Atlanta Hawks

Free Agent Rumors: Wade, Heat, Lakers, Horford

A source involved in the Dwyane Wade situation tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald that the Heat have been unable to tell Wade exactly what they’re willing to pay him because their plans will largely depend on whether or not they land Hassan Whiteside and/or Kevin Durant. That has left Wade feeling frustrated, since he wants to be a priority for the team. Still, Jackson says it would be a surprise if the veteran guard ultimately ended up anywhere except Miami.

Here are several more rumors and updates left over from what has been a busy first few hours of free agency:

  • The Lakers didn’t reach out to Al Horford when free agency began, but they do have interest in him, says Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. It’s not clear whether that interest has dwindled at all now that the team has agreed to terms with Timofey Mozgov.
  • The Magic have expressed interest in Jeff Green, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • Dwight Howard has sit-downs lined up with four teams, with his Friday meetings happening in Atlanta and his Saturday meetings happening in Las Vegas, tweets ESPN’s Chris Broussard. We know Howard is meeting with Atlanta and Boston, but it’s not clear who his other two suitors are.
  • Don’t be surprised if – and when – the Pistons go after Thomas Robinson, per David Mayo of MLive.com (Twitter link).
  • Lance Thomas and Langston Galloway each received interest from a handful of teams as free agency got underway, with the Thunder, Timberwolves, Nets, and Hawks calling Thomas, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. The Knicks would like to re-sign both players.
  • E’Twaun Moore will start hearing pitches on Friday and his free agency may move quickly, sources tell ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link). The Bulls are viewed as the favorites to retain Moore.
  • When he called free agent guard Jamal Crawford on Thursday night, Clippers coach Doc Rivers swore Crawford wouldn’t be going anywhere, per Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).

RFA Rumors: Dellavedova, Waiters, T. Johnson

Earlier tonight, we heard that the Warriors plan to retain restricted free agent Harrison Barnes if they’re unable to land Kevin Durant. Here are several more updates on RFAs around the league:

  • The Kings, Hawks, Mavericks, and Bucks have all reached out to Matthew Dellavedova‘s camp early in free agency, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com. Dellavedova is in Australia preparing for the 2016 Olympics, so he’s unlikely to have face-to-face meetings with any suitors anytime soon, but it sounds like he’s interested in exploring his options. A return to the Cavaliers remains in play for the RFA guard, but it’s possible the price will get too high for Cleveland’s liking, Haynes writes.
  • Dion Waiters‘ representatives fielded interest from the Kings, Nets, Sixers, Bulls, Heat, and Thunder tonight, a source tells Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Oklahoma City extended a qualifying offer to Waiters earlier this week, making him a restricted free agent and giving the Thunder the right of first refusal.
  • On The Vertical’s free agency broadcast earlier tonight, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Tyler Johnson has received interest from a handful of teams, including the Nets and Pelicans, and is expected to begin taking meetings on Friday (Twitter links via Scott Kushner of The Advocate and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. The restricted free agent guard, who got a qualifying offer from the Heat, could earn up to $10MM annually, per Wojnarowski (Twitter link via Brian Lewis of the New York Post).

Eastern FA Rumors: Bazemore, Crabbe, Nets, Bulls

Here are a few late-night free agent rumors from around the Eastern Conference:

  • If the Hawks hope to re-sign Kent Bazemore, the team will have to be prepared to give him a mammoth raise. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link), teams that have inquired on bazemore are under the impression that it might take $19-20MM per year to sign him.
  • The Nets are making a push for restricted free agent Allen Crabbe, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com. The Trail Blazers have maintained that they’ll match any offer for Crabbe, but Brooklyn has the cap space to make it hard on Portland.
  • Another guard on the Nets‘ radar is Brandon Jennings, who will work out for the club on Friday, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard (via Twitter). Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link) has heard that Jennings is seeking more than $10MM annually.
  • While no deal may be reported or announced immediately, the Bulls expect to re-sign E’Twaun Moore without too much drama, per Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago (Twitter link).
  • The first call Courtney Lee received when free agency opened was from the Knicks, with Phil Jackson calling him personally, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.

Howard Seeking $24MM Annually, Will Meet With Hawks

Dwight Howard is seeking a contract starting at $24MM annually, a league source tells Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link). Howard is expected to conduct his meetings in Atlanta, with the Celtics and Hawks the first two teams scheduled to meet with the big man, Watkins notes. The Blazers and Hornets have also expressed interest in Howard, who is an unrestricted free agent, the scribe adds.

  • Former NBA player Austin Daye has signed with the Turkish club Galatasaray, international journalist David Pick reports (via Twitter). Daye last appeared in the NBA during the 2014/15 campaign when he split time between the Hawks and Spurs.

Latest On Kevin Durant

THURSDAY, 7:10am: Stein fills in the rest Durant’s schedule, tweeting that he’ll meet with the Clippers on Friday and the Celtics on Saturday. So KD’s full lineup of meetings will look like this:

  • June 30th: Thunder
  • July 1st: Warriors and Clippers
  • July 2nd: Spurs and Celtics
  • July 3rd: Heat

WEDNESDAY, 11:17am: Durant’s meeting with the Heat will occur on Sunday, according to an ESPN.com report from Broussard and Stein.

11:00am: Kevin Durant‘s schedule for the next several days is beginning to take shape, with a handful of reporters filling in the details on the star forward’s free agent tour. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard (via Twitter), Durant will have his first meeting with his current team, sitting down with the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Thursday.

Once free agency officially begins on Friday, Durant will head to the Hamptons in New York for the rest of his meetings, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Durant will meet with the Warriors on Friday afternoon in the Hamptons. Meanwhile, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that the Spurs’ pitch to the former MVP is scheduled for Saturday.

In addition to meeting with the Thunder, Warriors, and Spurs, Durant also has sit-downs lined up with the Heat, Celtics, and Clippers, and those meetings will take place over the first few days of July, says Broussard (via Twitter). The ESPN reporter adds (via Twitter) that the Knicks are still receiving consideration for a meeting, while the Lakers won’t get one. There’s no mention of the Hawks, who are also trying to “wedge their way” into the Durant sweepstakes, but it doesn’t look like Atlanta will get an audience with KD.

Durant has said that his top priority for his next destination is competing for a championship, and being able to do so immediately. Wojnarowski recently reported that the 27-year-old has plans to go on a publicity tour starting on July 9th, so he’ll likely make a decision before that date.

While a two-year contract with an opt-out after the first year makes the most financial sense for Durant, who could land a much larger max contract in 2017, there have been increased rumblings that he’s not eager to go through the free agent process again in a year, so it’s possible he’ll sign a long-term contract with the team he chooses.

Lowe’s Latest: Horford, Howard, Noel

The Hawks are reluctant to offer unrestricted free agent Al Horford a fifth year this summer, and if the team maintains that rigid stance it could risk losing him to another suitor, writes Zach Lowe of ESPN.com in his free agency primer. The scribe names the Pistons as a team to watch regarding the center and notes that Detroit is working to set up a meeting with Horford during the first 48 hours of free agency. With veteran point guard Jeff Teague having already been traded, if the Hawks were to lose Horford and swingman Kent Bazemore this summer, it could prompt a full rebuild in Atlanta, Lowe writes. The scribe also notes that coach Mike Budenholzer‘s status as a team executive gives him more security to undertake a re-tooling effort.

Here’s more from Lowe:

  • Hornets unrestricted free agent forward Marvin Williams may be in line for a deal this summer in the range of two years and $38MM, according to Lowe’s estimations.
  • Teams are balking at the notion of paying Dwight Howard a max salary, even if it’s on a short-term deal, Lowe notes. The scribe adds that the center has a free agent meeting set up with the Celtics.
  • The Nets and Sixers have enough cap room to create early havoc in the free agent market and drive up prices around the league if they are aggressive in going after restricted free agents, Lowe writes. Brooklyn has strong interest in adding some high-character veterans, including Jared Dudley, Lowe relays. There are a number of teams that are worried Brooklyn will jump the market on unrestricted free agents with ties to new coach Kenny Atkinson (Jeremy Lin, Bazemore), and some under-the-radar young players, the scribe adds.
  • The Raptors will need to move at least one large contract in order to have a shot at re-signing both DeMar DeRozan and Bismack Biyombo, Lowe notes. To that end, Toronto has approached the Sixers about a trade involving a rotation player and other assets in exchange for Nerlens Noel, who could potentially replace Biyombo as backup center. These talks have not gained much traction, according to Lowe.
  • The Magic‘s acquisition of Jodie Meeks from the Pistons will have no bearing on their plans for restricted free agent Evan Fournier, Lowe notes, with Orlando being unsure of Meeks’ health heading into next season.
  • Lowe also speculates that the cap boom may lead to an increase in contract extensions, noting that Paul George (Pacers), DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), John Wall (Wizards) and Derrick Favors (Jazz) are all potential extension candidates this year.
  • The Pacers may look to trade shooting guard Monta Ellis this summer in an effort to free up more cap space, Lowe notes. Ellis, who is set to earn $10,763,500 in 2016/17, still has three years remaining on his current pact.
  • The NBPA is encouraging players to sign contracts that decline over time so they can get as much guaranteed money up front as possible, Lowe relays. This push is likely related to a potential lockout next summer when the league and union have the ability to opt out of the current CBA.

Kent Bazemore Prefers Hawks, Drawing Interest From Knicks

One possible free agent target at shooting guard for the Knicks is Kent Bazemore — New York has “heavy interest” in the Atlanta wing, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. However, Berman cautions that the Knicks may not have the resources to aggressively pursue Bazemore, since he figures to be seeking $16MM+ per year, and New York will have to address multiple positions in free agency. Per Berman’s source, Bazemore isn’t ruling out suitors like the Knicks and Pelicans, but his preference is to re-sign with the Hawks, if possible.

Al Horford Prefers Hawks If Contract Offer Is Acceptable

Hollis Thompson, Mike Muscala Have Options Exercised

The 76ers have exercised their team option to bring back Hollis Thompson for another season, according to a team release. Similarly, the Hawks have picked up their own team option on Mike Muscala, per Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Thompson, 25, joined the Sixers for the 2013/14 season, and has appeared in at least 71 games in each of the last three seasons, making a total of 81 starts. Although 2015/16 was Thompson’s least efficient season when it came to shooting percentages and attempts, he did establish new career highs in PPG (9.8), RPG (3.5), and some other categories, as a result of his increased role. The three-point-shooting wing will be on Philadelphia’s books for a minimum salary of $1,015,696 for the ’16/17 campaign.

As for Muscala, his option for next season is worth the same as Thompson’s, $1,015,696. The former Bucknell big man, who will turn 25 this Friday, has appeared in 120 games during his three seasons in Atlanta, never averaging more than 12.6 minutes per game in a season. While he likely won’t be a huge part of the club’s plans going forward, he’s an inexpensive frontcourt depth piece.

Both Thompson and Muscala will now be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2017, assuming they play out their respective contracts.

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