Hawks Rumors

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/11/18

As we detailed earlier today in a full story, the Knicks assigned veteran wing Courtney Lee to the G League to get in some minutes and improve his conditioning. Lee struggled a little with his shot for the Westchester Knicks on Tuesday night, scoring 16 points on 7-of-21 shooting (1-of-9 on threes).

Here are the rest of today’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:


  • The Jazz assigned Grayson Allen and Georges Niang to the Salt Lake City Stars in advance of the team’s game tonight against Austin, the team announced in a press release.
  • Rookie point guard Elie Okobo was assigned to the G League today by the Suns, as Gina Mizell of The Athletic relays (via Twitter). Okobo, who has been in and out of Phoenix’s rotation this season, started at the point for Northern Arizona tonight.
  • The Bucks assigned D.J. Wilson to the G League in advance of the Wisconsin Herd’s two-game road trip this week, according to the club (Twitter link). A first-rounder in 2017, Wilson still isn’t part of Milwaukee’s rotation, having played just two games for the Bucks this season.
  • Sixers rookie Jonah Bolden was recalled from the G League this morning, then re-assigned several hours later, per Derek Bodner of The Athletic (Twitter links). Bolden has averaged a double-double in four G League contests, posting 15.5 PPG and 12.3 RPG in Delaware.


  • After helping lead the Memphis Hustle to a Monday victory with 25 points and 10 boards, Ivan Rabb was recalled to the NBA today by the Grizzlies, according to the club (Twitter link).
  • The Hawks recalled Daniel Hamilton from Erie, as Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Hamilton posted back-to-back double-doubles for the BayHawks during his latest G League stint.
  • 2018 first-round pick Troy Brown was recalled to the NBA by the Wizards, the team announced today (via Twitter). Brown has averaged 18.3 PPG on 47.5% in four NBAGL games this season.
  • The Pelicans have recalled Frank Jackson from the G League, per a team press release. New Orleans doesn’t have its own affiliate, so Jackson had been with the Texas Legends, Dallas’ NBAGL squad.
  • The Bucks recalled Christian Wood from the Wisconsin Herd today, according to RealGM’s transactions log. Wood has appeared sparingly in just six games for Milwaukee in 2018/19.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/6/18

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

Taurean Prince To Miss Time With Ankle Injury

Taurean Prince suffered an ankle injury during the Hawks‘ game against the Warriors on Monday night, according to a team press release. The testing today revealed a ligament sprain, a bone bruise and soft tissue inflammation,

Prince will be reevaluated in approximately three weeks, per the team.

The 2016 No. 12 overall pick has appeared in 21 games for the Hawks this season, starting in all but one contest. He’s averaging 15.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Vince Carter Happy As Part Of Rebuilding Hawks

Unlike many veterans who prioritize winning a championship above all else as they approach retirement, Vince Carter has signed with rebuilding teams in each of the last two summers, joining the Hawks in 2018 after playing for Sacramento in 2017/18. Atlanta is off to a 5-18 start this season, but Carter has no regrets about joining the lottery-bound club, as Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press details.

“I’m with a great bunch of guys,” Carter said. “I enjoy helping young guys who want to learn, who are willing to be coached and let you coach them and ask questions. It’s a small thing, but it’s a major thing — because if you’re asking questions, that means you’re trying to learn and grow. And these guys are all great.”

Carter, who will turn 42 in January, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of trying to continue his career beyond 2018/19. If this ends up being his final season in the NBA though, he sounds content to finish out the year with the Hawks, rather than being traded to a team that could give him a chance to appear in the NBA Finals for the first time.

Following his signing with the Hawks, Carter explained that he still wanted to earn regular minutes and prove he could be a productive player, rather than sitting on the bench for a contender. So far this season, he has been solid in Atlanta, averaging 6.8 PPG in a part-time role, shooting 36.0% on three-pointers, while also providing guidance for the team’s youngsters.

“It’s easy to go sit on the bench and watch your team win and not really contribute,” Carter told Reynolds. “Yeah, with my voice, I could contribute. But I want to do both (contribute on and off the court).”

Carter will become trade-eligible on December 15, but there have been no indications yet that the Hawks intend to explore moving him.

NBA Trade Candidate Watch: Southeast Division

Over the course of the 2018/19 NBA season, up until February’s trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA, monitoring their value and exploring the likelihood that they’ll be moved. Each of these looks at possible trade candidates focuses on a specific division, as we zero in on three players from that division.

The Southeast could be one of the NBA’s most active divisions leading up to this season’s trade deadline. It features a pair of underachieving teams (the Heat and Wizards) who could badly use a trade to shake things up, along with at least one lottery-bound club that looks like an obvious seller (the Hawks). It’s too early to tell which direction the Hornets and Magic will go, but they’re candidates to be active too.

Here’s our latest look at a few possible trade candidates from the Southeast…

Otto Porter Jr., F
Washington Wizards
$26.01MM cap hit; $27.25MM guaranteed salary in 2019/20; $28.49MM player option for 2020/21

As I wrote earlier today when I relayed news of the Kings’ renewed interest in Porter, the young forward looks like the best trade candidate of the Wizards‘ three highly-paid cornerstones. His contract isn’t as scary as John Wall‘s, which will make him easier to move. Conversely, he’s not as valuable an asset as Bradley Beal, meaning Washington won’t be as averse to giving him up.

Although Porter’s contract will make him a somewhat tricky sell, he fits the mold of the three-and-D wing that so many teams around the NBA are seeking. He’ll draw interest, especially from teams that have a little cap flexibility but don’t necessarily expect to be major players in free agency — like the Kings, whose expiring contracts and cap space make them an interesting potential trade partner for Washington.

The Pelicans are also said to have interest in Porter. If they’re willing to include a first-round pick and a mid-sized expiring contract, it might be worth it for the Wizards to take on Solomon Hill‘s contract.

Dewayne Dedmon, C
Atlanta Hawks
$7.2MM cap hit; UFA in 2019

A popular subject of trade speculation last season, Dedmon stayed put at the deadline and ultimately ended up exercising his player option to remain in Atlanta for another year. There are reasons to believe that he’s more likely to be traded this time around.

For one, potential suitors may have been put off by his uncertain contract situation last year. This time, his status is clear — he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, so teams won’t have to worry about accounting for him on next year’s books.

Additionally, the Hawks may have some regrets about how they approached last season’s trade deadline, when they kept Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova, then bought them out after the deadline passed. Both players ended up with the Sixers, serving as important rotation pieces into the second round of the playoffs. This season, Atlanta may be less inclined to let solid contributors get away for nothing.

While Dedmon doesn’t necessarily have one specific skill that could be a difference-maker for a playoff team like Belinelli’s and Ilyasova’s floor-spacing abilities were, he’s a solid big man who has some previous postseason experience under his belt, and he shouldn’t be overly expensive.

Nikola Vucevic, C
Orlando Magic
$12.75MM cap hit; UFA in 2019

It has been a fascinating season for Vucevic and the Magic so far. Despite a modest 10-12 record, Orlando currently holds the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, and Vucevic has played a huge part in the club’s early success, recording career highs in PPG (20.8), FG% (.553), 3PT% (.410), and APG (3.9), among other categories.

The 28-year-old is performing like the type of player the Magic should be trying to re-sign and build around, rather than one they should be looking to dump before he reaches free agency — especially if they remain in the playoff mix. So far, there are no indications that Orlando is interested in trading Vucevic.

Still, this is a complicated situation. The Magic drafted Mohamed Bamba earlier this year to be their center of the future, and with Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac in the frontcourt mix too, it looked like Vucevic might not be in the team’s long-term plans.

Could the Magic realistically lock up Vucevic long-term without compromising the development of their younger players? If they commit to the veteran, would the Magic need to trade one of those other young bigs? Would they be willing to keep Vucevic for the full season and risk simply losing him in unrestricted free agency next summer without any compensation? The answers to those questions will determine whether or not Vucevic becomes available before this season’s trade deadline.


Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trail Blazers Rumors: Stotts, Lillard, Collins

After their 2017/18 season ended with a four-game sweep at the hands of the Pelicans in the first round of the postseason, the Trail Blazers came close to firing head coach Terry Stotts, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Portland was close enough to making a move that teams like the Suns begin reaching out to intermediaries to gauge Stotts’ potential interest in their own coaching openings.

However, while ownership seriously considered a change, president of basketball operations Neil Olshey and star point guard Damian Lillard fought for Stotts, according to Lowe.

“I was asked what I thought, and I just said I love him as a coach,” Lillard said of Stotts. “We all love him.”

Lowe’s piece takes a deep dive into the Trail Blazers’ culture, as he notes that Lillard and C.J. McCollum “tolerate no squabbling, or blame games.” That attitude permeates the organization from top to bottom, according to Lowe, who points to the relationship between Olshey and Stotts as another example.

Although the two team leaders haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on everything, they’ve developed an understanding that Olshey will avoid players who don’t fit Stotts’ style and Stotts will coach the players he gets. As a result of their relationship, Lowe explains, players will never see Olshey and Stotts at odds in any serious way, as the organization emphasizes a drama-free and resentment-free culture.

Here’s more from Lowe on the Blazers:

  • The Blazers’ late owner Paul Allen, who passed away last month, addressed the team in the wake of its first-round exit, calling the four-game sweep “unacceptable,” sources tell Lowe. Based on the language and the tone, people within the organization were nervous that a major shakeup was coming during the offseason.
  • Allen was ultimately convinced to give everyone – including Stotts and the Blazers’ core – one more season, while team management and coaches vowed to make changes heading into 2018/19. Namely, as Lowe details, Portland wanted to surround Evan Turner with more shooting on the second unit, re-shuffle the rotation to get Lillard and McCollum more playing time together, and get off to a faster start this season. So far, that plan is going well.
  • The Blazers still want to find a way to supplement their Lillard/McCollum duo with a third impact player, sources around the NBA tell Lowe. Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic have emerged as perhaps Portland’s most valuable trade chips, but the club doesn’t want to trade Collins and “almost certainly won’t” anytime soon, Lowe reports.
  • Lowe identifies Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris as the type of player who would appeal to the Blazers, though acquiring either of those guys in a trade or as a free agent would be an extreme long shot. Forwards like Otto Porter of the Wizards and Taurean Prince of the Hawks may be more realistic trade targets, Lowe notes.
  • Lillard still believes the Blazers are capable of reaching greater heights during his tenure with the team. “Good things come to good people, even if you get swept somewhere along the way,” he tells Lowe. “This is what goes through my mind: I’m gonna be in my 11th year or something here, I’m gonna stick with it, and we’re gonna make the Finals.”

Pelicans Rumors: Porter, Moore, Bazemore, Lin

Few players have made a bigger impact on their teams this season than Anthony Davis, whose Pelicans have a +10.7 net rating when he’s on the court and a -13.7 rating when he sits. However, Davis could use some help, so Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer devotes his latest article to exploring a number of potential trade options for New Orleans, providing a handful of interesting tidbits along the way.

Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • There are “whispers” that the Pelicans have interest in Wizards forward Otto Porter, according to O’Connor, who believes that Porter could thrive in New Orleans’ up-tempo offense and would fill a major need for the team. While there’s no indication that the two teams have engaged in trade discussions, O’Connor suggests that a package along the lines of Solomon Hill, Julius Randle, and a first-round pick might work.
  • Following up on a report suggesting that the Pelicans offered Nikola Mirotic and a first-round pick to the Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler, O’Connor writes that E’Twaun Moore was included in a version of New Orleans’ offer for Butler. Sources tell O’Connor that the Pels declined to make Jrue Holiday available in those trade talks, and also resisted offering an unprotected 2022 first-round pick.
  • O’Connor identifies Kent Bazemore, Wesley Matthews, James Johnson, Trevor Ariza, and DeMarre Carroll as some other wings and forwards who could be of interest to New Orleans, and who may end up being available. The Pelicans made a play for Bazemore in the offseason, O’Connor notes.
  • Scott Kushner of The Advocate recently argued that the Pelicans could use another playmaker, even when Elfrid Payton is healthy. O’Connor makes a similar point, observing that New Orleans had interest in Jeremy Lin before he signed with the Nets in 2016. Lin could be a trade candidate to watch, according to O’Connor, who points to Milos Teodosic (Clippers) and T.J. McConnell (Sixers) as others to keep an eye on.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southeast Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southeast Division:

Dewayne Dedmon, Hawks, 29, C (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $14.1MM deal in 2017
Dedmon’s journeyman career had been on an upward path the past couple of seasons but appears to have plateaued under new coach Lloyd Pierce. Dedmon was coming off the bench before missing a few games for personal reasons after starting 46 games last season under Mike Budenholzer. His playing time has taken a hit from 24.9 MPG to 19.7. Dedmon is making $7.2MM but will likely have to settle for a veteran’s minimum deal or something close to it in unrestricted free agency next summer.

Wayne Ellington, Heat, 30, SG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $6.27MM deal in 2018
The Heat have an overload of options at the wing positions but Ellington’s shooting has made him a steady rotation presence since recovering from an ankle injury. Over the past five games, Ellington is shooting 44.7% on his 3-point attempts. That’s the main reason coach Erik Spoestra has played him an average of 28.6 MPG over that span. Ellington settled for a one-year contract in free agency this summer and his outside shooting should lead to multi-year offers in July.

Jeremy Lamb, Hornets, 26, SG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $21MM deal in 2016
Lamb averaged double digits in scoring for the first time in his career last season and he’s established himself as a starter this season. Lamb is averaging 12.9 PPG as Kemba Walker‘s backcourt partner while shooting a career-best 39.2% from long range. He’s also been a factor on defense (career high 1.4 SPG). Lamb is making $7.49MM and his shooting and defensive length will grant him a healthy raise when he hits the open market in July.

Terrence Ross, Magic, 27, SG/SF (Up) — Signed to a three-year, $31.5MM deal in 2016
Ross appeared in only 24 games last season due to a knee injury. He started most of the games he was able to play for Orlando after being dealt by the Raptors in February 2017 but new coach Steve Clifford has made him a second-unit contributor. Thus far, Ross has thrived in that role, averaging 13.9 PPG while making a career-high 39.3% of his threes. That kind of production will give him consideration for the Sixth Man award if he keeps it up. It would also lead to multi-year offers next summer for Ross, who is making $10.5MM.

Kelly Oubre, Wizards, 22, SF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $9.2MM deal in 2015
The Wizards have finally shown some signs of life, winning their last three games, but Oubre has been heading in the opposite direction. He’s scored in single digits in five of the last six games. He’s also been in a prolonged shooting slump, making 14% of his 3-point tries over the last nine games. The capped-out Wizards must extend a $4,485,665 qualifying offer to Oubre next June to make him a restricted free agent. If he has a down year, the Wizards’ decision will become even tougher.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southeast Notes: Young, Johnson, Wizards, Lamb

Hawks guard Trae Young firmly believes he’ll be a better player than fellow rookie Luka Doncic, explaining his reasoning to Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated this week. The two players have been compared for months after the Hawks and Mavericks agreed to a draft-night trade in June.

“The thing with Luka,” Young says, “he’s a great player. I don’t understand why it can’t work out for both situations. I hear [Atlanta made a mistake] all the time. Luka’s a great dude, and I think he’s going to be a really good player. But at the same time, I’m going to be a better player. Just because of my ability to stretch the floor, get others involved, I think I’ll be better.”

The Hawks traded their No. 3 pick — used on Doncic — to Dallas in exchange for the No. 5 selection and a first-round pick in the 2019 Draft. Atlanta then made the decision to draft Young fifth overall and solidify him as the franchise centerpiece.

Young has averaged 17.5 points and 8.2 assists in 14 games this season, shooting 41% from the floor and 27% from downtown. To compare, Doncic has averaged 19.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest, connecting on 47% from the field and 39% from 3-point territory.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Heat guard Tyler Johnson labeled the importance of the team staying hungry for success, despite several players cashing in on new contracts in recent seasons. “I think what’s crazy is before any of us got any money, we were just some dogs,” Johnson said, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “I think that’s what the beautiful thing is. We had to just come together.”
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports details how Wizards coach Scott Brooks has consistently altered his rotation this season, keeping his players on edge. Brooks’ changes are in response to the team’s poor start to the 2018/19 season.
  • Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb will likely receive interest from multiple teams in free agency, putting his potential return after the season in question, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. Lamb is averaging 12.9 points in 14 games, tied for his career-best.