookie in 2012/13. The 43rd overall pick from the 2012 draft averaged 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game this year, and his role expanded further in the postseason, when he saw 20.9 MPG.

Edy Tavares Unlikely To Play For Hawks This Year

July 28 at 11:15am CDT By Chuck Myron

It’s “very likely” that Hawks second-round draftee Edy Tavares, also known as Walter Tavares, will continue to play overseas next season, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It appears as though he’ll remain with Spain’s Gran Canaria, the club with which he spent 2013/14.

Atlanta drafted the 7’3″ center 43rd overall last month, and he spent time with the Hawks during summer league, averaging 6.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 16.8 minutes per game across six appearances. The 22-year-old expressed an openness to the idea of remaining overseas, where he would stand to see more playing time than he would with the Hawks this season, as he told Vivlamore earlier this month.

The Cape Verde native nonetheless started just 17 of 35 games for his Spanish club this past season, notching 6.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 1.6 BPG in 21.5 MPG. Tavares remains raw, having only played the game for four years, as Vivlamore notes.

Hawks Sign Adreian Payne

July 25 at 3:06pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Hawks have signed No. 15 overall pick Adreian Payne, the team announced via Twitter. He’ll likely receive more than $1.855MM this season, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-round draft picks shows.

Payne, a 6’10″ power forward, showed steady improvement over his four years at Michigan State, gradually expanding his shooting range and averaging 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds with 42.3% accuracy from behind the three-point line as a senior. The 23-year-old’s age appeared to be a concern for some teams, but the Hawks drafted him more highly than it seemed he’d go, as Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress listed him as the 19th-best prospect and Chad Ford of ESPN.com pegged him 22nd.

Atlanta struggled with injuries in its frontcourt this past season, and the presence of Payne will help the team add to its depth. Two Hawks big men who played key roles last season, Pero Antic and Mike Scott, remain unsigned.

Hawks, Shelvin Mack Agree To Terms

July 25 at 3:02pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Hawks and Shelvin Mack have struck agreement on a three-year, $7.3MM deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The contract will include a team option on the final season, Wojnarowski adds.

Mack had been one of five remaining unrestricted free agents across the league, but as I noted earlier this week, the market for the 24-year-old combo guard appeared quiet. He’d said in May that he would like to return to Atlanta, but hadn’t been heard from since.

It looks like Atlanta will use some of its ample cap space to complete the deal and bring back a significant contributor from last season’s playoff team. Mack averaged 7.5 points and 3.7 assists in 20.4 minutes per game during the regular season, and upped his scoring to 8.1 PPG in just 16.9 MPG during the postseason. It was the 2011 34th overall pick’s best season to date after he bounced around to three teams in his first two years in the league.

Mack played point guard behind Jeff Teague last season, and while he’s also seen time at two-guard in the NBA, the move to re-sign Mack poses questions about point guard Dennis Schröder, whom the Hawks drafted 17th overall in 2013.

Teams With Hard Caps For 2014/15

July 24 at 2:29pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The NBA’s salary cap is really a misnomer of sorts, since it doesn’t truly cap salaries. Look no further than last year’s Nets for confirmation of that. They doled out nearly $103MM in salaries, incurring more than $90.57MM in luxury taxes and smashing the record for the greatest expenditure on a single roster in NBA history.

The NBA’s salary cap is commonly referred to as a “soft cap,” but there are still ways that teams can impose a “hard cap” upon themselves and set a finite limit to their spending. If a team’s salary exceeds the luxury tax threshold ($76,829,000) by more than $4MM, that team is not permitted to acquire a player via sign-and-trade, or to use the non-taxpayer’s mid-level or biannual exceptions. The only exceptions available to such a team are the taxpayer’s mid-level of $3,278,000, the minimum-salary exception, and whatever form of Bird rights they have on their own free agents. As soon as a team completes a sign-and-trade deal, uses its BAE, or uses more than $3,278,000 of its MLE to sign a player, that club becomes hard-capped at $80,829,000 for the 2014/15 season. In other words, team salary can’t exceed that amount at any point between now and June 30th, 2015.

For some clubs, that hard cap isn’t a major concern. For instance, the Suns still have about $18MM in breathing room below the hard cap, so they have plenty of flexibility to re-sign restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe to a max contract if need be. On the other hand, the Clippers are only about $1MM below the hard cap, so any trades or signings they make for the rest of the season will have to be constructed to ensure their team salary doesn’t surpass that $80.829MM cutoff.

More clubs may trigger hard caps as the offseason wears on, but here are the teams that are now locked into a hard cap for the 2014/15 season, along with an estimation (via Basketball Insiders) of their current team salaries and the reason(s) why the hard cap was created:

Hawks
Hard cap created: Acquired Thabo Sefolosha via sign-and-trade
Estimated team salary: $60,975,564

Rockets
Hard cap created: Acquired Trevor Ariza via sign-and-trade
Estimated team salary: $68,125,942

Wizards
Hard cap created: Acquired Kris Humphries via sign-and-trade; acquired DeJuan Blair via sign-and-trade; signed Paul Pierce via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $76,646,603

Suns
Hard cap created: Acquired Isaiah Thomas via sign-and-trade
Estimated team salary: $51,805,537

Warriors
Hard cap created: Signed Shaun Livingston via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $72,232,245

Pacers
Hard cap created: Signed C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $74,798,942

Clippers
Hard cap created: Signed Spencer Hawes via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Jordan Farmar via biannual exception
Estimated team salary: $79,679,772

Grizzlies
Hard cap created: Signed Vince Carter via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Beno Udrih via biannual exception
Estimated team salary: $75,529,943

Trail Blazers
Hard cap created: Signed Chris Kaman via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Steve Blake via biannual exception
Estimated team salary: $69,322,824

Kings
Hard cap created: Signed Darren Collison via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $75,852,705

Central Notes: Pistons, Cavs, Irving

July 20 at 10:28am CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Pistons have turned over a third of their roster this offseason, and new president and coach Stan Van Gundy has been the architect of that change. David Mayo of MLive examines the team’s moves and believes Detroit may have lost ground in the Eastern Conference with all the improvements made to the Cavs, Bulls, Hawks, and Hornets rosters.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Van Gundy believes being the president and coach of the Pistons is an advantage when recruiting free agents, writes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Van Gundy said, “I can present the roster and talk about roles free agents could play. If you’re talking to them as a coach, it’s probably a little more realistic than just the front office — so a slight advantage, but not a whole lot.” Still, Van Gundy does admit that money is the biggest factor, saying “It’s not as much an advantage as money. My experience with the NBA is about 99.9% of the time the guy takes the best contract offer. Most guys aren’t going to make a big sacrifice, so money is No. 1, but then there are all kinds of things after that.
  • With all the buzz about a potential Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett trade being in the works, Kyrie Irving isn’t worried if the Cavs complete the deal or not, writes Cameron Moon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Irving claims he hasn’t seriously thought about the deal being made, and also said, “There are so many guys who have inside sources. Until it happens and I get the call from our GM, other than that I haven’t really considered anything.
  • The Cavaliers have had quite a busy and surprising offseason so far. The crew at Basketball Insiders (video link) break down all the moves the team made and what they mean for the franchise going forward.

And-Ones: Boozer, Blair, Williams, Mavs

July 17 at 7:48pm CDT By Alex Lee

With the Bulls using their amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer on Tuesday, only seven NBA players remain amnesty-eligible as noted in our 2014 Amnesty Primer. But the five teams that haven’t used the provision will have to wait until next summer, as Wednesday marked the deadline for this offseason.

Boozer was snatched up by the Lakers earlier today for a manageable price of $3.25MM, though as ESPN’s Marc Stein reports (via Twitter), the Duke product had strong interest in the Rockets had he gone unclaimed and cleared waivers. Meanwhile, Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times speculates that Boozer’s presence might signal a more complimentary role for rookie Julius Randle unless the playoff-hungry Lakers consider June’s No. 7 pick a small forward (Twitter links are here).

Here’s more from around the league on Thursday night:

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Eastern Rumors: Boozer, Blair, Durant

July 16 at 5:46pm CDT By Cray Allred

Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report details how the Heat’s maneuvers to accommodate the Big Three back in 2010 are now proving costly with the departure of LeBron James. The Heat’s 2015 first round pick–given to the Cavs as part of James’ sign-and-trade to Miami–is still owed to Cleveland, and Miami is still paying Mike Miller‘s amnestied contract while the sharpshooter is on the verge of re-teaming with LeBron in another city. Here’s more from the East:

  • The Hawks, reportedly one of the favorites to place a bid on Carlos Boozer, took a step in that direction, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders confirms the team has officially slipped beneath the cap (Twitter link).
  • The Mavs promised DeJuan Blair that they would try to sign-and-trade him to give him a financial boost, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, and indeed it appears Dallas is close to sending him to the Wizards via sign-and-trade,
  • The Wizards will bring University of Maryland women’s assistant coach David Atkins as an assistant coach for player development, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. A handful of rival executives see it as a sign that Washington has begun to position itself to make a run at Durant, a D.C. native, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt (Twitter link), since Atkins was one of Kevin Durant‘s high school coaches, fellow ESPN scribe Mark Stein notes (on Twitter).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Stephenson, Miller, Knicks

July 16 at 10:15am CDT By Chuck Myron

Some Pacers players attempted to persuade the team to sweeten its offers to Lance Stephenson, but the front office resisted, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. Stephenson agreed early this morning to bolt for the Hornets, and as his new three-year, $27.5MM deal quickly came together, the Pacers never received the opportunity to match Charlotte’s offer, as Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star writes. There’s more on his deal amid the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Mavs made a three-year $20MM offer to Stephenson, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). The new Hornets two-guard would have joined the Mavs instead if the Rockets hadn’t passed on matching the Mavs’ offer sheet to Chandler Parsons, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
  • The Pacers made two different five-year offers to Stephenson, but he rejected them both, favoring a shorter arrangement, agent Alberto Ebanks tells Buckner (Twitter link). Indiana wasn’t willing to go shorter than five years, Broussard writes in his piece.
  • The Nuggets had a three-year, $12MM offer on the table for Mike Miller, but he passed it up for two years and $5.5MM with the Cavs thanks to persistent entreaties from LeBron James, as Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com details.
  • Knicks president Phil Jackson thinks the team has too many guards, and he may end up waiving Wayne Ellington, whom New York acquired in the Tyson Chandler trade, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post.
  • The Jazz almost doubled the average annual value of the deal that the Wizards were willing to give Trevor Booker, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
  • The Hawks held on to Pero Antic through Tuesday, meaning his non-guaranteed salary for 2014/15 has become fully guaranteed for $1.25MM. The same is true for Kyle O’Quinn, whose minimum salary with the Magic went from non-guaranteed to fully guaranteed when Orlando kept him Tuesday.