Hawks Rumors

Hawks Sign Jahlil Okafor To Non-Guaranteed Contract

SEPTEMBER 22: The deal became official on Tuesday, per RealGM’s transactions log.


SEPTEMBER 16: Former No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor is signing with the Hawks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (via twitter). The contract will be non-guaranteed.

In a follow-up tweet, Hawks beat reporter Chris Kirschner of The Athletic notes that Okafor and recently-signed Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who is also on a non-guaranteed deal, are the most likely candidates to claim the 15th and final spot on the team’s regular season roster.

The team currently has 14 players on guaranteed contracts and 19 players signed to its training camp roster, so Okafor will be their 20th man on the roster, with no corresponding moves necessary to add him.

It’s worth noting that the Hawks could have claimed Okafor off waivers when he was released by the Nets last week, but doing so would have meant taking on a guaranteed minimum contract for the upcoming season. Waiting until he cleared waivers gave them the opportunity to sign him to a non-guaranteed deal, granting the team more flexibility with their roster.

Okafor has bounced around the league in recent years and struggled to break Detroit’s big man rotation last season before being traded to Brooklyn in the offseason. However, he does hold career averages of 10.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG in just 19.5 MPG, so he’s capable of packing an offensive punch when given the opportunity.

Bogdan Bogdanovic Says He’s Completely Healthy

Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic says he’s completely recovered from the right knee soreness that hampered him during the postseason, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reports.

Bogdanovic appeared in 18 postseason games and averaged 14.1 PPG but shot a subpar 32.9% from long range after knocking down a career-best 43.8% of his 3-point attempts during 44 regular season games.

He received a PRP shot after the season and says he’s ready for training camp.

“I wanted to just make sure that I was 100 percent healthy at the beginning of this coming season,” he said. “It’s nothing serious where I had surgery or anything like that. I am good, and I am healthy now. That’s already behind me and was a long time ago. I have no problems now.”

He admitted the injury nagged him during the playoffs.

“You just don’t have time in the playoffs to recover how you would want,” he said. “It’s such a loss to get hurt in the playoffs because you feel like you can’t do anything that you want to do.”

Bogdanovic, who will be entering the second year of the four-year, $72MM contract he signed as a restricted free agent, addressed numerous other topics with Kirschner. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Bogdanovic says it’s imperative that the team doesn’t get complacent after its surprising postseason run: “Our heads should be on this is a new season and we need to scratch everything that we did last season,” he said. “It’s a new mentality. We have to find new motivation.”
  • He believes the team won’t gain greater respect around the league unless it continues to advance deep into the playoffs: “We can’t just do it one year and then the next season we get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs,” he said.
  • He sees De’Andre Hunter as a key to the team’s continued success. “He’s really one of those players I was talking about that just wants to be one of those great players,” Bogdanovic said. “He’s so good on both ends of the floor, and it’s just different when you have him on the court.”

Bar Set Much Higher This Season

  • Following their unexpected run to the conference finals, the Hawks will hold themselves to a high standard, Zach Harper of The Athletic writes. They’ll need to figure out how to remain a steady contender without getting discouraged if they come up short of a deep playoff run next season, Harper continues. Atlanta made some roster tweaks but its success will be measured by internal growth, Harper adds. Overall, Harper gave the Hawks an A-minus grade for the offseason after retaining some key pieces and signing Trae Young to an extension.

Luwawu-Cabarrot Signs Non-Guaranteed Deal With Hawks

The Hawks have signed shooting guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweets.

The 26-year-old Luwawu-Cabarrot is a five-year NBA veteran. He played for the Nets for the past two years, including 58 regular-season appearances last season. He averaged 6.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG and 1.2 APG but shot just 36.5% from the field. He’s made 33.1% of his 3-point shots during his career.

Luwawu-Cabarrot also made 11 postseason appearances over the last two seasons. He became an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Atlanta has 16 other players under contract, including 14 on guaranteed deals, so Luwawu-Cabarrot will likely be competing for the last spot on the 15-man opening-night roster. The Hawks also have another player reportedly on a training camp deal and both two-way slots filled, which would give them a full 20-player roster heading into camp.

2021 NBA Offseason In Review: Atlanta Hawks

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2021 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s offseason moves, examine what still needs to be done before opening night, and look ahead to what the 2021/22 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Atlanta Hawks.


Free agent signings:

Note: Exhibit 10 deals aren’t included here.

  • John Collins: Five years, $125MM. Fifth-year player option. Re-signed as restricted free agent using Bird rights.
  • Lou Williams: One year, $5MM. Re-signed using Bird rights.
  • Gorgui Dieng: One year, $4MM. Signed using mid-level exception.
  • Solomon Hill: One year, minimum salary. Re-signed using minimum salary exception.
  • Skylar Mays: Two-way contract. Accepted two-way qualifying offer as restricted free agent.

Trades:

Draft picks:

Contract extensions:

  • Trae Young: Five years, maximum salary. Projected value of $172,500,000. Projected value can increase to $207,060,000 if Young earns All-NBA honors in 2022. Includes fifth-year player option and 15% trade kicker. Starts in 2022/23.
  • Clint Capela: Two years, $42,881,280 (base value). Includes $4MM in incentives. Starts in 2023/24.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Retained Nate McMillan as their permanent head coach.
  • Onyeka Okongwu underwent shoulder surgery and will miss the start of the 2021/22 season.
  • Added Joe Prunty, Jamelle McMillan, and Nick Van Exel to coaching staff; Melvin Hunt and Marlon Garnett departed coaching staff.

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap and below the tax line.
  • Carrying approximately $133.1MM in salary.
  • $5,536,000 of non-taxpayer mid-level exception still available ($4MM used on Gorgui Dieng).
  • Full bi-annual exception ($3,732,000) still available.
  • One traded player exception ($1,782,621) available.

Lingering preseason issues:

  • The Hawks have 14 players on guaranteed contracts, so they could still add a 15th man.
  • Kevin Huerter is eligible for a rookie scale contract extension until October 18.
  • Delon Wright is eligible for a veteran contract extension all season (extend-and-trade limitations are in place until December).

The Hawks’ offseason:

A year ago, the Hawks’ offseason priority was using their significant cap room to add veteran players capable of complementing the team’s young core. Not all of those signings were successful (Kris Dunn and Rajon Rondo didn’t last long in Atlanta), but the approach paid off as a whole, as the team made a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

This time around, the Hawks’ offseason focus wasn’t on continuing to add outside talent to the roster, but rather on retaining the franchise’s most important pieces for the long term.

First and foremost, this meant locking up leading scorer Trae Young to a rookie scale extension. The Hawks offered Young a five-year, maximum-salary deal as soon as they were allowed to do so, and now have the former No. 5 overall pick under team control through at least 2026.

Shortly after reaching a deal with Young, Atlanta agreed to terms with John Collins on a five-year deal. That negotiation was trickier — Young was still a year away from free agency, but Collins became a restricted free agent this summer, meaning he could’ve sought an offer sheet from a rival suitor. And while the negotiations with Young essentially amounted to handing over a blank check, the Collins talks revolved around finding a number below the maximum that satisfied both sides.

That number ended up being $25MM per year, which looks like a fair price for a versatile frontcourt player who is a force on offense and still has room to grow on defense. The Hawks left those negotiations happy that they locked in Collins for less than the max, while the fifth-year player option in his new contract will allow the big man to hit the open market again at age 27, when he could be in line for an even bigger payday.

Having secured Young and Collins to long-term deals near the start of free agency, the Hawks waited a few weeks before working out an extension with big man Clint Capela as well. Teams around the NBA aren’t investing in the center position like they used to, but some players are still worthy of big-money commitments, and Capela showed in 2020/21 that he fits that bill — he anchored Atlanta’s defense and finished sixth in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Tacking on two more years to the two left on Capela’s current contract was a good bit of business for the Hawks, who now have the center on the books for about $83.7MM over the next four years (various incentives could slightly shift that total in one direction or the other).

The Hawks’ final key retention wasn’t a player at all — it was head coach Nate McMillan. The team’s trajectory changed significantly midway through the 2020/21 season when McMillan replaced Lloyd Pierce on the sidelines. The veteran coach led Atlanta to a 27-11 record the rest of the way and won two playoff series, showing that his lack of postseason success in four years in Indiana didn’t mean he couldn’t win in the playoffs.

There was never any doubt that the Hawks would offer McMillan the permanent job at season’s end — luckily for the franchise, he accepted that offer rather than exploring the open market, where he surely would’ve received plenty of interest from a few of the seven teams seeking new coaches.

While re-signing and extending their in-house talent was the primary focus of the Hawks’ offseason, their work around the edges of the roster shouldn’t be overlooked. Atlanta is hoping Delon Wright can give the team the kind of backcourt production that Rondo and Dunn didn’t — Wright is a versatile defender who is capable of getting to the basket and taking some ball-handling pressure off of Young.

The free agent addition of Gorgui Dieng was another solid move by president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk and his front office. Dieng wasn’t a great value on his previous contract (four years, $63MM), but at one year and $4MM, he should provide a solid return on investment — especially with Onyeka Okongwu expected to miss the start of the season while he recovers from shoulder surgery.


The Hawks’ upcoming season:

Expecting the Hawks to return to the Eastern Conference Finals may be overly optimistic. Milwaukee and Brooklyn are probably the two best teams in the East, while Miami, Boston, Indiana, New York, and others will be looking to claim places in the upper tier.

Still, even if the Hawks don’t make another deep playoff run in 2022, we shouldn’t necessarily count on a significant amount of regression. Atlanta was successful in 2020/21 despite missing key players like De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish for virtually all of the second half of the season, and Bogdan Bogdanovic for a big chunk of the first half. Young and Collins have room to continue improving, and this will be the team’s first full season under McMillan.

I think the Hawks are still one move away from legitimate title contention, but this is a deep, talented team capable of competing for a top-four seed in the East and making some noise in the postseason again.


Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.

Hawks Notes: Reddish, Collins, Huerter, Hunter

The Hawks have enough young players and future draft picks to facilitate a Ben Simmons trade, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes in a mailbag column. He uses the Timberwolves as an example of a team that wants Simmons, but may not have the assets to make an offer that would interest the Sixers. Kirschner suggests Cam Reddish could be appealing in that scenario, with Atlanta getting something of value for helping the deal get done.

The Hawks looked into trading Reddish around draft time, but sources tell Kirschner that no deal was ever imminent. There’s a decent chance Reddish will be eventually be moved, Kirschner adds, but there’s no urgency to deal him right away. Injuries limited Reddish to 26 games last season, but he averaged 12.8 PPG when he returned for the playoff series with the Bucks.

There’s more on the Hawks, all from Kirschner:

  • Atlanta didn’t receive any legitimate sign-and-trade offers for John Collins before re-signing him for five years at $125MM. Kirschner suggests that the Hawks may have been bidding against themselves by giving Collins that much, but they’re still happy to keep an important part of their starting lineup.
  • The Hawks are talking to Kevin Huerter about an extension, but Kirschner doesn’t expect anything to be resolved until closer to the start of the season. He believes it’s likely that the team will decide to let Huerter become a restricted free agent, just like it did with Collins, and hope to work out a new contract next summer.
  • Reddish and De’Andre Hunter will both be eligible for rookie scale extensions next offseason, which will affect the Hawks’ other financial decisions. Kirschner sees Hunter as an ideal backcourt partner for Trae Young, if he can recover from his second meniscus surgery, so he figures to be the Hawks’ priority. Danilo Gallinari only has a $5MM guarantee for 2022/23 in the final year of his contract, so Kirschner expects him to be on the trade market at some point.

Kirschner Mailbag Discusses Simmons, Reddish, Hunter, More

  • In a mailbag for The Athletic, Chris Kirschner addresses a handful of Hawks-related questions, including inquiries on whether Atlanta is a realistic suitor for Ben Simmons, what the team’s chances are of repeating its 2021 playoff success, and what the roles Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter will play going forward. Kirschner likes the idea of pursuing Simmons if the price is fair and he’s willing to play a position besides point guard.

Hawks Sign Clint Capela To Two-Year Extension

1:08pm: The Hawks have officially announced Capela’s extension, issuing a press release to confirm the move.

“Clint is one of the premier defensive and rebounding big men in the league. His presence in the paint and voice on defense had a tremendous impact on our success last season,” Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “He is a great teammate who leads by example and we are excited to have him as a part of our team long-term.”


11:55am: Capela will make about $20.6MM in 2023/24 and $22.3MM in ’24/25 on his new extension, tweets Marks. That works out to a base value of $42.9MM over two years, with another $4MM in total incentives, so the deal could max out at $46.9MM, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets.


10:52am: The Hawks and center Clint Capela have reached an agreement on a contract extension that will add two years and $46MM to his current deal, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Capela remains under contract for two years entering the 2021/22 season, so his new deal will go into effect beginning in ’23/24 and will keep him under team control for four years in total.

Capela, 27, was acquired from the Rockets by the Hawks at the 2020 trade deadline, but was unable to play at all for Atlanta that season due to a foot injury. He proved his value to the team in 2020/21 though, averaging 15.2 PPG and an NBA-leading 14.3 RPG to go along with 2.0 BPG and a .594 FG% in 63 games (30.1 MPG).

The anchor of the Hawks’ defense, Capela finished sixth in Defensive Player of the Year voting and helped lead the team to a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals with playoff series wins over the Knicks and Sixers.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN observes (via Twitter), Capela is earning base salaries of $17,103,448 and $18,206,897 in the final two years of his current deal. Since he’s eligible to earn up to 120% of his 2022/23 salary in the first year of his extension, the base salaries of his new deal would be $21.85MM and $23.6MM (an 8% raise on year one) if Atlanta offered the maximum possible amount.

However, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic suggests (via Twitter) that the base value of the two-year extension is closer to $42MM, which indicates those numbers will come in slightly lower.

Capela’s contract also features $2MM in annual incentives, $1.5MM of which are currently considered “likely to be earned,” since he received them in 2020/21. He got a $1MM bonus for making the Conference Finals and $500K for a defensive rebounding rate above 30%, but missed out on a $500K bonus for shooting below 65% on free throws. Those annual incentives will be included in Capela’s extension as well, potentially boosting the total value of the deal by up to $4MM.

Capela will be the second Hawks player to sign an extension this summer, joining Trae Young, who inked a maximum-salary rookie scale extension at the start of free agency. Kevin Huerter remains eligible for a rookie scale extension up until October 18.

Hawks Earn 'A' Grade From Pelton For Offseason Moves

  • In a pair of Insider-only stories for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton handed out offseason grades for all the teams in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The Hawks and Wizards were the two teams to earn an A, while the Cavaliers and Pelicans were the only two to receive a D.

Hawks’ Skylar Mays Signs Two-Way Qualifying Offer

Restricted free agent shooting guard Skylar Mays has signed his qualifying offer to return to the Hawks, reports Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (via Twitter). Since Mays spent his rookie season in 2020/21 on a two-way deal, his QO was another two-way contract, with a $50K partial guarantee.

The 50th overall pick in the 2020 draft out of LSU, Mays appeared in 33 games for the Hawks last season, averaging 3.8 PPG, 1.1 RPG, and 0.9 APG on .449/.350/.880 shooting in 8.2 minutes per contest.

Atlanta signed 2021 second-round pick Sharife Cooper to a two-way contract earlier this month, but the team’s other two-way slot had been open, so Mays will fill it, at least for the time being. Given that his new deal only includes a small guarantee of $50K, the Hawks aren’t necessarily locked into Mays for the coming season, but he has an inside track to a spot on the 17-man regular season roster for now.

The Hawks now have 14 players on guaranteed contracts, two on Exhibit 10 deals, and a pair on two-way pacts, giving them two openings on their 20-man offseason roster.