Atlanta Hawks

Nerlens Noel: Sixers’ Center Logjam Is “Silly”

1:12pm: Responding today to Noel’s comments, Colangelo reiterated that he’s not shopping any specific players, suggesting that – as a new GM – he was simply gauging league-wide interest in his players (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of PhillyMag.com). Colangelo added that the situation shouldn’t be affected by Noel’s comments, and that Embiid’s health will be a major factor in the Sixers’ plans (Twitter links via Bodner and Pompey). The team isn’t in a rush to make any moves, per Colangelo (Twitter link via Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com).

Meanwhile, Noel doubled down on his earlier comments this afternoon. While he stressed he isn’t unhappy in Philadelphia, the big man said he doesn’t see “any way of it working” when asked again about the center logjam (Twitter link via Bodner).

8:37am: With Joel Embiid poised to make his NBA debut this season, the Sixers are stacked at the center position, as Embiid joins Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor in the rotation. The logjam at the position has resulted in plenty of trade rumors involving Noel and Okafor this offseason, but the team has yet to make a move. And as Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Noel is starting to publicly question when a move will happen.

“I think it’s just silly… this situation that we are in now with three starting centers,” Noel said. “With the departure of [former GM] Sam Hinkie, I would have figured that management would be able to get something done this summer. … I think something needs to happen.”

According to Noel, he’s not asking to be traded himself, or demanding that the Sixers make a move immediately. However, it sounds as if he views a deal as inevitable, since it doesn’t make sense for the club to play out the season with all three players, assuming they all stay healthy. According to Noel, it’s the equivalent of having “three starting quarterbacks.”

“I feel like it definitely needs to be figured out,” Noel said. “I think at the end of the day, again, you have three starting-caliber centers. And it’s just not going to work to anybody’s advantage having that on the same team. That’s how I’m looking at it. I’m not opposed to anything, but things need to be situated.”

Although GM Bryan Colangelo has suggested in the past that heading into the season with Okafor, Noel, and Embiid all on the roster isn’t necessarily ideal, the Sixers also like all three players and don’t want to sell one of them for below market value. Appearing on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast last week, Colangelo denied aggressively shopping Okafor and Noel, adding that the team’s desire to make a deal has been overstated and calling it a “high-class problem” to have three promising young centers.

Noel tells Pompey that he knows he “was shopped,” though that could be a question of semantics — it’s not clear whether the Sixers were instigating trade discussions or simply talking to teams that called to ask about their bigs. According to Pompey, Noel’s name has come up in trade talks with the Celtics, Suns, Hawks, and Rockets, but Philadelphia turned down multiple offers for the 22-year-old. Another source tells Pompey that the Sixers have also spoken to the Raptors and Spurs.

While it remains possible that the Sixers will make a move prior to the regular season, the club had been hoping to make it until at least December 15, per Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). That would give Okafor and Embiid time to prove they’re fully healthy, and it would allow players who signed new deals this offseason to become trade-eligible, opening the door for more possible scenarios.

Hawks Notes: Howard, Bembry, Rookies

The Hawks head into training camp with 16 players under guaranteed or substantially guaranteed contracts and 15 roster spots available, and coach Mike Budenholzer believes that’s a good thing, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays in a Q&A.

“It feels like, watching the team and watching the players through September and all the individual workouts, and other things we do, it just feels like it’s set up for a really competitive camp, from top to bottom, everywhere you look,” Budenholzer said.

Here’s more out of Atlanta:

  • Dwight Howard‘s physicality will be a welcomed addition to Atlanta because it brings an element to the team that may have been missing, Budenholzer said, per Vivlamore, in the same piece.
  • Hawks small forward DeAndre Bembry eyes this year’s Rookie of the Year award and is a newcomer that should be able to provide an immediate impact, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes.
  • The Hawks actually bring in three rookies with the signing of Malcolm Delaney and first-round draft picks Bembry and Taurean Prince, and Delaney, who played five years overseas, should see a large role early on, Vivlamore writes in a separate story.

Paul Millsap Undergoes Knee Procedure

Hawks power forward Paul Millsap recently underwent a procedure to reduce mild swelling in his right knee, RealGM.com relays via a team press release. The procedure was not surgical and all indications are that he will be ready to play at the start of the season, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter links). Millsap, who has averaged 17.1 points and 9.0 rebounds last season, has earned a reputation of being an iron man since joining the league during the 2006/07 season. He appeared in 81 regular-season games and 10 playoff games last season and has never missed more than nine games in any season.

Hawks Sign Will Bynum, Ryan Kelly

SEPTEMBER 20: The Hawks have formally signed Bynum and Kelly, according to a press release issued by the team. Atlanta also confirmed its deal with Richard Solomon, which brings the club’s training camp roster to the maximum 20 players.

SEPTEMBER 16: The Hawks have signed unrestricted free agents Ryan Kelly and Will Bynum to training camp deals, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via Twitter). Both arrangements are non-guaranteed and for the minimum salary, Vivlamore adds. The addition of the pair brings Atlanta’s roster count to 19, which is one below the preseason maximum.

Atlanta already has 15 players with fully guaranteed contracts on the books for this season, plus one more player with a partial guarantee (Mike Muscala). But the team was reportedly seeking to add another point guard and a frontcourt player to bulk up its roster for the preseason. Mission accomplished, with Bynum a point guard and Kelly a power forward, fitting those needs. If either player is to unseat one of those guaranteed deals and make the regular season roster, they’ll certainly need to play lights-out in training camp and during preseason contests.

A longtime Piston, Bynum has appeared in 360 career NBA games over the course of eight seasons since 2005/06. In that time, the veteran guard has averaged 8.1 PPG and 3.3 APG while playing primarily as a backup. Over the last two seasons, Bynum has played for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in China — he averaged 17.8 PPG and 6.5 APG while shooting 58.0% from the field this past season. The 33-year-old had worked out for the Hawks earlier this week.

Kelly, 25, spent his first three seasons in the NBA as a member of the Lakers after being selected 48th overall in the 2013 draft. He appeared in 36 games in 2015/16, averaging 4.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 13.1 minutes per outing. His shooting line on the year was .369/.139/.685.

Hawks Sign Richard Solomon

SEPTEMBER 20: The Hawks have officially announced the signing of Solomon, issuing a press release today to confirm the move.

SEPTEMBER 15: Power forward Richard Solomon will sign a non-guaranteed contract with the Hawks and join them for training camp, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The 6’10” Solomon, who played college ball at California, obviously impressed the club enough during workouts on Wednesday and Thursday to receive an offer. He still faces long odds to make the opening-day roster. The Hawks already have 15 fully guaranteed contracts on the books, plus one more player with a partial guarantee. Vivlamore previously reported that the team wanted to add another point guard and a frontcourt player to bulk up its roster for the preseason.

Atlanta’s power forward spot looks crowded with Solomon joining Paul Millsap, Kris Humphries, Mike Scott and Mike Muscala. Though Muscala’s contract is not guaranteed, Solomon would probably need an injury or two to the players ahead of him on the depth chart to survive the final cut.

Solomon at least has a chance to make the team, unlike some of the other players the team recently inquired about or tried out. It was reportedly speaking with Bryce Cotton prior to the guard signing a one-year deal with the Turkish club, Anadolu Efes.

The Hawks also worked out forward Ryan Kelly and guards Xavier Munford and Dionte Christmas.

Solomon appeared in 59 games in the Japanese League last season and averaged 11.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists. His shooting line was .536/.179/.660. In his senior season with the Bears, he averaged 11.0 points and 10.2 rebounds in 29.2 minutes.

In July, he played in Orlando for the Suns’ summer league squad and then in Las Vegas with the Thunder, according to Vivlamore. Solomon reportedly worked out for the Jazz on Monday and Tuesday.

Traded Second-Round Picks For 2017 NBA Draft

The 2017 NBA draft is still more than nine months away, but with the start of the regular season fast approaching, it’s worth taking stock of how this season’s results will affect next year’s draft. Depending on how certain teams perform during the 2016/17 campaign, other clubs will have the opportunity to pick up an extra selection or two.

Earlier this week, we looked at the first-round picks that could change hands during the 2017 draft. A few more first-rounders will likely be involved in trades prior to the trade deadline, or leading up to next year’s draft night, but there are already several picks that are ticketed for new teams, depending on where they land.

That’s even more true of the second round — more than half of the league’s second-round picks for 2017 have been involved in trades so far, and while some of those picks will ultimately remain with the sending teams due to protection conditions, many will move to the receiving teams.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the second-round picks that could (or will) change hands. For each selection, we make a note of which team is sending and receiving it, the protection or conditions on the pick, and what will happen if the protection language prevents the pick from being conveyed. For instance, the Heat will send their second-rounder to either the Hawks or Grizzlies, depending on where it lands. The team that doesn’t get a pick from Miami this year will get the Heat’s second-rounder in 2018.

Here are 2017’s traded second-round picks:

Atlanta Hawks

  • From: Brooklyn Nets
  • Protection: None

Atlanta Hawks

  • From: Miami Heat
  • Protection: 31-40
  • If not conveyed: Hawks will receive Heat’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Boston Celtics

  • From: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Protection: None

Boston Celtics

  • From: Los Angeles Clippers
  • Protection: None

Boston Celtics

  • From: Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Protection: None

Brooklyn Nets

  • From: Boston Celtics
  • Conditions: Nets will receive pick (protected 31-45) if Celtics swap first-rounders with Nets.
  • If not conveyed: Celtics’ obligation to Nets is extinguished.

Brooklyn Nets

  • From: Indiana Pacers
  • Protection: 45-60
  • If not conveyed: Nets will have opportunity to get Pacers’ second-rounder (protected 45-60) in 2018.

Denver Nuggets

  • From: Memphis Grizzlies
  • Protection: 31-35
  • If not conveyed: Nuggets will receive Grizzlies’ 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Denver Nuggets

  • From: Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Protection: 31-35
  • If not conveyed: Nuggets will receive Thunder’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Houston Rockets

  • From: Denver Nuggets
  • Protection: None

Houston Rockets

  • From: Portland Trail Blazers
  • Protection: None

Memphis Grizzlies

  • From: Miami Heat
  • Protection: 41-60
  • If not conveyed: Grizzlies will receive Heat’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

New Orleans Pelicans

  • From: Philadelphia 76ers
  • Protection: None

New York Knicks

  • From: Chicago Bulls
  • Protection: None

New York Knicks

  • From: Houston Rockets
  • Protection: None

Philadelphia 76ers

  • From: Two of Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Utah Jazz.
  • Conditions: Sixers will receive the most and least favorable of these four picks.

Utah Jazz

  • From: Two of Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Utah Jazz.
  • Conditions: Jazz will receive the second- and third-most favorable of these four picks, including their own.

The following teams technically acquired second-round draft picks via trade and could receive those selections in 2017. However, these picks are heavily protected and won’t be conveyed to the receiving team unless the sending team finishes with a top-five record in the NBA. If that doesn’t happen, the receiving team is out of luck. The details:

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • From: New Orleans Pelicans
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Pelicans’ obligation to Timberwolves is extinguished.

Orlando Magic

  • From: Sacramento Kings
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Kings’ obligation to Magic is extinguished.

San Antonio Spurs

  • From: Atlanta Hawks
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Hawks’ obligation to Spurs is extinguished.

RealGM’s database of future traded pick details was used in the creation of this post.

Will Bynum Works Out For Hawks

Veteran NBA guard Will Bynum, who has spent the majority of the last two seasons playing in China, was brought in to work out for the Hawks on Wednesday, and will have another workout with the club today, tweets Michael Scotto of The Associated Press.

Bynum, 33, is the latest in a string of players to work out for the Hawks in the hopes of receiving an invitation to training camp. Atlanta has three open spots on its 20-man offseason roster, and has recently taken a closer look at Ryan Kelly, Xavier Munford, and guard Dionte Christmas. The team also reportedly had workouts lined up with Richard Solomon for Wednesday and Thursday.

As we heard earlier this week from Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks are looking to add a point guard and a frontcourt player to their roster before training camp gets underway. The club will likely add a third player to maximize its roster space, though it’s not clear what position that 20th man would play.

A longtime Piston, Bynum has appeared in 360 career NBA games over the course of eight seasons since 2005/06. In that time, the veteran guard has averaged 8.1 PPG and 3.3 APG while playing primarily as a backup. Over the last two seasons, Bynum has played for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in China — he averaged 17.8 PPG and 6.5 APG while shooting 58.0% from the field this past season, playing alongside former NBA vets like Yi Jianlian and Ike Diogu.

Hawks Gambling With Schroder

The Hawks will also have a tough decision to make involving Schroder, with him eligible for a rookie contract extension, Vivlamore adds. Atlanta could wait to see how he performs in 2016/17 and issue Schroder a qualifying offer next summer, which will likely be around $4.5MM if he maintains his starter criteria. making him a restricted free agent, the scribe adds. The deadline to agree to an extension is October 31st, and if the team does decide to float Schroder an offer, it would likely be close to that deadline, Vivlamore opines.

Hawks Still Looking To Add Players

The Hawks already have 15 fully guaranteed contracts on the books for this season, plus one more player with a partial guarantee, but the team is still looking to add players prior to training camp beginning on September 26th, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays. Atlanta would still like to sign another point guard and a frontcourt player to bulk up its roster for the preseason, Vivlamore adds.

The team was reportedly speaking with Bryce Cotton prior to the guard signing a one-year deal with the Turkish club, Anadolu Efes. Among the numerous players whom Atlanta has already worked out are: forward Ryan Kelly, guard Xavier Munford and guard Dionte Christmas, Vivlamore notes. Obviously, none of those players came away with deals, but the team could conceivable circle back if no other options present themselves.

Atlanta also has workouts scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday with forward Richard Solomon, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports (via Twitter). The 24-year-old spent the 2015/16 campaign overseas in Japan with Toyota Alvark, appearing in 59 games and averaging 11.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists. Solomon’s shooting line was .536/.179/.660. Over the summer he played in Orlando for the Thunder’s summer league squad and then in Las Vegas for the Magic’s entry. Solomon reportedly worked out for the Jazz on Monday and again today.

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