Allen Crabbe

Hawks No Longer Pursuing Andre Drummond Trade

The Hawks traded for one veteran today but are no longer pursuing another, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, who reports that Atlanta has ended its negotiations with the Pistons for center Andre Drummond.

While both sides were initially hopeful that they could work out a deal, Atlanta has decided to stay patient, recognizing that there will be chances to improve this summer in the draft and during the free agency period, sources tell Haynes.

According to Haynes, the Hawks and Pistons discussed a swap that would have sent a first-round pick, Damian Jones, and an expiring contract (either Chandler Parsons‘ or Allen Crabbe‘s) to Detroit in exchange for Drummond.

Crabbe was included in the deal the Hawks completed today with the Timberwolves for Jeff Teague, but Atlanta could’ve acquired Drummond without him, so it doesn’t appear that wasn’t a factor in the club’s decision to end trade talks with Detroit.

While the Hawks are no longer pursuing a trade for Drummond, that doesn’t mean their interest in him has disappeared. The Pistons’ big man will be one of Atlanta’s top targets in free agency if the team is still seeking a long-term answer at center at that point, sources tell Haynes. Thunder center Steven Adams, who has previously been linked to the Hawks, is still on the team’s radar and may be a target at the trade deadline or in free agency, Haynes adds.

According to Basketball Insiders’ data, the Hawks only have about $27MM in guaranteed money on their books for next season. That figure doesn’t include Jabari Parker‘s $6.5MM player option or cap holds for free agents, including potential RFAs DeAndre’ Bembry and Jones. But even after accounting for those costs, Atlanta will have more than enough cap space to aggressively pursue Drummond, Adams, or any other players they like.

The Pistons, meanwhile, continue to actively field inquiries on Drummond, according to Haynes. The Celtics, Mavericks, and Raptors were among the other teams said earlier this month to have interest in the NBA’s leading rebounder, though based on their assets and movable contracts, none of those clubs seemed to be as ideal a trade partner as Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Timberwolves Trade Jeff Teague To Hawks

1:32pm: The trade is official, according to press releases issued by the Hawks and Timberwolves.

11:07am: The Hawks and Timberwolves have finalized a trade agreement, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Atlanta will receive point guard Jeff Teague and swingman Treveon Graham in exchange for wing Allen Crabbe.

Teague, who began his career in Atlanta and spent seven seasons with the Hawks, including his lone All-Star campaign in 2014/15, will help fortify the team’s backcourt and serve as a veteran mentor for rising star Trae Young. He’ll also give the club a reliable floor general when Young sits. As ESPN’s Royce Young notes (via Twitter), Atlanta’s offensive rating this season has plummeted from 108.2 to 90.7 when Young is on the bench.

In 34 games (27.8 MPG) for Minnesota, Teague has averaged 13.2 PPG and 6.1 APG with a .448/.379/.868 shooting line. While those are solid numbers, he wasn’t viewed by the Timberwolves’ new management group as a part of the team’s future plans and had lost his starting job to Shabazz Napier.

Crabbe has struggled in a modest role for the Hawks this season, but has been a reliable three-point shooter throughout his seven-year career. He had knocked down 39.3% of his career outside attempts before making just 32.3% in 2019/20. If he can bounce back in Minnesota – at least to some extent – he’ll help provide the sort of floor spacing that wings like Andrew Wiggins and Jarrett Culver haven’t.

Teague ($19MM) and Crabbe ($18.5MM) are on similar expiring contracts, so swapping the two veterans won’t impact Minnesota’s or Atlanta’s books beyond this season. Graham, who has a $1.65MM minimum-salary contract, will also be a free agent at season’s end. His inclusion helps the Timberwolves save some money while opening up a roster spot for a possible forthcoming move.

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer (via Twitter), Minnesota has been talking to teams around the NBA as they search for another ball-handler, so president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas likely isn’t done dealing. O’Connor reports that the Timberwolves recently pursued Pacers point guard Aaron Holiday, but didn’t get anywhere in those discussions.

The Wolves will create a pair of modest traded player exceptions in this swap. One will be worth Graham’s salary ($1.65MM) while the second will be worth the difference in Teague’s and Crabbe’s cap hits ($500K).

The Hawks, meanwhile, had an open roster spot and are under the salary cap, so acquiring Graham in addition to Teague won’t require any additional moves or cap gymnastics for them.

Atlanta still has big expiring contracts belonging to Chandler Parsons ($25.1MM) and Evan Turner ($18.6MM) if general manager Travis Schlenk wants to make another deal. It’s also worth noting that both Teague and Graham could theoretically be aggregated in a second trade before the deadline since the Hawks are taking them on using cap room.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southeast Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Southeast Division:

Allen Crabbe, Hawks, 27, SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $74.8MM deal in 2016
Remember when the Nets thought so highly of Crabbe they signed him to a giant offer sheet? And the Trail Blazers valued him so much they matched the offer sheet? And then Brooklyn wanted him so badly it traded for Crabbe the following summer? It all seems so silly now. The Nets were willing to give up two future first-rounders to get rid of Crabbe. Now in the final year of that odious contract, he’s averaging 5.0 PPG and shooting 28.8% from 3-point range. Crabbe will probably be looking at veteran’s minimum offers next season as he attempts to reboot his career.

Bismack Biyombo, Hornets, 27, C (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $72MM deal in 2016
Like Crabbe, Biyombo got silly money in the summer of 2016 after a solid playoff performance with Toronto. Orlando quickly got a case of buyer’s remorse and he was eventually shipped to Charlotte in 2018. To his credit, Biyombo has worked his way into the rebuilding Hornets’ rotation. He’s posted double digits in points six times this month while averaging 8.0 RPG in 22.1 MPG. Traditional big men like Biyombo are being phased out of the league, so he won’t attract a lot of interest. But he’s shown he can be a rotation piece somewhere.

Meyers Leonard, Heat, 27, PF (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $41MM deal in 2016
Another player who cashed in during the summer of 2016, Leonard has never averaged more than 8.4 PPG or 5.1 RPG. Other than avid Heat fans, few people realize that Leonard has started 30 games for one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams. He doesn’t often finish games but he’s endeared himself enough to coach Erik Spoelstra to keep his spot in the lineup. Leonard doesn’t shoot a lot of threes but he makes them (48.3%). He’s also making an impact on the boards (23 in the last two games). As a stretch four alone, Leonard will draw interest as an unrestricted free agent.

D.J. Augustin, Magic, 32, PG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $29MM deal in 2016
Markelle Fultz is playing regularly but Augustin is still receiving steady playing time from coach Steve Clifford. Augustin threw in a two-point clunker against Chicago on Monday but in his previous four games he averaged 18.5 PPG and 5.3 APG. While Augustin’s overall shooting numbers are down, he can still be a productive rotation player. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Orlando brought back Augustin in a reserve role. If not, he still has enough left in the tank to be someone’s backup floor leader.

Davis Bertans, Wizards, 27, SF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $14.5MM deal in 2018
Bertans was enjoying a breakout season until he was sidelined recently by a quad injury. Bertans was averaging 15.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 30.0 MPG while mostly coming off the bench for Washington. The Wizards have been feeding Bertans to ball beyond the arc and he’s consistently delivered, averaging 43.4% from deep on a whopping 8.6 attempts per game. Bertans’ prolific long range shooting is bound to get the unrestricted free agent some lucrative offers in this summer’s weak free agent class.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Fournier Could Be On The Move

Magic swingman Evan Fournier is the player most likely to be moved before the trade deadline, according to an ESPN Insider report from Bobby Marks.

While there’s no indication Fournier is being shopped, a straw poll of NBA executives believe that the Magic will need to start exploring their trade options on the veteran, who is likely to leave $17.2MM on the table and opt out this summer. Orlando is currently battling for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Fournier is enjoying a career year, averaging 19.6 PPG and shooting 42.3% from long range.

Here are more nuggets from the ESPN report:

Nets Notes: Harris, Irving, Prospects, Crabbe

Nets forward Joe Harris is among the players eligible for free agency next summer, and he appears certain to receive a raise on his current $7.67MM salary. As Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype relays, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on a podcast this week that league insiders have speculated Harris will be able to double his current annual salary on his next contract.

Harris has emerged as one of the NBA’s best long-distance shooters in recent years. After making 2.4 threes per game with a league-best .474 3PT% in 2018/19, he’s knocking down 2.8 per game at a 43.6% rate this season. As Lowe notes, Harris isn’t just a one-way player either — he can hold his own on the defensive end.

Because Harris signed a two-year contract with the Nets in 2018, he won’t be eligible to receive an extension from the team before he reaches the open market, so Brooklyn will have to fight off other suitors next summer in order to retain him.

Here’s more from out of Brooklyn:

  • Kyrie Irving will miss his 17th consecutive game on Saturday, having not accompanied the Nets on their trip to San Antonio. Malika Andrews of ESPN.com takes an in-depth look at where things stand with Irving’s shoulder injury and whether he’s getting close to a return, as well as what the team’s plan is for Spencer Dinwiddie when Irving is back.
  • Net Income of NetsDaily checks in on the progress being made by Brooklyn’s draft-and-stash prospects, including 2016 second-rounder Isaia Cordinier and this year’s No. 56 pick Jaylen Hands. Cordinier is having a strong season in France, while Hands is beginning to make an impact for the Long Island Nets in the G League.
  • Allen Crabbe had a disappointing second year with the Nets in 2018/19 that ultimately ended with a trade sending him to Atlanta. Speaking to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, Crabbe described the knee injury that limited him to 43 games last season, explaining that he didn’t recover with rest like the team hoped. “It was just two steps going forward and four steps back is what it felt like,” Crabbe said. “It felt like we put a lot of time with the rehab and getting better and it just didn’t want to cooperate.”

Injury Updates: Clarke, Lowry, D-Lo, Crabbe, More

Just three days after ruling out Ja Morant with a week-to-week injury, the Grizzlies have done the same with their other prized rookie. Forward Brandon Clarke aggravated a sore left oblique muscle during Sunday’s game and will be sidelined on a week-to-week basis, the team announced today in a press release.

The 6-14 Grizzlies are certainly lottery-bound, but Morant and Clarke have at least been two bright spots – and reasons to keep an eye on the young team in Memphis – so far this season. Clarke has averaged 11.8 PPG and 5.9 RPG with a .630 FG% in 18 games (21.2 MPG). In his absence, the club will presumably lean a little more heavily on bigs like Jaren Jackson Jr., Solomon Hill, and Bruno Caboclo.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Kyle Lowry, who has missed nearly a month with a left thumb injury, will return to the Raptors‘ starting lineup tonight. As Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca tweets, head coach Nick Nurse said he’d like to ease Lowry back in, but the veteran point guard won’t have a specific minutes cap.
  • Another star point guard who has been out with a thumb injury appears to be nearing a return as well. Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets that D’Angelo Russell, who hasn’t played since November 15, has been upgraded to questionable for the Warriors‘ game in Charlotte on Wednesday.
  • Hawks wing Allen Crabbe underwent a non-surgical procedure on his right knee today, according to the team. The club didn’t provide a timeline for Crabbe’s recovery beyond saying he’ll miss Wednesday’s game vs. Brooklyn, but this is the same knee that gave him trouble earlier in the year.
  • A Thunder spokesman said on Tuesday that Andre Roberson will continue his injury rehab process in Los Angeles, away from the team, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Billy Donovan said the decision wasn’t related to a setback or another operation, but the head coach’s comments didn’t sound overly promising. “He can’t get himself back to play, and he just wants to try some other avenues to try to get himself back to play,” Donovan said of Roberson. “He’s gotten to a point, and he can’t get past that point.”
  • Clippers swingman Rodney McGruder remains sidelined with a right hamstring strain, and head coach Doc Rivers said earlier this week that he didn’t believe McGruder was close to returning (Twitter link via Jovan Buha of The Athletic).

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/7/19

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Nuggets have assigned rookie forward Vlatko Cancar to the Erie BayHawks, the team’s PR department tweets. The 2017 second-round selection has appeared in one game, a two-minute cameo on Oct. 31. Denver doesn’t have a G League affiliate.
  • The Clippers assigned center Mfiondu Kabengele and guard Derrick Walton Jr. to the Agua Caliente Clippers for a practice and then recalled them, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets.
  • The Bulls assigned swingman Denzel Valentine, who missed last season due to an ankle injury, to the Windy City Bulls, the team’s PR department tweets. Valentine practiced with the G League team and is expected to remain with them for their first two games on Friday and Saturday. Rookie power forward Daniel Gafford was also assigned to the Windy City Bulls and will remain for their season opener, according to another team tweet.
  • The Spurs assigned forward Chimezie Metu to their Austin affiliate, then recalled him prior to their game against Oklahoma City, according to a team press release. He’ll be re-assigned to Austin for its season opener on Friday.
  • The Hawks assigned swingman Allen Crabbe to the College Park Skyhawks for a practice and then recalled him, according to Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the team’s PR department (Twitter links). Crabbe is working his way back from knee surgery.
  • The Hornets assigned two rookies, guard Cody Martin and forward Caleb Martin, to the Greensboro Swarm for a practice and then recalled them, according to a team press release. They also recalled rookie forward Jalen McDaniels, according to another team release.

Injury Updates: Kuzma, Nene, Crabbe, Hawks

After a report earlier this week indicated that Kyle Kuzma wouldn’t be healthy for the start of the Lakers‘ training camp, the team has confirmed as much, announcing in a press release that Kuzma is rehabbing a stress reaction in his left foot.

According to the Lakers, Kuzma hasn’t been cleared to practice and is scheduled to undergo an MRI next month when the team returns from its trip to China. The second of L.A.’s two international preseason games vs. Brooklyn takes place in Shenzhen on October 12, so Kuzma’s MRI presumably won’t happen until sometime after that contest.

The Lakers provided updates on a couple more players, announcing that rookie Talen Horton-Tucker is receiving treatment for a stress reaction in his right foot and will be a limited participant in camp. Camp invitee Jordan Caroline, meanwhile, is expected to miss 10-12 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left foot earlier this month.

Horton-Tucker has a guaranteed contract and his spot on the Lakers’ roster won’t be affected by his injury, but Caroline is on a non-guaranteed deal and figures to be waived in the coming days or weeks.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • The Rockets announced today that Nene has re-aggravated a chronic adductor injury and won’t be able to participate in training camp, as David Aldridge of The Athletic relays (via Twitter). Based on the incentives in Nene’s deal, it’s unlikely he’ll play much this season anyway, but health problems would further reduce the likelihood of him seeing regular action.
  • The Hawks issued a series of injury updates on their players, including John Collins (hip strain), Kevin Huerter (knee pain), Alex Len (low back pain; left ankle sprain), and Allen Crabbe (right knee surgery). Collins, Huerter, and Chandler Parsons (load management) are expected to be somewhat limited in training camp, while Crabbe will likely miss all of camp and the preseason. Len’s status remains up in the air.
  • Keith Pompey of Philly.com takes a look at the work Sixers shooting guard Zhaire Smith has put in to get healthy after missing nearly his entire rookie season due to injury and illness.

Kevin Huerter Talks Hawks’ Draft, 2019/20 Goals

Culture and locker-room fit were important considerations for the Hawks as they made roster moves this offseason, second-year shooting guard Kevin Huerter tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. As Huerter explains, head coach Lloyd Pierce talked on multiple occasions about not bringing in anyone who would be detrimental to the culture the team is trying to build in Atlanta.

“I think every player we brought in has some sort of relationship with one of our coaches or [executives], so they know that we’re bringing in really good guys,” Huerter said. “I think that was really important, first and foremost, especially with a team that could still go through a lot of ups and downs. You don’t want someone in the locker room who is making everyone miserable.”

While Huerter is optimistic about what Allen Crabbe, Jabari Parker, Evan Turner, and Chandler Parsons can contribute on the court, he views those incoming veterans as guys who will “contribute off the court as well,” as he tells Kennedy.

Huerter spoke to Kennedy about many more topics, including the Hawks’ draft, their future free agent outlook, and their expectations for the 2019/20 season. The Q&A is worth checking out in full, but here are a few highlights from the former Maryland standout:

On the Hawks drafting De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and Bruno Fernando:

“I thought our draft was great. There are very few teams that can come out of the draft saying they got exactly who they wanted, but those three guys are literally the exact players we wanted going into the draft. Anytime that happens, it’s an extremely successful draft.

“I think those guys bring a different dynamic to our team that we didn’t have. De’Andre is a 3/4 and he’s a really good defender, so he was a great pick for us. Cam just has so much potential on the offensive end and what his ceiling could be makes him great for us as well. Bruno is NBA-ready. I think it can be tough for some bigs as they enter the NBA because of how physical it is, but Bruno is physically NBA-ready. Again, I thought it was a really good draft for us.”

On whether free agents will seriously consider the Hawks as they continue to improve:

“Hopefully. Any team that wins becomes pretty attractive to free agents. You see that happen a lot. But for me, our core group of guys could – and should – be enough for us. That’s the way that winning teams are built, at least in the old days. When you want to want to build something that lasts, it’s homegrown guys. But, again, hopefully if we win, [players will want to sign here] and we can figure out which positions we need moving forward. Adding free agents down the line won’t be a bad thing, but first you need to win and then everything else comes with it.”

On whether the Hawks have discussed a goal of making the playoffs in 2019/20:

“Honestly, no. Playoffs, for us, isn’t really a word we talk about – all we talk about is winning more than 29 games. We know how honestly close we were last year – we weren’t too far off from that eighth seed – but we’re probably not going to talk about it for most of the year. It’s not something we talk about in the locker room, trying to sneak in [to the playoffs]. It’s literally just, ‘We’re going to win more than 29 games and continue to get better.’ Then whatever happens, happens.”

Hawks Acquire Allen Crabbe In Trade With Nets

JULY 6: A month after it was agreed upon, the Nets have officially traded Crabbe to the Hawks along with the No. 17 pick (Nickeil Alexander-Walker) and a lottery-protected first-round pick in exchange for Prince and the Hawks’ 2021 second-rounder, according to press releases from both teams.

Brooklyn will, of course, use its cap room to sign Irving and Durant.

JUNE 6: The Nets and Hawks have agreed to a trade that will send Allen Crabbe, the No. 17 pick in the 2019 draft, and a lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links).

The move will allow the Nets to clear more than $17MM from their books for the 2019/20 season by swapping Crabbe’s expiring $18.5MM deal for Prince’s ($3.48MM) and clearing the cap hold for the No. 17 pick. That will put Brooklyn on track to enter the offseason with more than $47MM in cap space. The Nets will now have a clearer path to creating two maximum-salary cap slots if they’re willing to renounce D’Angelo Russell‘s cap hold.

[RELATED: Latest On D’Angelo Russell]

The fact that the Nets were willing to agree to move Crabbe so early in the offseason signals that they have big plans for that extra cap room, which is particularly intriguing given the recent rumors linking Kyrie Irving to Brooklyn. According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Irving is “serious” about the Nets, and Brooklyn is looking to beat out the Knicks and the rest of the NBA for top free agents this summer.

If Russell is renounced, the Nets would have enough cap space for Irving and another maximum-salary free agent, unless that player has 10+ years of NBA experience (like Kevin Durant). In that scenario, the club would have to make one more modest cost-cutting move.

Besides creating extra cap flexibility, the Nets also pick up a solid young wing with three-and-D potential in Prince. The 25-year-old has averaged 13.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 2.4 APG with a .431/.387/.834 shooting line in 137 games (29.3 MPG) over the last two seasons in Atlanta. He’s extension-eligible this offseason and will be a restricted free agent in 2020 if he doesn’t get a new deal.

From the Hawks’ perspective, acquiring Crabbe in exchange for Prince and their 2021 second-round pick will allow them to pick up two extra first-round selections, which could be used to add two more young prospects to their core or could be dangled in subsequent trade discussions.

Atlanta is now armed with three top-20 picks in the 2019 draft (Nos. 8, 10, and 17). There have been rumors that the Hawks have explored the idea of packaging their two top-10 picks to move up — adding the No. 17 selection to the mix should give the club more leverage in those discussions.

Meanwhile, the on-court impact of swapping out Prince for Crabbe shouldn’t be significant, as they play fairly similar roles. While Crabbe’s lucrative contract isn’t team-friendly, he has still been a very good three-point shooter in recent years, posting a .396 3PT% since signing his four-year deal in 2016, and his deal will expire after the 2019/20 season.

The Hawks’ cap room for 2019 will be cut nearly in half by the deal, but the team still projects to have about $23-25MM in space.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN.com observes (via Twitter), the two teams won’t be able to complete the trade until July, since the Hawks won’t have the cap room necessary to absorb Crabbe’s contract until the new league year begins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.