Atlanta Hawks

Brussino Nearly Completes Roster; Crawford Buyout Details Released

Nicolas Brussino, claimed off waivers today by the Hawks, comes with a $1.3MM cap hit, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The move leaves Atlanta with $8.6MM in cap space and 14 guaranteed contracts. The waiver claim means the Hawks will receive Brussino’s entire contract, which includes a $1.5MM salary for 2018/19 that becomes fully guaranteed on the final day of the 2018 moratorium (Twitter link).

  • The Hawks‘ roster for next season is nearly complete, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Atlanta still hopes to find a third point guard, and will begin that search next week.
  • Jamal Crawford gave up $4MM in his buyout arrangement with the Hawks, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The Clippers sent Crawford to Atlanta in a three-team deal earlier this month, and he quickly agreed to a buyout that enabled him to sign with Minnesota. Crawford’s contract guaranteed him $14.2MM next season and $3MM for 2018/19, and Pincus says he accepted $10.9MM and $2.3MM.

Marreese Speights Meets With Magic

The Magic held a face-to-face meeting with free agent center/power forward Marreese Speights, tweets international basketball writer David Pick.

Orlando, which has been looking for shooting help, could benefit from the addition of the 6’10” veteran, who played all 82 games with the Clippers last season. He shot 37% from 3-point range while averaging 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per night.

The Magic still have their $4.328MM room exception available and could offer Speights a nice raise from the minimum-salary deal he opted out of in L.A.

Speights spent just one season with the Clippers after joining the team as a free agent last summer. A 2008 first-round pick by the Sixers, he has also played for the Grizzlies, Cavaliers and Warriors in his nine-year career.

The meeting with Orlando comes a week after negotiations broke off with Atlanta. The Clippers are also reportedly interested in having him return.

Hawks Claim Nicolas Brussino Off Waivers

The Hawks have added Argentinian forward Nicolas Brussino on a waiver claim, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The-24-year-old was placed on waivers Thursday by the Mavericks, who parted ways with him before his $1.31MM salary for next season became guaranteed. Brussino was set to make $1.55MM in 2018/19, also non-guaranteed.

 

He signed with the Mavericks last summer and saw modest playing time during his rookie season. Brussino averaged 9.6 minutes in 54 games, scoring 2.8 points per night.

He played for six years in Argentina before coming to the NBA and was reportedly considering offers from Europe before the Hawks claimed him.

 

Dewayne Dedmon Signs With Hawks

July 21: The Hawks have made their contract with Dedmon official, the team announced via press release on its website.

July 11: Free agent Dewayne Dedmon has agreed to a two-year, $14MM deal with the Hawks, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Dedmon’s deal includes a player option in the second year.

Dedmon, who turns 28 next month, hit free agency after opting out of the second year of his original two-year pact with the Spurs. As it turns out, Dedmon’s decision paid off as he was set to make just $3.028MM in 2017/18 under his player option. Now, he gets a significant raise and security for two seasons.

Strong play for the Spurs last season allowed Dedmon to opt out and pursue a larger deal. In 76 games (37 starts), Dedmon posted totals of 5.1 PPG and 6.5 RPG in 17.5 minutes per game. Now, the 7’0″ center will provide the Hawks with valuable rim protection and defense next season.

Atlanta general manager Travis Schlenk promised his team would seek help at center earlier this week, and if those comments stand, the team is not done adding.

“We’ll sign a third point guard. We are deciding to we get a veteran guy or do we get a young guy that we think has upside,” Schlenk said. “Do we bring in a couple guys and let them battle it out? We are going to sign a power forward for sure. We’ll sign a center for sure. Probably sign three more big guys so we end up with six.”

Dedmon figures to split time with Mike Muscala, who the Hawks signed last week. With Howard shipped out to the Hornets and Millsap heading to Denver, the Hawks will continue to scour the market for size and skill vacated by those departures.

The departures of Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap, and Tim Hardaway Jr. have created the cap space for the Hawks to pursue Dedmon and other free agents.

Hawks Re-Sign Ersan Ilyasova

July 21: The Hawks have officially re-signed Ilyasova, the team announced via a press release on its website.

July 12: The Hawks have reached an agreement to bring back free agent power forward Ersan Ilyasova, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). According to Charania, Ilyasova will sign a one-year deal worth $6MM to return to Atlanta.

[RELATED: Notable remaining NBA free agents by position]

Few players have bounced around the NBA more in the last two years than Ilyasova, who has appeared in multiple regular season games for the Pistons, Magic, Thunder, Sixers, and Hawks since the 2015/16 season began. Last season, he was traded from Oklahoma City to Philadelphia early on, then flipped to Atlanta prior to the trade deadline.

Although he hasn’t found a permanent NBA home since leaving Milwaukee in 2015, Ilyasova continues to be an effective stretch four. For his career, the 6’10” big man has averaged 11.0 PPG and 5.9 RPG, converting 36.6% of his three-point attempts.

The Hawks renounced Ilyasova last week in the process of creating cap space, but they still have plenty of room to bring him back without using any form of Bird rights. Their deal with Ilyasova is the third move the Hawks have made to address their lack of frontcourt depth in recent days. The team also agreed to bring back Mike Muscala, and struck a deal with Dewayne Dedmon.

Knicks Notes: Hardaway, Porzingis, Draft, Perry

Knicks president Steve Mills had an aggressive plan that ultimately snared Tim Hardaway Jr., writes Newsday’s Al Iannazzone. Mills claims he reached out to Hardaway just after midnight on July 1. While Hardaway says that he didn’t hear from the Knicks until a few days into free agency, it is clear that Mills aggressively pursued the former Knick.

“We felt like there are not that many opportunities in free agency that you have the opportunity to go after a 25-year-old. We made the decision that if you want to pry a restricted free agent away from the incumbent team, you have to be aggressive. So we made a decision to be aggressive,” Mills said.

Reportedly, the Knicks brass believed that the Hawks would be willing to offer $45MM for four years, so Mills and company needed to be “aggressive” and offered $71MM over four years. Although Hardaway has started just 62 of 281 games in his career, Mills believes that he is a starting shooting guard in the NBA.

“As we look at the numbers, we believe Tim is a starting two-guard in this league. Our trajectory for him is to be a starting two- guard, the capability of being a starting two-guard for the rest of his career. And those guys average 16, 16.5 million dollars today. So that’s how we came to the decision,” the Knicks president said.

Here’s what else you should know regarding the Knicks:

  • Also in Iannazzone’s Newsday piece, Mills speaks to his relationship with team cornerstone, Kristaps Porzingis. “Kristaps and I have a hectic texting relationship. I continue to text Kristaps over the summer and he and I have spoken two or three times over the summer,” Mills said. Phil Jackson confirmed he was fielding trade offers for Porzingis around the draft, but since Jackson left the team, the Knicks have stated that they will build around the Latvian center.
  • By going young this season, the Knicks could score big in the 2018 NBA Draft, writes Adam Zagoria of FanRag Sports Network. If Carmelo Anthony is dealt, the Knicks could enter full-scale rebuilding mode, possibly setting them up for the first overall pick in the next draft. Zagoria mentions Michael Porter Jr., DeAndre Ayton, Mohamed Bamba, Luka Doncic, and Marvin Bagley as potential targets if the Knicks were to land the top selection.
  • In a press conference, Mills spoke about new GM Scott Perry‘s role with the team, relays Steve Popper of USA Today. “I’m going to give Scott the room to make basketball decisions and make recommendations to me,” Mills said. “He’s going to have a chance to manage the coaching staff, manage the scouting staff, and make recommendations as to where we should go as a basketball organization. I think we’ll be partners in that in the sense that he’ll come to me with his recommendation and we’ll debate it back and forth. But at the end of the day, I’m giving him the room to make those decisions.” Mills also emphasized that the goal is for the Knicks to be a younger, more athletic team, while head coach Jeff Hornacek stressed hustle and defense as the lynchpins of the new team.
  • Mills said that, if he were in charge, he “would’ve selected Frank [Ntilikina] at that point in the draft myself,” per Marc Berman of The New York Post. Mills continued, “He’s a guy that fits in everything that we’re talking about right now. He’s a smart basketball player. He focuses defensively and his approach to the game, his work ethic, fit exactly in the direction that we want to take this team.”

Raptors' Valanciunas Talks With Hawks, Others Didn't Get Far

  • The Raptors haven’t had much luck in their efforts to trade Jonas Valanciunas, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News details. According to Deveney, discussions with the Kings, Suns, Hornets, Trail Blazers, Hawks, and others “did not get very far.” Now that they’ve dumped some salary by moving DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph, it’s not clear if the Raptors are still attempting to move Valanciunas.

Talks Between Hawks, Marreese Speights End

The Hawks had been in discussion with sharp-shooting center Marreese Speights for a week but those talks have ended, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The veteran is thus back in play on the open market.

Earlier this week we wrote about how the Clippers had hoped to retain both Luc Mbah a Moute and Speights. Unfortunately for them, however, Mbah a Moute has already committed to the Rockets leaving only the 29-year-old Speights available as a returning option for the transitioning franchise.

In 82 games for the Clippers last season, Speights averaged 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. His ability to spread the floor from the five position could serve any number of contenders well provided they’re able to land him at a reasonable price. From 2013 to 2016, of course, Speights was a valuable addition to the Warriors’ rotation.

Speights hit the market this summer having opted out of a minimum salary player option with the Clippers. Even if the nine-year vet only inks a veteran’s minimum deal worth $2.1MM in 2017/18, however, he’ll match the value of that player option.

Jamal Crawford's Cap Hit Near $11MM

  • The Hawks acquired Jamal Crawford in the three-way deal that sent Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers and immediately began pursuing a buyout with the 36-year-old veteran. Exact details of the buyout are not yet known but Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the guard’s cap hit will be around $11MM in 2017/18.
  • There’s no disputing Shelvin Mack‘s track record of success, he suited up for the 60-win Hawks of 2014/15 and served a valuable role for the 2016/17 Jazz squad that climbed back to relevance. According to John Denton of Orlando’s official website, the former Butler Bulldog thinks that even the Magic can be winners in the immediate future.

Hawks Sign Second-Rounder Tyler Dorsey

JULY 14: Dorsey’s two-year deal is now official, per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who tweets that it’s a fully guaranteed, minimum salary contract.

JULY 7: The Hawks have struck a deal with second-round pick Tyler Dorsey, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides will finalize a fully guaranteed two-year contract.

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Draft Pick Signings]

Dorsey, 21, left Oregon following his sophomore season this spring, after helping lead the Ducks to an appearance in the Final Four. In 39 games last season, the 6’4″ shooting guard averaged 14.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, and a .423 3PT%.

As the 41st overall pick in this year’s draft, Dorsey will not receive the same sort of four-year deal that first-round picks get. Teams have to sign second-round picks using cap space or exceptions, and while Atlanta has some cap room available, a minimum salary deal wouldn’t be a surprise.

For comparison’s sake, last year’s No. 41 pick, Stephen Zimmerman, signed a three-year minimum salary contract with the Magic, but only the first year was guaranteed — Zimmerman was waived by Orlando earlier this week.

The Hawks drafted Dorsey using the second-round pick acquired from the Hornets in last month’s Dwight Howard trade.

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