Hawks Rumors

Thunder, Rockets Complete Eight-Player Trade

SEPTEMBER 30: Both teams have announced that the trade is now official. However, the terms of the deal are slightly different than was previously reported.

Instead of Atlanta’s protected 2025 second-round pick, the Rockets will receive a 2026 second-rounder from Oklahoma City. That pick will be the second-most favorable of the Thunder’s, Mavericks’, and Sixers’ 2026 second-round picks. Houston is also receiving cash considerations in the deal.


SEPTEMBER 29, 9:15pm: The Rockets intend to waive Jerome, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Feigen adds that Favors and Maledon are considered the most likely among Houston’s new additions to claim spots on the 15-man regular season roster.


SEPTEMBER 29, 8:13pm: The Thunder have agreed to send center/power forward Derrick Favors, shooting guard Ty Jerome, forward Maurice Harkless, point guard Theo Maledon and the Hawks’ 2025 second-round draft pick (top-40 protected) to the Rockets in exchange for athletic swingman David Nwaba, wing Sterling Brown, point guard Trey Burke and power forward Marquese Chriss, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

As Wojnarowski observes, Oklahoma City will create two trade exceptions in the deal. In pure salary terms, the exchange will help the Thunder get $10MM under the league’s punitive luxury tax cap threshold. Wojnarowski notes that Favors in particular is tradable among the returning players arriving in Houston, as a solid backup big man on an expiring $10.2MM salary.

The 6’9″ Favors, 31, spent most of the last decade as a key role player with several good playoff-bound Jazz teams. Last year with the Thunder, he appeared in just 39 games, averaging 5.3 PPG on 51.6% shooting, plus 4.7 RPG, across 16.7 MPG.

Jerome and Maledon are both young players on modest contracts with remaining potential upside. Harkless, like Favors, is a veteran on an expiring deal.

On the Rockets’ side of the transaction, Houston is acquiring a future second-round draft pick in exchange for taking on some added salary, as Woj details.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (via Twitter) if that Hawks 2025 second-rounder lands in the top 40 and is protected, Houston will instead receive the second-best of the Thunder’s, Mavericks’, and Sixers’ 2026 second-round picks.

Given that No. 2 draft pick Chet Holmgren has been ruled out for the year with a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, and with the best player in this new trade being sent away from the team, it appears the Thunder are once again prioritizing a year of youthful development, as they look to the 2023 draft lottery to build out their impressive young roster.

Oklahoma City added four rookies in the 2022 draft, including two additional lottery picks beyond Holmgren. The Thunder have been in full-on rebuild mode since the end of the 2019/20 season, winning a total of 46 games over the last two years.

Houston has also been in the asset-collection and draft lottery-targeting phase of its journey since 2020. The team went 37-127 from 2020-22. This year, the Rockets drafted intriguing rookie power forward Jabari Smith with the third pick out of Auburn. They also made two other selections in the first round.

It appears unlikely that every player in this deal will be with their new clubs when the regular season opens. Bobby Marks of ESPN (via Twitter) notes that both teams will still have 18 guaranteed contracts on their books following this deal. Per league rules, they’ll each need to get down to 15 players by October 17.

McMillan's First Impressions on Krejci; Korver Helping With Shooting

  • Hawks head coach Nate McMillan liked what he saw from newly added guard Vit Krejci in the 22-year-old’s first practice with the team on Thursday. “He knows how to play,” McMillan said, per Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). “I think he has a high basketball IQ. We put him right out there. It was good to see him be available to play and practice with our guys today. So that was exciting.”
  • Although Kyle Korver is technically part of the Hawksfront office and not the coaching staff, he has been working with players – including Clint Capela and Jalen Johnson – on their shooting during training camp, as Williams writes in a full story for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription required). “I’ve worked with him quite a few times actually,” Johnson said on Wednesday. “Kyle has helped me make a few adjustments in my shot. You know, having him around has helped a lot. He’s been helping a lot of these guys, giving them pointers and things they can work on, so it’s good.”

Thunder Trade Vit Krejci To Hawks For Maurice Harkless, Pick

9:02pm: The trade is official, according to a Hawks press release. While also confirming the trade in their own press release, the Thunder provided more details regarding the picks involved.

The second-rounder headed to Oklahoma City is Atlanta’s 2029 pick. The Thunder will also receive amendments on the conditions of a previously traded 2025 second-round pick from the Hawks. The amended 2025 second-round pick will now be top-40 protected. Previously that pick was top-55 protected.


4:31pm: The Thunder are trading Vit Krejci to the Hawks in exchange for Maurice Harkless and a second-round pick, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

After signing a multiyear contract ahead of the 2021/22 NBA season, Krejci appeared in 30 games in his first NBA season, averaging 6.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 1.9 APG. He posted shooting splits of .407/.327/.864.

An early 2020 second-round pick, Krejci underwent an arthroscopic knee procedure in April. His $1,563,518 salary for the coming season is only 50% guaranteed for now.

The 6’8” Krejci, who turned 22 in June, could work his way into a rotation spot with Atlanta. However, the deal is primarily a cost-cutting move for the Hawks. The team drops from $1.7MM over the luxury tax line to $1.3MM below it by swapping Harkless for Krejci, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype tweets.

The Hawks will also create a trade exception worth $4,564,980, the amount of Harkless’ outgoing salary.

Harkless, 29, has been in the league since the 2012/13 season. He spent last season with the Kings, appearing in 47 games (24 starts) while averaging 4.6 PPG and 2.4 RPG. He has also played for Orlando, Portland, the Los Angeles Clippers, New York and Miami. Overall, Harkless has appeared in 621 NBA games and averaged 6.9 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 22.6 MPG.

Harkless, who has an expiring contract, was traded from Sacramento to Atlanta in the Kevin Huerter deal earlier this offseason. It’s uncertain whether the Thunder plan to keep him or waive him.

Oklahoma City applied for a disabled player exception in late August worth $4.95MM in the wake of Chet Holmgren‘s season-ending injury. Harkless’ contract will slot into that exception, which was granted last week, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. That allows the Thunder to complete the deal without matching salaries, since Krejci’s $1.56MM cap charge isn’t big enough to match Harkless’ $4.56MM salary.

Players Enter Camp Ready To Go

  • Other than Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is still rehabbing from knee surgery performed in May, the members of the Hawks‘ roster came to camp in excellent shape and good health, Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. “I expected them to pass the test if they did anything this summer, and we had some guys put up some good numbers,” coach Nate McMillan said. “But everybody passed the test, and we can move on. (We) came in today, I thought these guys would be a little sore. But they came out and had another good intense practice.”

Hawks Notes: Murray, Young, J. Johnson, McMillan

The Hawks are committed to fixing the defensive issues that held them back last season, and trading for Dejounte Murray is an important part of that effort, writes Aaron Wilson of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta paid a high price for Murray, sending three first-round picks and a future pick swap to the Spurs, but it landed a 26-year-old All-Star guard with a team-friendly contract.

Murray excelled at both ends of the court in San Antonio, averaging 21.1 points per game and leading the NBA in steals with 2.0 per night. He seems like an ideal backcourt partner for Trae Young and said he’s ready to set the defensive tone for his new teammates.

“Defense is about showing effort,” Murray said. “I will bring what I learned both as a leader and vocally as everyone buys in. Everyone has to buy in and push each other and seeing everyone showing up was good. Ready to go compete and earn my team’s trust in training camp.”

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • Young was a strong advocate for acquiring Murray and he believes they can succeed together, per Lauren Williams of The Journal-Constitution. In four NBA seasons, Young has never played alongside another guard with Murray’s defensive skills. “It’s hard to point out what he’s great at, but he’s good at everything — like defense, scoring, passing, rebounding,” Young said. “I mean, he’s really good at everything. So just having somebody who’s going to be just as dependent as I am in the backcourt, which is going to be the fun, I can’t wait to get started.”
  • Jalen Johnson looks forward to carving out a larger role after an offseason procedure to deal with tendinitis in his left knee, Williams adds in a separate story. The 20-year-old forward averaged just 5.5 minutes in 22 games as a rookie, and playing time may be even harder to come by with the offseason additions of Maurice Harkless and Frank Kaminsky. “He’s got to earn that opportunity,” coach Nate McMillan said. “He’s been here since August, and he’s working on doing that. He’s been playing and looking good. I thought last year, his play in the G League, he’s showing maturity and he’s showing some confidence and he’s looking forward to the challenge.”
  • McMillan visited Young’s Oklahoma City home in June to talk about improving their communication for the upcoming season, according to Paul Newberry of The Associated Press. McMillan wants to see Young become more of a team leader on and off the court. “He’s the face of the franchise and it’s something that he has just inherited,” McMillan said. “He will have to work at it and become better.”

Hawks Rumors: Collins, Hunter, Injuries, Murray

The Hawks kicked off the NBA’s Media Day season this morning, with general manager Landry Fields telling reporters that John Collins is “still here for a reason” after a summer of trade speculation, tweets Atlanta reporter Brad Rowland.

Trade talk is nothing new for Collins, who has seemingly been on the block since signing a five-year, $125MM deal last offseason. There were numerous rumors involving Collins leading up to this year’s draft, and he was reportedly part of the package the Hawks offered to Brooklyn in an attempt to acquire Kevin Durant.

Fields said Collins understands the situation and has remained professional (Twitter link). The GM added that Collins has expressed his opinion on the constant trade talks, but he understands what the team is doing (Twitter link).

There’s more from the team’s media session:

  • Fields said negotiations are continuing with De’Andre Hunter and the team hopes to have an rookie scale extension in place before the October 17 deadline, tweets Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to head coach Nate McMillan, Hunter has been able to go through normal workouts this summer, which he couldn’t do last offseason because of a medical procedure (Twitter link).
  • Fields also provided health updates on a few players, saying Bogdan Bogdanovic is “not going to be 100% for training camp” after having surgery on his right knee in May (Twitter link). The team is focused on getting Bogdanovic back to full health at some point during the season, Fields added. He also said first-round pick AJ Griffin has been “full go” for a few weeks following a foot injury that prevented him from playing in Summer League (Twitter link), and second-year power forward Jalen Johnson will also be ready for camp after a non-surgical procedure on his left knee (Twitter link).
  • McMillan was in constant contact with Trae Young as the Hawks worked out a trade with the Spurs for Dejounte Murray, Williams tweets. The coach added that Young is looking forward to having a chance to play off the ball this season. Fields admitted having two traditional ball-handlers in the backcourt might be “a little clunky at first,” but he expressed confidence that Young and Murray will figure out their roles (Twitter link).
  • Fields plans to keep the 15th roster spot open due to luxury tax concerns, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The Hawks are about $1MM over the tax line, and Fields indicated the team’s performance will determine whether he tries to get back under the threshold. “It’s going to be a day-to-day thing,” he said.

Hawks Sign Armoni Brooks To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Hawks have signed free agent guard Armoni Brooks, the team announced in a press release. According to Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link), Brooks will receive an Exhibit 10 contract.

The 24-year-old spent last season with the Rockets and Raptors, averaging 5.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 54 games (15.4 minutes per contest). He was waived by Toronto at the end of July before his $50K partial guarantee for 2022/23 increased to $250K.

Known as a long-range marksman, Brooks struggled with his shot in ’21/22, posting a .339/.297/.857 slash line. He fared much better as a rookie in ’20/21 when he signed a two-way deal with the Rockets, averaging 11.2 points and 3.5 rebounds while converting 38.2% of his three-point attempts on high volume (7.9) in 20 games (26.0 minutes).

After going undrafted in 2019 after three years at the University of Houston, Brooks signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Hawks, so he has experience with the organization, having spent the majority of his first professional season with the College Park Skyhawks, the team’s G League affiliate.

Brooks reportedly had recent workouts with the Cavaliers and Lakers, but was unable to find a roster spot on either team. Instead he’ll return to Atlanta with the hope of making the regular season roster.

The Hawks now have a full 20-man roster for training camp. With only 13 players signed to fully guaranteed contracts and second-rounder Tyrese Martin with a $450K partial guarantee, Atlanta might have a camp battle to determine who makes the final spot on the standard 15-man roster, assuming the team carries 15 players.

Brooks’ Exhibit 10 deal, which is non-guaranteed, ensures that he’ll receive a bonus of up to $50K if he’s waived before the season starts and spends at least 60 days with the Skyhawks.

Add Ashton Gibbs As Assitant For Hawks And Skyhawks

  • Ashton Gibbs is joining the Hawks as an assistant coach, George Michalowski of Pittsburgh Sports Now reports. Gibbs told Michalowski that he’ll work with Atlanta and the College Park Skyhawks, the team’s G League affiliate. Gibbs played four years at Pitt from 2008-12, averaging 15.6 PPG over his final three seasons. He also made several international stops during his pro career, which ended in 2019, per Michalowski.

Malik Ellison Joins Hawks On Exhibit 10 Contract

SEPTEMBER 16: The Hawks have officially announced the signing of Ellison, confirming the move in a press release.


SEPTEMBER 15: Malik Ellison will sign an Exhibit 10 contract with the Hawks, Ellison’s agent Jerry Dianis informs Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

The 6’6″ shooting guard out of Hartford joined Atlanta’s NBAGL club, the College Park Skyhawks, to start the 2021/22 season. In December, the Hawks signed Ellison to a 10-day deal, though he did not appear in a single game for Atlanta. Instead, he returned to College Park to close out the year.

Across 26 regular season contests with the Skyhawks, he averaged 6.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.6 SPG, and 0.6 BPG, with a shooting line of .443/.316/.833. Ellison is coming off an August run with USA Basketball, where he helped Team USA qualify for the 2023 World Cup.

Ellison is on track to join fellow Exhibit 10 signings Tyson Etienne and Chris Silva when Atlanta’s training camp opens later this month. The team has 13 players inked to guaranteed deals on its standard 15-man roster, plus a 14th, Tyrese Martin, on a partially guaranteed deal. Both of the Hawks’ two-way slots are occupied. It is more likely than not that Ellison will return to the Skyhawks to open the season.

Jarrett Culver Signs Two-Way Deal With Hawks

The Hawks have signed Jarrett Culver to a two-way contract, the team announced in a press release.

The 23-year-old shooting guard spent last season with the Grizzlies, appearing in 37 games and averaging 3.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per night. Memphis acquired him in a trade with the Timberwolves last summer.

Culver was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft, but he wasn’t able to establish himself in a regular role with either the Grizzlies or Wolves. The Hawks are taking a low-risk gamble on his youth and potential.

Culver was a star at Texas Tech, where he averaged 14.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 75 games. He led the Red Raiders to the first NCAA Championship Game in school history and earned a spot on the 2019 Final Four All-Tournament Team.

The Hawks opened up a two-way slot on Sunday by waiving Chaundee Brown. The team’s other two-way contract belongs to guard Trent Forrest.

The addition of Culver brings Atlanta’s roster back to 18 players, two below the offseason limit, with the start of training camp 15 days away.