Hawks Rumors

2019 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks were viewed by prognosticators as perhaps the NBA’s worst team entering the 2018/19 season, and while they still didn’t crack the 30-win mark, they exceeded their modest expectations and flashed some intriguing long-term potential. With a handful of core pieces already in place, Atlanta has the draft assets and the cap flexibility to keep adding more this offseason.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Hawks financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2019:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • Deyonta Davis ($1,645,357)
  • Jaylen Adams ($1,316,852) 1
  • Total: $2,962,209

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Projected Salary Cap: $109,000,000
Projected Tax Line: $132,000,000

Offseason Cap Outlook

  • Realistic cap room projection: $41.64MM
  • The Hawks have nine players on fully guaranteed contracts for 2019/20. If they simply keep those players plus both of their first-round picks, then renounce or waive the rest of their players, this would be their cap room projection. That’s not an unrealistic scenario, since none of Atlanta’s free agents are players the team must re-sign.
  • The cap holds on the Hawks’ two first-round picks are wild cards here. For instance, if the club lucks out and jump from No. 5 to No. 1, the cap hold for that top pick would increase by more than $3.3MM. That’s a trade-off Atlanta would happily accept though, given the talent available at the very top of the draft. Conversely, if that second first-rounder, from the Mavericks, moves into the top four, it would be protected and Dallas would keep it, creating some extra cap space for the Hawks.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Trade exception: $1,378,242 (expires 2/7/20) 4
  • Room exception: $4,760,000 5

Footnotes

  1. Adams’ salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 19.
  2. The salaries for two-way players don’t count against a team’s cap, but their cap holds do during the offseason.
  3. The cap hold for these picks will depend on where they ultimately fall in the lottery. Additionally, if the second pick (currently projected to be No. 9 overall) moves into the top four, the Mavericks will keep it.
  4. The Hawks will lose this exception if they go under the cap to use room.
  5. This is a projected value. In the unlikely event that the Hawks remain over the cap, they’d instead gain access to the mid-level exception ($9,246,000) and bi-annual exception ($3,619,000).

Note: Minimum-salary and rookie-scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA Teams That Can’t Trade/Acquire Cash Until July

During each NBA league year, teams face limits on the amount of cash they can send out and receive in trades. Once they reach those limits, they’re no longer permitted to include cash in a deal until the following league year.

For the 2018/19 NBA season, the limit is $5,243,000. The limits on sending and receiving cash are separate and aren’t dependent on one another, so if a team has sent out $5,243,000 in trades and also received $5,243,000 in separate deals, they don’t have a clean slate — they’ve reached both limits for the season.

Thanks to reporting by cap experts like Bobby Marks, Eric Pincus, and Albert Nahmad, we’ve been able to keep tabs on the cash sent and received in trades by teams during the 2018/19 NBA league year, so we have a pretty clear idea of each club’s flexibility heading into the draft.

Being able to send or receive cash on draft day is particularly useful, since it can provide a simple means of acquiring – or moving – a second-round pick. A year ago, five of the trades agreed upon in June that featured 2018 draft picks included cash.

Of course, three of those five trades weren’t actually completed until July, which highlights a simple way to work around these restrictions. A team that can’t send or receive cash at this year’s draft could still technically agree to a deal involving cash, then officially finalize it sometime after July 1, when the cash limits reset for the 2019/20 league year.

Still, the 2018/19 restrictions are worth noting, since in some cases a player’s changing cap figure or contract status can make it impossible to wait until July to make a trade official.

With that in mind, here are some of the limitations facing teams until July 1:

Ineligible to receive cash:

  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Toronto Raptors

The Hornets reached their limit less than a week until the 2018/19 league year, having received $5MM from the Nets in their Dwight Howard trade and $243K from the Thunder in a deal involving Hamidou Diallo.

As for the Bulls, they reached their yearly limit in three separate transactions, acquiring approximately $2.63MM in a pair of swaps with the Rockets involving Michael Carter-Williams and Carmelo Anthony. Chicago then received another $2.61MM from the Thunder in a Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot salary dump.

Based on the reported figures for the Raptors ($5MM from the Spurs in the Kawhi Leonard blockbuster, plus $110K apiece from the Sixers and Nets in deadline deals), they could technically acquire another $23K. However, $110K is the minimum amount of cash a team can include in a trade this season, so Toronto can’t actually acquire any more.

Outside of these three teams, every NBA club is eligible to acquire at least $2MM before July. The Magic ($2,226,778), Sixers ($2,743,000), Mavericks ($3,148,049), and Hawks ($3,187,090) are most limited.

Ineligible to send cash:

  • None

No NBA teams have reached their limits for sending out cash this season, though some are close.

The Nets ($243,000) and Spurs ($243,000) can barely trade any cash after sending out $5MM in deals last July. The Thunder ($411,294) and Rockets ($565,513) are also nearly tapped out, having made a handful of moves aimed at reducing – or in Houston’s case, eliminating – their luxury tax bills.

The Wizards ($2,365,456), Grizzlies ($2,660,069), and Celtics ($2,737,090) are also somewhat limited in their ability to trade cash, but no other teams have less than $3MM available.

Hawks’ Kent Bazemore Opts In For 2019/20

8:00pm: Bazemore has officially picked up his option, per RealGM’s transactions log.

1:01pm: Hawks swingman and podcast co-host Kent Bazemore intends to exercise his player option for the 2019/20 season, agent Austin Walton tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Opting in will ensure that Bazemore’s $19,269,662 salary for next season becomes guaranteed.

The 2019/20 season represents the final year of the four-year, $70MM contract Bazemore signed with Atlanta back in July of 2016. While he has been a solid contributor for the Hawks since then, he’s unlikely to ever see that sort of payday again as he prepares to enter his age-30 season.

In 2018/19, Bazemore appeared in 67 games (35 starts) for the Hawks, recording 11.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 1.3 SPG with a .402/.320/.726 shooting line and solid perimeter defense. It was something of a down year for the former Old Dominion standout, who had been a career 36.0% shooter on three-point attempts entering the season.

Bazemore will look to bounce back next season – in advance of 2020 unrestricted free agency – as a role player on a young Hawks team that features up-and-comers like Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, and John Collins. Atlanta is in position to add two more young players to its core this June, as the team ranks fifth in the draft lottery order and also holds Dallas’ top-five protected first-round pick — the Mavs are tied for seventh in the lottery order entering today’s tiebreaker.

The Hawks will still have plenty of cap flexibility this summer, even after taking into account Bazemore’s $19MM+ salary. Outside of Bazemore and Miles Plumlee ($12.5MM), no one on Atlanta’s roster is on the books for more than $6.27MM in 2019/20, per Basketball Insiders.

Despite the fact that the 2018/19 season ended less than 48 hours ago, there have already been four veteran players who have exercised player options for next year or confirmed that they’ll do so. Bazemore joins Marvin Williams (Hornets), C.J. Miles (Grizzlies), and Jeff Teague (Timberwolves) in that group.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

President Named For Relocated G League Team

  • Dan Dial has been named president of the Hawks’ newly-relocated G League team, the College Park Skyhawks, according to a team press release. Dial spent the last seven years as president of baseball’s River City Rascals in the Frontier League. The G League team was previously called the BayHawks and located in Erie, Pa.

2019 NBA Draft Order Tiebreaker Results

The NBA’s draft order is determined by the league’s reverse standings for that year, with the first four spots in the draft up for grabs via the lottery. However, when two teams finish the season with identical records, an additional step is necessary.

In order to determine which of those tied teams will move ahead of the other(s) in the draft order, the NBA conducts tiebreakers via random drawings. The league completed the random drawings for 2019’s tiebreakers today, and we have the results below. Let’s dive in…

Tiebreaker No. 1:

  • Teams: Phoenix Suns vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63)
  • Draft positions: 2-3
  • Winner: Cavaliers

Tiebreaker No. 2:

  • Teams: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks vs. Memphis Grizzlies (33-49)
  • Draft positions: 7-9
  • Winner: Pelicans
  • Second place: Grizzlies
  • Note: Grizzlies’ pick will go to Celtics if it falls outside top eight; Mavericks’ pick will go to the Hawks if it falls outside top five.

Tiebreaker No. 3:

  • Teams: Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets (39-43)
  • Draft positions: 12-14
  • Winner: Hornets
  • Second place: Heat
  • Note: Kings’ pick belongs to Celtics (or Sixers if it’s No. 1).

Tiebreaker No. 4:

  • Teams: Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic (42-40)
  • Draft positions: 16-17
  • Winner: Magic

Tiebreaker No. 5:

  • Teams: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers (48-34)
  • Draft positions: 18-20
  • Winner: Pacers
  • Second place: Spurs
  • Note: Clippers’ pick belongs to Celtics.

Tiebreaker No. 6:

  • Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Boston Celtics (49-33)
  • Draft positions: 21-22
  • Winner: Thunder

Tiebreaker No. 7:

  • Teams: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets (53-29)
  • Draft positions: 25-26
  • Winner: Trail Blazers
  • Note: Rockets’ pick belongs to Cavaliers.

Teams’ lottery odds didn’t really change as a result of today’s tiebreakers. In instances where two or more lottery teams finish with identical records, the lottery combinations are split evenly among them, with the tiebreaker winner getting one extra combination if there’s an odd number.

However, today’s results were still important. As a result of ending up at No. 8, for instance, the Grizzlies now have a 57.4% chance of retaining their own top-eight protected pick, something they don’t really want to do unless it jumps into the top four.

The Celtics, who already have three first-round selections for 2019 and would prefer to roll that Memphis pick over to 2020, will get it if it falls outside of the top eight. There’s only a 42.6% chance that will happen. The Grizzlies’ result was the only good news today for the Celtics, who lost their other three tiebreakers.

The pre-lottery 2019 draft order for the first round is listed below. For more information on the lottery odds for the top 14 teams, be sure to check out our recap from Thursday, as well as our glossary entry on the draft lottery. This year’s lottery will take place on Tuesday, May 14.


  1. New York Knicks
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. Phoenix Suns
  4. Chicago Bulls
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Washington Wizards
  7. New Orleans Pelicans
  8. Memphis Grizzlies
    • Note: The Celtics will receive this pick if it falls out of the top eight (42.6% chance).
  9. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
    • Note: The Mavericks will keep this pick if it moves up into the top four (26.2% chance).
  10. Minnesota Timberwolves
  11. Los Angeles Lakers
  12. Charlotte Hornets
  13. Miami Heat
  14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)
    • Note: The Sixers will receive this pick if it moves up to No. 1 (1.0% chance).
  15. Detroit Pistons
  16. Orlando Magic
  17. Brooklyn Nets
  18. Indiana Pacers
  19. San Antonio Spurs
  20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers)
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder
  22. Boston Celtics
  23. Utah Jazz
  24. Philadelphia 76ers
  25. Portland Trail Blazers
  26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets)
  27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets)
  28. Golden State Warriors
  29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors)
  30. Milwaukee Bucks

Information from Tankathon.com was used in the creation of this post.

Draft Notes: T. Jones, J. Smith, Dawkins, Tyree

Duke guard Tre Jones published an Instagram post this weekend in which he strongly hinted that he’s leaning toward returning to school for at least one more year. Nothing is official yet, but if Jones does elect to stick with the Blue Devils for his sophomore season, it would be big news for the program.

Currently, Jones ranks 29th on Jonathan Givony’s 2019 NBA draft big board at ESPN.com, including fourth among point guards. According to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter), the Knicks, Grizzlies, Hornets, Pelicans, Hawks, and Thunder have all done a “great amount” of background work on Jones.

As we wait for official word from the Duke guard, here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Maryland freshman forward Jalen Smith, a potential draft candidate, has elected to return to the Terrapins for his sophomore season, the school announced today in a press release. “I’m excited to return to Maryland for my sophomore year and advance my education as I continue to develop both on and off the court with my teammates and coaching staff,” said Smith, who averaged an impressive 17.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 3.0 BPG in two NCAA tournament games.
  • UCF guard Aubrey Dawkins has submitted the paperwork necessary to declare for the 2019 draft, according to a press release. The 6’6″ junior left a strong final impression, having racked up 32 points against Duke in UCF’s second-round NCAA tournament loss.
  • Ole Miss junior guard Breein Tyree has announced that he’ll test the draft waters, maintaining his college eligibility during the process (Twitter link). Tyree averaged a team-high 17.9 PPG on .459/.375/.831 shooting in 33 games in 2018/19.

Hawks Sign Deyonta Davis To Multiyear Deal

2:32pm: The Hawks have officially signed Davis to a multiyear deal, the team confirmed today in a press release.

1:28pm: Deyonta Davis‘ second 10-day contract with the Hawks expired overnight on Sunday, but the young big man won’t be leaving the team. According to Michael Scotto of The Athletic (via Twitter), Atlanta has reached an agreement with Davis on a multiyear deal.

The 31st overall pick in the 2016 draft, Davis spent his first two NBA seasons with the Grizzlies before playing primarily for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League in 2018/19.

A solid showing for Golden State’s NBAGL affiliate earned Davis a late-season call-up, and he has appeared in eight games since joining the Hawks, averaging 4.3 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 14.4 minutes per contest.

While terms of Davis’ new deal aren’t known, it figures to be a minimum-salary contract that covers the final days of this season and all of 2019/20. Next year’s salary will almost certainly be non-guaranteed, perhaps with some offseason trigger dates.

Once Davis officially re-signs, Atlanta will have a full 15-man roster. The Hawks’ deal with Davis appears likely be their final transaction of the regular season.

Trae: ROY Race Closer Than You Think

  • Hawks point guard Trae Young hopes that voters look at the body of work when deciding the Rookie of the Year award, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports. Luka Doncic looked like the runaway victor but Young’s strong second half has made it a much closer race. “This is a season-long award,” Young said. “Early on, everybody was saying (Doncic) was Rookie of the Year and deservedly so. He was playing really well, and I wasn’t playing the best. I was still playing well. In the second half, it’s flipped. … If you do a full-season look, it’s definitely closer than some people think.”

Detailing Trae Young's Path To Success

  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst chronicles the slow build to success for Hawks guard Trae Young, who continues to improve as the 2018/19 season nears the finish line. Young, a dominant shooter and passer in contention for the Rookie of the Year award, must continue to improve on defense in order to take his game to the next level. The Hawks hold major selling points of Young, John Collins, a new head coach in Lloyd Pierce, cap flexibility and future draft picks for star players entering free agency this summer.

NBA Teams With Open Roster Spots

Earlier today, the Kings and Knicks filled the final open spot on their respective rosters, signing a 15th man to a rest-of-season contract. With the NBA’s 2018/19 regular season set to come to an end next Wednesday, we can expect to see more teams making that kind of transaction in the next week.

While teams often leave a roster spot or two open during the season to maintain flexibility or to help reduce their projected tax bill, most of those clubs won’t leave any openings at season’s end. After all, the one-day cap hit for a minimum-salary player signed on the last day of the season maxes out at $8,548.

For playoff-bound clubs, that’s a small price to pay to add one more depth piece who might be needed for a game or two in the postseason. For lottery-bound teams, it’s a worthwhile investment to fill that 15th roster spot with a developmental player who could be an option for the 2019/20 roster.

With that in mind, here are the teams that still have at least one 15-man roster spot available:

Teams with two open roster spots:

  • Miami Heat

Teams with one open roster spot:

  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Houston Rockets
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Washington Wizards

Teams with a full 15-man roster who have one player on a 10-day contract: