Month: May 2024

Hawks Notes: Young, Collins, Playoffs, Johnson

Trae Young can gain super-max status on his extension if he’s named to one of the All-NBA teams this season, but that’s certainly no given, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic notes.

If he’s selected, Young will receive a five-year contract worth approximately $212MM. Otherwise, that figure drops to around $177MM. The Athletic polled 45 current or former voters and only eight said they would vote for Young on one of the three All-NBA teams. The Hawks’ inconsistent season is swaying those decisions more than Young’s statistics, Kirschner observes.

Young signed the extension in August.

We have more on the Hawks:

  • There’s still no decision on whether John Collins will be shut down for the rest of the season, Kirschner tweets. Coach Nate McMillan said prior to Thursday’s game there’s no update on a possible return for Collins, who is rehabbing from foot and finger injuries. He hasn’t played since March 11.
  • The Hawks clinched a spot in the play-in tournament with their 131-107 triumph over Cleveland on Thursday. McMillan hopes they can move up in the standings the rest of the way, Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. “We had the opportunity to clinch that spot, being in the top 10, but we also have a chance to move up in these remaining games. Our approach to this game had to be such,” he said.
  • Jalen Johnson entered the league’s concussion protocol, Spencer adds in another tweet. Johnson played 17 minutes against Indiana on Monday.
  • Johnson, the team’s first-round pick, hasn’t received much playing time in his rookie campaign. McMillan believes he’s gotten a good education by spending most of the season in the G League, Kirschner writes. “He’s gotten a lot of minutes in the G League, and I think that’s helped him, so when he’s stepping in a moment like this, it’s not too different as far as what he has to do out there,” McMillan said earlier this week. “He’s guarding the four and five with the Skyhawks. With us, he’s playing the four position, and we’re switching him on guards. You don’t want him to think. Just play and react to situations.”

Devin Cannady Signs 10-Day Deal With Magic

10:38pm: The signing is official, the team announced in a press release.

9:25pm: Guard Devin Cannady is signing a 10-day contract with the Magic, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Cannady has been playing for Orlando’s G League team, the Lakeland Magic.

Jeff Dowtin‘s 10-day deal will expire at the end of the day on Thursday, so it’s logical to assume Cannady will replace him on the 15-man roster.

Cannady was waived by the Magic during training camp. Undrafted in 2019, Cannady has spent most of his three professional seasons in the G League.

He had a 10-day deal and two-way contract with Orlando last season and appeared in eight games. However, his season came to an early end in April when he suffered a significant ankle injury and underwent surgery.

In 16 G League games this season, he’s averaging 15.8 PPG and 1.9 APG in 26.5 MPG while making 47% of his 3-point attempts.

Dowtin appeared in four games since signing his 10-day.

Timberwolves Notes: Russell, McDaniels, Towns

Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell admits his confidence is a little shaken due to a shooting slump, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. Russell is shooting just 34% overall during his last 11 games and 26% from three-point range.

“It’s just a confidence thing right now,” he said. “When you see a lot of shot you usually make miss, the confidence isn’t there. So it’s just staying high, staying high with my confidence and knowing they’re good looks and I make these and take these shots.”

We have more on the Timberwolves:

  • On the same topic, coach Chris Finch believes Russell can be more effective by running more pick-and-rolls, Hine writes in a separate story“He’s aggressive in pick-and-roll,” Finch said. “I think we’ve got to get him in more pick-and-roll.”
  • Forward Jaden McDaniels, who is recovering from a high left ankle sprain, will be reevaluated in the middle of next week, Hine tweets. McDaniels has been cleared for some basketball activities. He has been out since March 14.
  • Minnesota finally has the right pieces to accentuate Karl-Anthony Towns‘ ability, Dan Devine of The Ringer opines. Devine takes a deep dive into Towns’ big season, noting that Finch has given him the green light to attack more off the dribble.

And-Ones: Jerebko, Canaan, China, Teammate Award, Future Rankings

While some former NBA players have left Russian teams following the invasion into Ukraine, Jonas Jerebko is resuming his career there. The ex-NBA big man signed with CSKA Moscow, the team tweets. That didn’t sit well with the Swedish National Team, who suspended him, according to Johnny Askounis of“Unfortunately, we are forced to state that there are no conditions for Jonas Jerebko to play for the Sweden basketball national team,” a Swedish Basketball Federation press release stated in part. Jerebko played for four NBA teams.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Another Russian team, Unics Kazan, has mutually parted ways with guard Isaiah Canaan, according to a story. Canaan is joining Turkey’s Galatasaray, EuroHoops tweets. Canaan appeared in 235 NBA games, most recently during the 2018/19 campaign.
  • Chinese TV has resumed broadcasts of NBA games, Sopan Deb of the New York Times reports. China had boycotted NBA broadcasts since 2019, when former Houston executive Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. China Central Television, its state-run TV network, broadcasted Tuesday night’s matchup between the Clippers and Jazz, which kicked off a full return of the league to China’s airwaves.
  • The 12 finalists for the league’s Teammate of the Year award have been announced, the NBA announced (via Twitter). DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Jeff Green , Udonis Haslem, Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Jaren Jackson Jr., Kevin Love, Boban Marjanovic, Chris Paul, Fred VanVleet and Grant Williams are the contenders. The annual honor recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to team.
  • The Grizzlies top the list on ESPN’s Future Power Rankings, according to Kevin Pelton, Bobby Marks, Andre’ Snellings, and Tim Bontemps (Insider link). They’re followed by the Heat and Suns. The Kings sit at the bottom of the pile.

Hardaway, Ginobili, Karl Headed To Hall Of Fame

Tim Hardaway has been elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Class of 2022, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. He’ll be joined by two other NBA luminaries, former Spurs guard Manu Ginobili and longtime coach George Karl, according to Shams Charania (Twitter links).

Unlike Ginobili, who is gaining entry on his first year of eligibility, Hardaway had to wait several years before earning enough support to reach the Hall. Hardaway spent the bulk of his 13 NBA seasons with Golden State and Miami, averaging 17.7 PPG and 8.2 APG in 35.3 MPG.

He scored a total of 15,373 points while averaging more than 20 PPG for four consecutive seasons. He was a 1997 All-NBA First Team selection.

Ginobili spent most of his career as a sixth man for the Spurs and was a key member of four championship teams. He was a two-time NBA All-Star (2005, 2011) and amassed 14,043 points, 4,001 assists, 3,697 rebounds and 1,392 steals in 16 seasons. He’s one of two players (Bill Bradley) to win a EuroLeague title (2001), an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal.

Karl spent 27 seasons as a head coach in the NBA, leading the Cavaliers (1984-1986), Warriors (1986-88), Supersonics (1992-1998), Bucks (1998-2003), Nuggets (2005-2013) and Kings (2015-2016). He owns a lifetime coaching record of 1,175-824 (.588), ranking sixth all-time in career wins.

Harden Reportedly Told Durant He Would Sign Extension With Nets

James Harden told Kevin Durant twice during the offseason he’d sign an extension agreement with the Nets, league sources tell Logan Murdock of The Ringer.

Harden made those assurances when they took a trip to Greece. However, Harden began to sour on his situation in Brooklyn after Durant injured his knee in January. Harden was also upset by Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated, which led to a nosedive down the Eastern Conference standings.

Durant took a philosophical approach about Harden’s decision not to stay with Brooklyn long-term and instead pushing for a trade to the Sixers.

It wasn’t like it was a disconnect between us as individuals. I felt like we liked each other,” he says. “But I was focusing on rehab and he was focusing on the team. Naturally, I wasn’t around the group, but I can’t control how everybody feels about their situation.”

Durant and Irving have grown closer and there’s little doubt Irving will re-sign with Brooklyn, even if he opts out this summer and re-enters free agency. Irving stated that publicly over the weekend.

“We’re building something cool over here,” Durant said. “Kyrie’s a huge, huge part of it, even though this year he was in and out of the lineup, but he’s still a huge part of what we’re trying to do. It’s one of those obstacles that has been fun to climb over, to be honest.”

Durant has no regrets about signing a four-year max extension last summer, despite how this season has played out with Harden’s departure.

“I’m settled,” he says. “It’s good to know that I don’t have to look over my shoulder and worry about the next season or the next two years. Just knowing that three or four years that I’m locked in, I can start living my life on and off the floor with a little bit more ease. It’s a good place to be in.”

Badgers’ Johnny Davis Declares For Draft

Wisconsin sophomore guard and projected lottery selection Johnny Davis will enter the draft and hire an agent, he told ESPN’s Malika Andrews on NBA Today on Thursday.

“After taking some time off and discussing everything with my family and coaches, I have decided to pursue a lifelong dream by declaring for the NBA draft with the intent of hiring an agent,” Davis said, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony relays.

Davis is No. 9 on ESPN’s Best Available list. He was under the radar heading into the season but moved into the spotlight with some big offensive performances. He was named Big Ten Player of the Year and a consensus All-American after averaging 19.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG and 2.1 APG in 34 MPG.

One cause for pause is that the 6’5” Davis only knocked down 30.6% of his 3-point attempts. He also struggled in postseason play, shooting 27.2% in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. However, that shouldn’t prevent him from getting serious consideration as a top-10 pick. He was hampered by an ankle injury this month.

“I wasn’t 100%, but I felt confident that If I played, we still had a great chance of winning the Big Ten Conference tournament as well as advancing in the NCAA tournament,” Davis said. “I wanted to be out there with my guys to give it everything I had.”

He also showed dramatic improvement from his freshman campaign, when he averaged 7.0 PPG in 24.3 MPG as a reserve.

“Coach [Greg] Gard and my teammates believed in me and gave me the confidence and opportunity to have a much larger role than my freshman season,” Davis said.

Davis believes his game is well-suited for the next level.

“I know the pace and style of play in the NBA is different, but I think that suits my skill set extremely well,” Davis said. “My ability to get by my defender, athleticism and strength to finish at the rim, and being a three-level scorer combined with added spacing in the NBA will give me the opportunity to be successful.”

Thunder’s Derrick Favors Done For Season

Speaking on Thursday to reporters, including Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link), Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault said that veteran center Derrick Favors will miss the remainder of the season with lower back soreness. Favors hasn’t played since February 24.

Favors, 30, holds a player option for 2022/23 worth $10,183,800, which he’s almost certain to pick up after having the worst season of his 12-year career. Favors averaged career-lows of 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds this season in 39 games with the Thunder (16.7 minutes per night).

While Favors’ per-minute averages are still decent, he’s been trending downward the past few seasons.

Daigneault also said that Kenrich Williams is doubtful to return to action this year as he continues to deal with a sprained knee. He has been sidelined even longer than Favors, since February 14.

Williams, 27, has emerged as a valuable three-and-D role player over the past couple seasons with OKC, averaging a combined 7.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists on .501/.391/.559 shooting in 115 games (21.7 minutes). His $2MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed.

The tanking Thunder currently hold a 22-54 record, which is the fourth-worst mark in the league according to our reverse standings.

Projected Top-Five Pick Jaden Ivey Declares For Draft

Purdue guard Jaden Ivey plans to enter the 2022 NBA Draft, he announced on social media (via Twitter). He’s currently No. 4 on ESPN’s big board.

The sophomore standout didn’t specify whether he will hire an agent and thus lose his remaining college eligibility, but it would be shocking if he went back to school considering he’s projected to be a top-five pick in the draft.

After averaging 11.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists on .399/.258/.726 shooting as a freshman (24 games, 24.2 minutes), Ivey emerged as one of the best players in the country this season, averaging 17.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 3.1 APG on .460/.358/.744 shooting (36 games, 31.4 minutes per contest).

Ivey helped lead Purdue to a 29-8 record and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament in 2021/22, where they ultimately lost in the Sweet Sixteen to the historic No. 15 seed, Saint Peter’s.

Standing 6’4″ with a nearly 6’10” wingspan, Ivey is an electric athlete and considered one of the most physically gifted prospects in the draft, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Ivey improved his perimeter shooting and picked his spots better as a sophomore, but still struggled at times as a decision-maker.

Ivey’s physical tools theoretically point to great defensive potential, but Givony states that Ivey frequently lost focus on the less-glamorous end of the court, especially off the ball. Still, he’s a special athlete who’s able to shift gears and blow past opponents, which could translate well to the more open, pace-and-space NBA game.

NBA Updates Salary Cap Projection For 2022/23

The NBA has released another update to the projected salary cap for next season, informing teams that it’s now projecting a $122MM salary cap and a $149MM luxury tax line for 2022/23, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

On February 4, the league informed teams of a projected $121MM salary cap and a $147MM lux tax line, so both figures have increased slightly over the past seven-plus weeks.

The cap projections for 2022/23 have been steadily on the rise over the last year-and-a-half. During the 2020 offseason, the NBA estimated a $115.7MM cap and a $140MM tax line for ’22/23. In August 2021, the league increased those estimates to $119MM and $145MM.

The latest increased projections likely won’t have a significant impact on teams’ plans during free agency this summer, but teams that project to have cap room can plan on having a little more space than they originally anticipated, while clubs that will be at or above the tax line can expect a small amount of relief.

The NBA’s salary cap for the 2021/22 season is $112,414,000, with a tax threshold of $136,606,000. If the cap for next season comes in at $122MM, as projected, it would be an increase of $9.6MM on this season’s figure — that would be the biggest single-year bump since 2016, when the cap spiked to $94.1MM from $70MM.