Hawks Rumors

Hawks Signing Jaylen Morris For The Rest Of The Season

Rookie shooting guard Jaylen Morris will sign with the Hawks for the remainder of the season, according to a tweet from his agency, RZA Sports.

Morris inked a pair of 10-day deals with Atlanta, with the latest one due to expire Wednesday. He is currently sidelined by a sprained ankle that he suffered Sunday and is projected to miss another week. He appeared in six games before the injury, averaging 4.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in about 16 minutes of playing time.

Morris went undrafted last summer out of Division II Molloy College. He spent most of this season with the Hawks’ G League affiliate in Erie, where he averaged 12.6 points in 39 games.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/14/18

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

9:00 pm:

  • The Pacers have recalled Alex Poythress from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, according to the team’s website. The Kentucky product has played in seven G League games this season where he averaged 20.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

4:56 pm:

  • For the second consecutive day, the Jazz sent Dante Exum to the G League and then recalled him later in the day, the team announced in a press release. The former fifth overall pick is preparing for his return from a shoulder injury by practicing with the Salt Lake City Stars.
  • The Lakers have assigned rookie big man Thomas Bryant to the G League, according to the club (Twitter link). Bryant, who has averaged 19.2 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 32 G League games this season, is expected to suit up for the South Bay Lakers on Thursday night when they host the Agua Caliente Clippers.
  • Chris McCullough, who had been playing for the Northern Arizona Suns, was recalled today by the Wizards and then re-assigned to the Erie BayHawks, according to the team. Washington doesn’t have a G League affiliate of its own this season, so McCullough is eligible to play for other G League squads via the flexible assignment rule.

Hawks Sign Antonius Cleveland To Multi-Year Deal

MARCH 14: Now that his second 10-day contract has expired, Cleveland has finalized his new multi-year deal with the Hawks, the team announced today in a press release.

Atlanta now has 13 players on guaranteed rest-of-season contracts, with Damion Lee and Jaylen Morris on 10-day deals.

MARCH 12: The Hawks are prepared to offer a multi-year deal to Antonius Cleveland that would include a guarantee for the remainder of the season, league sources told ESPN’s Chris Haynes (Twitter link).

Cleveland’s second 10-day deal is set to expire overnight on Tuesday. A plan was already in the works when Cleveland signed the second 10-day contract to extend the relationship for the rest of this season and beyond.

Cleveland, a 6’6” shooting guard, has yet to play for the Hawks. He saw action in 13 games as a two-way player with the Mavericks earlier this season, averaging 0.8 PPG in 6.2 MPG.

He went undrafted out of Southeast Missouri State last summer and inked a training camp deal with the Warriors before getting the two-way offer from Dallas.

Walt Lemon Jr., Xavier Rathan-Mayes Won’t Be Re-Signed

Two players won’t be re-signed as they reach the end of their 10-day contracts, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.

The Pelicans have decided not to retain Walt Lemon Jr., Haynes tweets. The 25-year-old guard completed two 10-day deals with the team and would need to be signed for the rest of season to remain in New Orleans. Lemon appeared in five games during his 20 days with the Pelicans, averaging 3.4 points in 7.0 minutes per night.

The Grizzlies’ impending signing of Briante Weber means guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes won’t receive a second 10-day contract (Twitter link). The 23-year-old saw action in five games with Memphis, playing 23.6 minutes per night and averaging 5.8 points.

Also expiring overnight was a second 10-day contract for Antonius Cleveland, whom the Hawks are expected to sign to a multi-year deal.

Injury Notes: Bazemore, Smart, A. Williams, MCW

Although Kent Bazemore‘s season has ended early due to a bone bruise in his right knee, the Hawks swingman still felt like 2017/18 was a better overall year for him than the 2016/17 campaign, writes Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I’m in a great place,” Bazemore said on Tuesday. “Solid bounce-back season after last year’s efforts. I grew as a player and a leader. I’ve learned a new train of thought for an NBA season. Now it’s up to me to take it to the next level and be able to play all season. … I felt great all year. The injury was kind of a freak accident, in my opinion. I was available every night up to that point. It was a good year overall.”

According to Bazemore, the injury will take him about six to eight weeks to fully recover from, which is why the Hawks are shutting him down for the season — there are only about four weeks left in the regular season, and Atlanta obviously isn’t playoff-bound. Bazemore, who will look to enter the 2018/19 season fully healthy, will be entering the third season of his lucrative four-year contract with the Hawks.

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

  • A league source tells Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) that the Celtics sure aren’t sure what the odds are that Marcus Smart returns to the court this season. Smart, officially diagnosed with a sprained thumb, reportedly tore a tendon in that thumb. “(They’re) waiting for that second opinion,” the source told Murphy. “Don’t know if it’s a 50% chance or a 30% chance (that he can get back on the court this season). Just don’t know.”
  • Although it initially looked like he might play for the Suns tonight, Alan Williams is now targeting Thursday or Saturday for his 2017/18 debut, tweets Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Williams has been sidelined all season with a right knee injury.
  • The Hornets confirmed today in a press release that Michael Carter-Williams underwent successful surgery to address the torn labrum in his left shoulder. As initially reported last week, the former Rookie of the Year will miss the rest of the season before reaching unrestricted free agency this summer.

Hawks Sign Damion Lee To 10-Day Contract

MARCH 13: The Hawks have officially signed Lee to a 10-day deal, the team announced today in a press release. It will run through next Thursday (March 22).

MARCH 12: The Hawks are expected to add yet another player on a 10-day contract. G League guard Damion Lee will become the latest player to ink a deal with Atlanta, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN (Twitter link).

Lee, who played his college ball at the University of Louisville, went undrafted in 2016 and signed a camp contract with the Celtics. He spent most of his rookie season playing for the Maine Red Claws (Boston’s G League affiliate) before joining the Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State’s affiliate) for the 2017/18 season.

In 38 games this season for Santa Cruz, Lee has averaged 15.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 2.6 APG. He has struggled a little with his outside shot, seeing his 3PT% dip to .305 after posting a .466 mark in 16 G League contests last season.

The Hawks currently have one open roster spot, so they can sign Lee without waiving anyone. Atlanta was already the only NBA team with multiple players currently on 10-day deals, with Antonius Cleveland and Jaylen Morris both on those short-term contracts. Morris will reportedly miss the next two to four weeks with an ankle injury though, so it’s not clear if the Hawks will keep him on the roster throughout his recovery, or if they’ll move on.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/12/18

Here are Monday’s G League moves from around the NBA:

  • The Spurs recalled guard Derrick White from the Austin Spurs, according to a team press release. White, the team’s first-round pick last June, has played 19 games with Austin, averaging 18.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG and 3.1 APG in 27.0 MPG.
  • The Lakers recalled rookie center Thomas Bryant from their South Bay affiliate, the G League team tweets. The second-round pick has appeared in 10 NBA games. In his last two games with South Bay, he averaged 18.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 6.0 APG.
  • The Celtics recalled forward Guerschon Yabusele from the Maine Red Claws, the team tweets. Yabusele will add depth in the wake of Daniel Theis season-ending injury. A 2016 first-round pick, Yabusele has appeared in 14 games with the Red Claws, averaging 20.3 PPG and 7.9 RPG.
  • The Hawks recalled rookie forward Tyler Cavanaugh from a rehab assignment with the Erie Bayhawks, the team announced in a release. Cavanaugh, who hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since January 8th, has been working his way back from an ankle injury.

Hawks’ Kent Bazemore Out For Season

2:46pm: The Hawks have issued a press release confirming the injuries to Bazemore and Morris. According to the team, Bazemore will miss the rest of the season and Morris will be out for approximately two to four weeks.

2:20pm: After leaving Sunday’s game with a knee injury, Hawks swingman Kent Bazemore isn’t expected to return to action anytime soon. A source tells Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Bazemore will likely miss “several weeks” due to a right knee bone bruise.

A three-and-D wing, Bazemore has started 65 of the Hawks’ 67 games this year, averaging 12.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 3.5 APG with a career-best .394 3PT%. He still has two seasons left on the lucrative four-year deal he signed back in 2016, and is owed an $18MM+ guaranteed salary for 2018/19, plus a $19MM+ player option for 2019/20.

The tanking Hawks are currently tied for the third-worst record in the NBA at 20-47, so the club likely won’t be too devastated to lose one of its more productive rotation players. While the recovery timeline on Bazemore suggests he could be back before season’s end, it’s very possible that Atlanta will play it safe and hold him out for the club’s final 15 games.

Meanwhile, the Hawks will also be without rookie Jaylen Morris, who suffered a left ankle sprain and is expected to be out for two weeks, according to Cunningham. Morris just signed his second 10-day contract with the club on Sunday, but it sounds like he won’t be healthy before that deal expires on March 20.

If Morris remains a part of Atlanta’s plans, the team figures to keep him around during his recovery and then sign him to a rest-of-season contract later this month. If not, the Hawks could end up terminating his 10-day deal early.

Best Way To Rebuild?

  • Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders takes a look at how the bottom-dwelling Hawks can go about their rebuilding efforts in a positive way. Davies opines that Atlanta is already ahead of the curve due to focusing on giving their young core of Taurean Prince and rookie big man John Collins valuable playing time and experience at the expense of veterans. The next step is bringing in a young, talented front court player such as Mohamed Bamba or DeAndre Ayton to pair with Collins.

Hawks Sign Jaylen Morris To Second 10-Day Deal

MARCH 11: The Hawks have officially signed Morris to his second 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. The contract will run through next Tuesday, covering five games.

MARCH 8: According to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated, the Hawks plan to sign rookie guard Jaylen Morris to a second 10-day contract after his first 10-day deal expires tomorrow. Assuming the second contract is signed on Saturday, it will run through March 19, covering four games.

As previously touched upon, Morris went undrafted out of Division II Molloy College in last summer’s draft and had spent this season with the Erie BayHawks, Atlanta’s G League affiliate, before signing with the Hawks.

Morris has played in all four games since signing his first 10-day deal, averaging 3.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 17.0 minutes per contest. As a rookie, Morris’ deal with once again count as $46,080 towards the Hawks’ salary cap.