Eastern Notes: Hawks, Mirotic, Portis, Hornets

The Hawks have been hit by the injury bug in the first month of the season, but the team doesn’t have any plans to apply for an injury hardship exception to gain an extra roster spot, according to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). A hardship exception can be granted by the NBA when a team has four players who have missed at least three games, but Travis Schlenk suggests it shouldn’t be necessary for his team.

“All of our guys should be back soon, hopefully,” the Hawks’ general manager said, per Cunningham.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic was back at practice today and has interacted with several of his teammates. However, he still hasn’t spoken to Bobby Portis, Nick Friedell of ESPN relays. According to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), Bulls executive VP John Paxson and head coach Fred Hoiberg have both made it clear that they’re trying to get Mirotic to talk to Portis, the teammate who punched him during a practice last month.
  • The Hornets are the latest NBA franchise to team up with a sponsor for an advertisement patch on their jerseys, reaching a deal with local company LendingTree, per Katherine Peralta and Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. LendingTree, a Charlotte-based online company that matches borrowers with lenders, agreed to a three-year jersey sponsorship deal with the Hornets, as the team officially confirmed on Monday.
  • It has been more than three decades since the Pacers last hosted the All-Star Game, but commissioner Adam Silver recently confirmed that Indiana is in the running to host the NBA’s All-Star weekend in 2021, as Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star writes. The Pacers’ division rivals in Chicago are hosting 2020’s All-Star Game.
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