Southeast Notes: Hawks, Schroder, T. Johnson, Magic

With about $20MM in available cap space, the Hawks are in position to be aggressive on the free agent market, but that’s not the path GM Travis Schlenk plans to pursue, relays Charles Odum of The Associated Press. Speaking at Monday’s press conference to introduce the team’s draft picks, Schlenk said the Hawks will take a wait-and-see approach when free agency kicks off Sunday.

“We will not be quickly out of the gate looking to sign guys,” he said. “We’ll kind of sit back and see what the market dictates. … We’ll kind of play a waiting game and see how the market plays out.”

The Hawks‘ need for frontline help has diminished with Dewayne Dedmon and Mike Muscala both opting in for another season. Guards Malcolm Delaney and Damion Lee will be restricted free agents if they receive qualifying offers worth $3.125MM and $1.538MM, respectively.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder claimed to be taken out of context in comments at a German press conference that made it sound like he wanted to be traded, Odum adds in the same story. Schlenk said he discussed the situation with Schroder, who claimed the news source just used “snippets” of his answer. New coach Lloyd Pierce is confident that Schroder is committed to the Hawks’ plans to rebuild, and he will remain with the team and share time with first-round pick Trae Young.
  • The best strategy for the Heat may be to let Tyler Johnson play out his contract rather than trying to work out a trade, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Johnson’s contract rises from $5.88MM this season to $19.6MM in each of the next two years under the offer sheet from the Nets that Miami matched in 2016. Winderman notes that the four-year deal averages $12.5MM per season, which is reasonable for a player with Johnson’s production.
  • The Magic have officially hired the coaching staff that will work under Steve Clifford, the team announced this morning in a pair of tweets. As expected, the assistant coaches are Mike Batiste, Pat Delany, Steve Hetzel and Bruce Kreutzer, who all worked with Clifford in Charlotte, along with Tyrone Corbin, who spent the past two seasons in Phoenix.
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