- Count Trae Young among those who like the Hawks‘ trade for Jeff Teague. According to Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Young referred to Teague as “one of the underrated point guards in our league” and praised the veteran’s ability to score, draw fouls, and get teammates involved.
- The Hawks‘ trade interest in Andre Drummond – which has apparently ended – was believed to be more ownership-driven, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com, who says the Pistons don’t have any real traction on a Drummond deal for now. Within his mailbag, Mannix also says he’d be surprised if the Warriors move D’Angelo Russell before the 2020 offseason.
The Hawks traded for Jeff Teague earlier today, adding a veteran presence to their second unit. Discussing the trade with Chris Kirschner of The Athletic , general manager Travis Schlenk said the franchise had been targeting the point guard since the beginning of the season and has interest in bringing back Teague in free agency after the campaign.
“That was one of the areas going into the summer that we knew we were going to have to address is point guard,” Schlenk said. “This is a great opportunity to have a dress rehearsal to see how it goes. We are hopeful. We think Jeff has a lot of good basketball left in him. We’re going to see how it goes, but in a perfect world, it would be a great scenario.”
Atlanta thought it had an answer for the back-up point guard position when it swapped Kent Bazemore for Evan Turner over the summer, but the move hasn’t worked out, as Turner has dealt with Achilles pain throughout the season. With the Teague addition, coach Lloyd Pierce has an answer for an area of his rotation that was a major question mark all season long.
Schlenk expects Teague and franchise point guard Trae Young to share the floor at times. Getting Young reps without the ball is something that the team has already been working on, using Kevin Huerter as a ball-handler on occasions.
The Hawks are not done dealing. While they are not in the Andre Drummond sweepstakes, they are expected to continue to parse the market for opportunities. Schlenk said the team’s focus is on adding “good players that we think can be with us past this season.” Dewayne Dedmon and Steven Adams are centers who could fill a void for Atlanta.
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.
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.
Cam Reddish hasn’t been the shooter the Hawks were hoping for when they made him the 10th pick of the draft, but the organization hasn’t lost faith, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Reddish has been erratic during his first three months in the NBA, shooting 32% from the field and 27% from beyond the arc. Teams have started giving him plenty of space and daring him to shoot from long distance.
“I swear I just feel like it’s been bad luck — a lot of in-and-outs,” coach Lloyd Pierce said. “He’s had some awful ones; he’s had some that have been way off. But he’s had a lot where he’s been wide open in rhythm; I’m slowing the film down and watching it to try and critique where we can help him. It’s the same thing he’s practicing. I think the biggest thing for him is to continue to attack the rim.”
For now, Reddish makes his greatest contributions on defense. Kirschner states that he has become Atlanta’s best individual defender and often draws the most challenging matchup. Reddish said he didn’t expect that to be his primary NBA role, but it’s one he’s willing to accept as he searches for his offense.
“I know what it is,” he said. “But it doesn’t bother me when I’m shooting. I just missed. It happens. A lot of people miss. When I make it, it’s going to be a different story.”
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- Hawks forward Chandler Parsons was diagnosed with a concussion and whiplash after being involved in a car accident today, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Parsons has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol (Twitter link).
- One bright spot among the Wizards‘ injury woes has been the emergence of Troy Brown, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. Given consistent playing time, the second-year swingman has averaged 14.7 points and 7.1 rebounds over the last 18 games. “I feel like I grew a lot this year in becoming a young man and maturing,” Brown said. “But last year — I don’t know — my confidence was just so up and down just based on playing time and stuff like that.”
- Chris Silva‘s new three-year contract with the Heat is fully guaranteed at $1.6MM for next season, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Silva’s guarantee date for $1.8MM in 2021/22 will occur shortly after the end of next season.
Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Thunder recalled Justin Patton from Oklahoma City Blue, the team announced in a press release. Patton has played four games for the Thunder and is averaging 12.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in the G League.
- The Knicks recalled Ignas Brazdeikis from their Westchester affiliate, according to a tweet from the team.
- The Kings recalled Wenyen Gabriel and Justin James from Stockton, the team announced on Twitter.
- The Hawks assigned Bruno Fernando to their College Park affiliate, the team tweeted.
The Hawks, who have been linked to centers like Andre Drummond, Steven Adams, and Dewayne Dedmon in recent weeks, also expressed trade interest in Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl, reports Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report.
The Spurs typically don’t make many in-season trades and Poeltl hasn’t really been cited as a trade candidate this winter. Still, the Hawks may have been interested to know whether the former lottery pick is in San Antonio’s long-term plans, since he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency this summer. The 24-year-old center is averaging 5.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 1.4 BPG in a part-time role (17.6 MPG) for the Spurs this season.
While nothing may end up happening with Poeltl, the report is the latest indication that the Hawks are surveying the market for a center who could potentially fit in their frontcourt alongside John Collins.
Let’s round up some more items out of Atlanta…
- Trae Young thinks the Hawks’ “exciting young players” will make prospective free agent targets seriously consider Atlanta in the offseason, as he tells Scotto. Multiple agents who spoke to Scotto agree that the Hawks will be a major player in free agency, though some pointed to the team’s significant cap room as the primary factor. “Every team that offers money would be considered,” one agent told Scotto. “An agent that says otherwise is just lying or stupid. They need to add quality veterans to help the young guys. Atlanta would be under consideration.”
- In that same conversation with Scotto, Young said it’s still too early to judge the 2018 draft-night blockbuster between the Mavericks and Hawks, despite Luka Doncic‘s success in Dallas this season. “[Doncic’s] on a team, and they’ve got more veterans and is a team that’s more looking to win now,” Young said. “We’re more of a team that wants to win now, but we’re focusing more on developing, and we’re one of the youngest teams in the league. It’s just two totally different situations, so it’s just hard to really judge who won or lost [the trade] right now.”
- Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk has been patient since assuming control of the front office in 2017, biding his time as the club accumulates draft assets and young prospects. Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer takes a look at whether Schlenk can realistically maintain that patient approach going forward, with Atlanta’s roster in need of some help.
The Hawks have released Paul Watson, the team announces. Watson signed a 10-day contract with Atlanta on January 6.
The shooting guard appeared in two games during his short stint with the Hawks. He saw just 17 minutes of court time and went 0-for-7 from the field.
Prior to joining Atlanta, Watson spent this season with Raptors 905, where he is averaging 18.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in 13 games while shooting 46.7% from 3-point range. Undrafted out of Fresno State in 2017, Watson had a brief stop in Germany before joining the G League later that year.
Atlanta now has 14 players under contract.
It appears likely that the Pistons will ultimately make a deal involving Andre Drummond before the trade deadline, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. However, teams aren’t offering first-round picks right now for the big man, per Edwards, who notes that initial talks between the Pistons and Hawks only involved expiring contracts.
While those offers seem likely to improve by February 6, it still remains unclear how much teams will be willing to give the Pistons for a player who could be had in free agency this summer. Edwards examines a few rumored suitors, arguing that the Hawks and Hornets make more sense than clubs like the Knicks, Celtics, and Cavaliers.