- James Ennis feels confident that he’ll earn his way onto the Heat‘s regular season roster, agent Scott Nichols told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, explaining why he and the Heat decided to nix the clause in Ennis’ contract that would have triggered a 50% partial guarantee on his minimum salary if he remained on the team through Saturday. The move keeps the Heat from having to decide on a $422,530 chunk of salary this weekend, a prospect that may well have spurred the team to cut him, and it also moves up the date on which Ennis’ salary becomes fully guaranteed from December 1st to opening night, Jackson notes.
- Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel still doesn’t see Miami’s 2014 draft-night acquisition of Shabazz Napier as a mistake, even after the Heat traded Napier to the Magic following a so-so rookie year, as Winderman writes in his mailbag column. He heard from one scout that Napier nearly was one of the first 15 picks in the draft. This summer, the Heat had luxury tax concerns and better options at point guard, and that’s what led to the trade with Orlando, Winderman argues. That casts a different light on Napier than that from when an NBA GM told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that the Heat had simply concluded prior to the trade that the point guard “was not good enough”
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist leads a list of intriguing second-tier 2016 free agents that Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com compiles in an Insider-only piece. The elite defense of the 21-year-old Hornets small forward makes it such that he’ll be a valuable starter for years to come if he can merely become an average offensive player, Pelton argues.
Germany’s Ratiopharm Ulm announced the signing of guard DeAndre Kane, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes. The Hawks had Kane on their Summer League team this year and had plans to discuss a free agent deal with the 26-year-old, but that apparently won’t be taking place.
The Celtics, Kings, and Jazz all had their eyes on Kane back in January while he was playing for the Antwerp Giants in Belgium. However, due to a contract that ran through the remainder of the NBA season, he wasn’t eligible to come over as an in-season addition.
In his senior season at Iowa State, Kane averaged 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.9 assists across 36 games. After helping to vault the Cyclones to the Sweet Sixteen, Kane hit the workout circuit hard and auditioned for a number of teams, including the Kings and Jazz.
Kane first established himself as an intriguing prospect at Marshall, where he played his first three seasons of collegiate ball. He also made a transfer of sorts in his first year overseas – Kane signed on with Russia’s Krasny Oktyabr but joined up with Antwerp following his November release.
Kane averaged 14.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 5.4 APG in the EuroChallenge last season.
The Celtics offered the Hornets a package that included four first-round picks to entice Charlotte to give up the No. 9 pick last month, sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Boston was willing to give up its own pick at No. 16, the No. 15 pick that they would tentatively have acquired from the Hawks, an unprotected future first-round pick from the Nets (presumably the 2018 pick Brooklyn owes Boston) and a future first-rounder from either the Grizzlies or the Timberwolves (presumably the ones those teams already owe Boston), as Lowe details. Some front office members in Charlotte liked the idea, but owner Michael Jordan preferred to roll with Frank Kaminsky, whom the Hornets took at No. 9, several sources said to Lowe. The Grantland scribe delves into the implications of that choice, and he touches on more, too, as we highlight amid the latest from the Queen City:
- Nicolas Batum‘s camp has been talking about how much he’d like to play with the Raptors, given the international appeal of Toronto, several league sources tell Lowe. The native of France, whom the Hornets traded for last month, is set to become a free agent after this coming season.
- The Hornets have been willing to talk about Cody Zeller when they discuss trades with other teams, sources tell Lowe. That jibes with a report from shortly before the draft that Charlotte was aggressively shopping the big man.
- GM Rich Cho and coach Steve Clifford have had a chilly relationship since last year’s departure of president of basketball operations Rod Higgins, sources familiar with the situation tell Lowe, yet Cho, Clifford and Hornets vice chairman Curtis Polk all downplay the notion. “I would say it’s a good relationship now,” Cho says. “I value his input. We’re not always going to agree, but I wouldn’t expect to.”
- Polk, Jordan, Cho, assistant GM Chad Buchanan and director of player personnel Larry Jordan, Michael’s brother, are the primary decision-makers for the team, according to Lowe.
- Charlotte shopped Noah Vonleh and the No. 9 pick in a package to try to move up in the draft before abandoning that pursuit and trading Vonleh in the Batum deal, as Lowe details.
- The Hornets had interest in Rodney Hood going into last year’s draft, Lowe hears. Hood wound up going at No. 23 to Utah, and Charlotte had an opportunity to move down into a spot where it might have nabbed him instead of Vonleh, as Lowe explains.
- Hornets brass likes Elliot Williams, whom the Hornets have reportedly agreed to sign to a camp deal, but they see him as an insurance policy and don’t view him as a replacement for backup point guard Brian Roberts, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter links).
10:09am: The deals are official, the team announced.
FRIDAY, 9:29am: The Hawks still haven’t made an announcement, but the signings have taken place, according to the RealGM transactions log. Patterson signed Wednesday and Petteway on Thursday, the log shows.
10:02am: The deals for Patterson and Petteway each cover two seasons, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Vivlamore also deems Muscala a “lock” to make the opening-night roster, leaving no more than one spot open for Patterson, Petteway or anyone else the Hawks take to camp.
THURSDAY, 8:51am: The Hawks will have draft-and-stash shooting guard Lamar Patterson and undrafted swingman Terran Petteway in training camp, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (All Twitter links). Vivlamore indicates that they’ve already signed their partially guaranteed minimum-salary contracts, though the team has yet to make an annoucement. Patterson’s deal will carry a partial guarantee while Petteway’s will be non-guaranteed, Vivlamore indicates (on Twitter).
Atlanta has held Patterson’s NBA rights since acquiring them from the Bucks shortly after Milwaukee drafted him 48th overall last year. The Hawks will lose those rights if they cut him. He spent last season with Tofas Bursa of Turkey, averaging 11.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 28.3 minutes per game. Patterson, who turns 24 next month, led the Hawks in scoring at the Las Vegas Summer League with 13.1 PPG to go along with 5.1 RPG in 25.8 MPG.
Petteway was a surprise entrant for this year’s draft after his junior season at Nebraska, and though he didn’t hear his name called on draft night, he also played a prominent role on Atlanta’s summer league team, averaging 10.9 PPG and 4.3 RPG in 26.0 MPG. He nonetheless struggles to shoot from the outside, having canned just 31.7% of his three-pointers in college. Patterson was better, though not a standout marksman, at 36.9% for his college career.
The Hawks have 13 fully guaranteed contracts and Mike Muscala on a partially guaranteed deal, so it would seem that Patterson, Petteway and Muscala are competing for no more than two spots. Atlanta also has its $2.814MM room exception available, and that would likely go for another guaranteed contract if the Hawks are to use it.
Who do you think has a better shot to make the team, Patterson or Petteway? Leave a comment to let us know.
One of the more surprising developments during the 2014/15 campaign was the rise of the Atlanta Hawks. The franchise went from the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed in the 2014 NBA playoffs to the No. 1 team in the conference this past season. Quite an impressive leap, even in the underwhelming East. The team’s core took a hit this Summer when DeMarre Carroll departed for Toronto via free agency, but re-signing Paul Millsap certainly helped ease the sting a bit from that loss. Atlanta did acquire Tim Hardaway Jr. from the Knicks in a draft night deal to help fill Carroll’s minutes at small forward, but not many would argue that the team improved itself as a result of that change.
So here’s our question of the day for you: What are your predictions for the Hawks’ record/playoff seeding this season?
Were the Hawks just a one-season surprise in their success? A number of teams in the conference have improved themselves this offseason, be it through signings, trades, or coaching changes, and it’s questionable as to whether or not Atlanta kept pace. Who out there among you believes that the Hawks will emerge from the 2015/16 regular season scrum atop the standings? If not, then how far do you predict the Hawks will slide in the conference or even the Southeast Division? If you’re on the fence about the team’s chances, then jump in and tell us what move(s) the franchise needs to make before the season tips off to satisfy you as a fan. We look forward to what you have to say…
Of course, there will always be differing opinions. While we absolutely encourage lively discussion and debate, we do expect everyone to treat each other with respect. So, please refrain from inappropriate language, personal insults or attacks, as well as the other taboo types of discourse laid out in our site’s commenting policy. Speaking of commenting: we’ve made it much easier to leave a comment here at Hoops Rumors. Just put in your name, email address, and comment and submit it; there is no need to become a registered user.
Numerous coaches around the league have praised the Heat‘s signing of Gerald Green to a one-year pact, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald relays. Kings coach George Karl said of Green, “Explosive guy coming off the bench. Can blow a game open. He reminds me a lot of J.R. Smith when I had J.R. in Denver. Sometimes you don’t like how he plays. Sometimes he’ll drive you a little crazy. But in the same sense, he has a power for a bench player that has All-Star talent. Now he doesn’t put it on the court every night. [But] when you have the ability to put it on the court every other game, that’s still a great weapon to have. I think [Heat coach] Erik [Spoelstra] will use him really well.”
Here’s the latest out of the Southeast Division:
- The Wizards intend to go “all in” on pursuing Kevin Durant when he becomes a free agent next Summer, which means the team needs to show Durant through its roster moves that he’ll have the best opportunity to secure an NBA title in Washington, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post writes. “The one thing I know about my brother is he wants to win,” said Damion James, Durant’s best friend and a member of the Wizards’ summer league team. “He’ll do whatever it takes to win. Whoever gives him the best chance to win is where he’s going to end up.”
- Aaron Harrison‘s two-year deal with the Hornets will pay him $525,093 in 2015/16 and $874,636 for the 2016/17 season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
- The Wizards’ pact with Drew Gooden will see him earn approximately $3.3MM for the upcoming season and $3.5MM for the 2016/17 campaign, Pincus relays (on Twitter).
- Undrafted rookie Terran Petteway is trying to snag a training camp invite with the Hawks through his Summer League play, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. “Really, I like the way these guys play,” Petteway said when asked about his decision to play Summer ball with the Hawks. “They get up and down the floor. That’s my type of basketball, right there, getting up and down the floor. They play great defense and share the ball.” As for his future, Petteway said, “They [the Hawks] said they liked my activity on the defensive end and also I can score a little bit. That’s why I’m trying to get out here and show them I can be a two-way guard and a solid guy off the bench.”
The Wizards‘ signing of John Wall to a five-year, approximately $80MM extension back in 2013 came with risk, but Wall has made the deal look like a bargain compared to a number of recent contracts that have been handed out, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post writes. Wall compared the value of his deal to that of Reggie Jackson, who recently inked an almost identical deal with the Pistons, saying, “Man, everybody talking about me getting $80MM and you got people getting $85MM and $90MM that ain’t been an All-Star or anything like that. I guess they came in at the right time. The new CBA kicked in at the right time. That new CBA kicked in and they’re good now. Like, Reggie Jackson gets five years, 80. Like, I’m getting the same amount as Reggie Jackson right now.”
Jackson averaged 17.6 points and 9.2 assists in 27 games with the Pistons last season, while Wall notched 17.6 points along with 10 assists per contest for Washington. “I can’t control it. That’s what happens,” Wall continued. “But I’m happy for those guys. To see anybody get the opportunity to live their dream out and take care of their family when they can, that’s a blessing. So I’m happy for those guys.”
Here’s more out of the Southeast Division:
- Hawks coach/executive Mike Budenholzer admitted that the team’s offseason revolved around re-signing forward Paul Millsap, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution relays. When asked if the team had to choose between Millsap and DeMarre Carroll, who departed for the Raptors as a free agent, Budenholzer said, “I don’t know if I would characterize it that you had to choose one or the other. It may just be word play, but ultimately there is not enough for everybody. I think we value DeMarre, and he was a big part of our success. We will miss him. But sometimes you have to make hard decisions. I guess it’s part of the NBA of having a good team and having players who play well and deserve opportunities. I don’t like to think of it as picking one over the other. I like to think of it as sometimes there is not enough for everything that you want.“
- Newly signed Amar’e Stoudemire is willing to fill any role the Heat require of him, Michael Wallace of ESPN.com writes. “It’s whatever the coaching staff asks,” Stoudemire said. “I can play however much or however long he [coach Erik Spoelstra] needs me to. You know, it’s whatever it takes to win.“
- Wizards second round pick Aaron White is almost certain to play in Europe during the 2015/16 season, J. Michael of CSNWashington.com writes, though his agent doesn’t seem anxious to make any declarations. “It’s too early to say,” Chris Emens, White’s agent, told Michael about whether White will be on Washington’s preseason roster. “We’re talking to [the Wizards] about some of that stuff. We’re also talking to international teams. Right now the biggest thing for Aaron is to develop, particularly when the roster sheds a lot of spots next season, for him and be ready to step in and play a role.“
Alan Anderson, who the Wizards signed to a one-year, $4MM pact using part of the their mid-level exception, said the Nets, Hornets and Hawks were also interested in him, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post tweets. Anderson also said there was one other team that had shown interest during his free agency, but he forgot which team it was.
Here’s more from the Southeast Division:
- Paul Millsap‘s salary for next season will be just over $18.67MM, which is below the maximum, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The total value of the forward’s three year deal will be slightly under $60.22MM and it contains a player option in the last season.
- Walter Tavares, also known as Edy Tavares, chose Atlanta over several European teams that offered lucrative contracts, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. “For me, it’s a dream come true to sign with Hawks,” Tavares said. “It was difficult because I had good offers in Turkey, in Madrid, in Barcelona. It was difficult decision for me but I think I worked every week to be here with the Hawks. The Hawks came to Gran Canaria to talk to me, to speak with me, to motivate me to work. That was part of the decision to come because of the way they support and motivate me.”
- Tavares will make slightly over $3.01MM over three years with his new deal, as Basketball Insiders’ Hawks Salary page shows. The last year of his deal is non-guaranteed.
The Spurs have a workout set with former No. 23 overall pick John Jenkins, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Atlanta renounced its rights to the Relativity Sports client, but the close ties between the Spurs and Hawks make it no surprise that San Antonio is apparently showing interest. The Timberwolves called on Jenkins, too, but they didn’t express any interest for the time being, Wolfson adds.
Jenkins struggled for playing time in each of his three seasons in Atlanta, never averaging more than the 14.8 minutes per game he saw as a rookie in 2012/13. The Hawks declined their fourth-year option on his rookie scale contract this past fall, setting him up for unrestricted free agency this summer. He’s nonetheless shown proficiency from behind the arc, nailing 37.5% of his 208 career attempts.
San Antonio appears to be limited to the minimum salary, with the room exception earmarked for Manu Ginobili, but the Spurs probably wouldn’t need more than the minimum to sign Jenkins. Still, several teams, including the Knicks, have reportedly expressed interest in the 24-year-old.
In a candid Q&A session with Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com, Mavs forward Chandler Parsons detailed the team’s recruitment of DeAndre Jordan, and expressed his disappointment with the center re-signing with the Clippers. When asked about his reaction to Jordan spurning Dallas, Parsons told MacMahon, “I’m shocked, very disappointed, frustrated, disrespected. This is something that I’ve never seen in my career, and I know that it doesn’t happen very often. When a man gives you his word and an organization his word, especially when that organization put in so much effort and I walked him through this process and was very, very open and willing to work with him, it’s just very unethical and disrespectful.”
Here’s more from the Southwest Division:
- It’s the Spurs‘ own 2016 second-rounder headed to Sacramento in the Ray McCallum trade, according to RealGM.
- The protection on the 2017 second-round pick headed from the Hawks to the Spurs in the Tiago Splitter trade is for the top 55 picks, as RealGM details.
- The four-year max deal that Wesley Matthews signed with the Mavs includes a player option after year three, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter link).
- The final season in Omer Asik‘s five-year deal with the Pelicans is an early termination option. That season is partially guaranteed for $3MM, though he can end up with a larger partial guarantee if he triggers incentives, Pincus notes (Twitter links).
- The Grizzlies used the mid-level exception for their deal with Brandan Wright. Pincus pegs its value at $17.1MM, though he’s probably rounding down from $17,129,640, the full value of the mid-level over three years. Wright also has a 15% trade kicker.
- Alexis Ajinca‘s four-year deal with the Pelicans is worth $19.2MM, tweets Pincus.
- The starting salary in Patrick Beverley‘s deal with the Rockets is $6,486,486, but that’s a function of front-loading. It’s worth a total of $23MM over four years, Pincus relays (on Twitter).
- LaMarcus Aldridge has a 15% trade kicker in his max deal with the Spurs, notes Pincus (via Twitter).
- The Mavs considered trying to swing a trade for Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson before Deron Williams reached a buyout arrangement with the Nets, MacMahon tweets. Williams is expected to sign with Dallas if he clears waivers, which is highly likely given the point guard’s player-friendly contract.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.