Hawks Rumors

Knicks Plan To Talk To Mike Budenholzer

The Knicks continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new head coach, with Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting (via Twitter) that the club intends to talk to current Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer.

Budenholzer, who has two years and more than $13MM remaining on his contract with the Hawks, has already met with the Suns about their head coaching vacancy. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday night that Budenholzer withdrew from consideration for that Phoenix job, but it appears he’s not yet a lock to return to the Hawks.

If the Knicks want to hire Budenholzer, they’d almost certainly have to send the Hawks some sort of compensation to let him out of his current deal. The most notable example in recent years was the Celtics acquiring a first-round pick from the Clippers when Boston let Doc Rivers out of a contract with three years left on it in 2013.

As our head coaching search tracker shows, the Knicks have put together an extensive list of potential candidates to become Jeff Hornacek‘s replacement. Jerry Stackhouse, Mark Jackson, and Mike Woodson have reportedly interviewed with the team, and Kenny Smith was set to do so today. New York is also expected to meet with David Fizdale and David Blatt.

Budenholzer Withdraws From Consideration For Suns Coach Job

Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer has withdrawn from consideration for the Suns‘ head coach vacancy, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Budenholzer met with the Suns on Monday and Tuesday and was expected to reach a decision this week.

A native of Holbrook, Arizona, Budenholzer still has two years and $13MM+ left on his deal with the Hawks.

With Budenholzer off the board, the Suns are considering interim coach Jay Triano, David Fizdale, Steve Clifford, Kevin McHale and Frank Vogel to fill the position, Wojnarowski adds.

Budenholzer, 48, has been the Hawks’ head coach since 2013, leading the team to a 213-197 record. He won Coach of the Year for the 2014/15 season, a year in which the Hawks went 60-22 and went to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Hawks played to an Eastern Conference-worst 24-58 this season as the organization cut payroll and gathered young assets under general manager Travis Schlenk‘s vision.

Timberwolves' Slump Helped Hawks In Draft

Latest On Suns’ Head Coaching Search

We passed along several updates on the Suns‘ search for a new head coach on Tuesday night, relaying reports on the club’s plan to interview former Magic coach Frank Vogel, along with details on an upcoming meeting with former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale. We also noted that Phoenix’s interview with Mike Budenholzer took place on Monday and Tuesday this week, as the current Hawks coach sat down with Suns GM Ryan McDonough and owner Robert Sarver over those two days.

As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski writes, the Hawks and Budenholzer are open to ending their partnership, so if the Suns decide he’s their man, there could be a path to making it happen. Still, there are roadblocks that would need to be cleared, as Atlanta would likely require compensation in order to let Budenholzer out of his contract with the team, which still has two years and $13MM left on it.

Here’s more on the Suns’ head coaching search:

  • While the Suns have mostly focused on getting to know Budenholzer so far this week, they’re considering several other candidates, including Steve Clifford and David Blatt, according to Wojnarowski, who says the team has been in contact with both of those former NBA coaches.
  • Confirming the Suns’ contact with Clifford, Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic writes that the ex-Hornets coach is expected to interview with Phoenix. A source tells Bordow that the club hasn’t yet ruled out any candidates, and expects to have “many conversations” with prospective hires.
  • Spurs assistant James Borrego has drawn interest from the Suns as a potential target, per Bordow. It’s not clear whether the team has received permission from San Antonio to meet with Borrego, or if Phoenix’s discussions about the veteran assistant remain internal for now.

Mike Budenholzer Interviews With Suns

APRIL 17th, 7:45pm: Wojnarowski is now reporting that Budenholzer met with Suns management and ownership today and yesterday, and a sense is expected to emerge soon whether there is a pathway to Budenholzer becoming the Suns’ next head coach.

APRIL 14th, 9:06am: The Hawks granted Mike Budenholzer permission to interview with the Suns for their head coaching vacancy, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Budenholzer, the Hawks’ current head coach, still has two years and $13MM+ left on his contract.

A native of Holbrook, Arizona, Budenholzer plans to meet with Suns officials early next week.

Budenholzer, 48, has been Atlanta’s head coach since 2013, leading the team to a 213-197 record in that span. He won Coach of the Year for the 2014/15 season, a year in which the Hawks went 60-22 and went to the Eastern Conference finals.

This season, the Hawks entered a rebuilding stage by cutting payroll and gathering young assets under general manager Travis Schlenk. The team went just 24-58, coming in last place in the Eastern Conference.

Budenholzer is among several candidates the Suns plan to interview, Wojnarowski notes. Interim head coach Jay Triano, who took over after the dismissal of Earl Watson, will also be considered. The Suns finished in last place in the Western Conference, going 21-61, the worst record in the league.

Draft Pick Expected If Budenholzer Leaves

The Hawks can expect a first-round pick if coach Mike Budenholzer bolts for another team, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Budenholzer, who has two years left on his contract, was granted permission to interview for the Suns job. The Celtics received an unprotected first-round pick in the 2015 draft when the Clippers hired Doc Rivers in 2013, Cunningham notes. The Suns own extra first-round picks in the 2019 and 2021 drafts from previous trades, Cunningham adds.

Sixers Notes: Ilyasova, Belinelli, Brown, Hinkie

The Sixers, who raised NBA tanking to a new level during their “Trust the Process” years, got an assist this season from another tanking team, notes Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. The additions of Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli, who were both bought out by the Hawks, gave Philadelphia massive production off the bench in Saturday’s playoff opener.

Ilyasova posted 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Belinelli scored 25 points and was 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Although he drew interest from the Bucks, Cavaliers, Warriors and Raptors after his buyout, Ilyasova said it was an easy decision to come to Philadelphia.

“I think it’s all about fitting in the right situation,” he said. “Me and Marco, the way this team plays, we fit in perfectly in the system. … “When you look at the locker room and see the guys we have, obviously when [Joel Embiid] gets back, the sky’s the limit.”

There’s more today from Philadelphia:

  • When it comes to trusting the process, no one had to do it more than coach Brett Brown, who amassed a historically bad won-loss record in his first few years on the bench, Shelburne adds in the same story. The former Spurs assistant, who was 55-253 heading into this season, said he never lost faith in what the organization was trying to accomplish. “For whatever reason, I have found peace with what we have been doing since I’ve had the job,” Brown said. “We have tried to stay steady throughout it all. And I hope I still do. I really mean that. You had to have a vision and a calling. But we want more. Ultimately, we’re trying to grow something that can produce a championship.”
  • Co-managing partner Josh Harris also focused on winning a title in a chat with Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Harris called it “painful” to rebuild for three and a half years, but added that the organization never wavered from its plan. “I’m greedy,” he said. “I want to win an NBA championship. “I’m not going to be satisfied until that happens.”
  • Former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, credited as the architect of the tanking strategy, remains on good terms with the organization, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. “Sam is a smart guy,” Harris said. “He’s a great strategist, and he certainly positioned the team, as best he could, to achieve success through the rebuild process. He also brought in some good people who are still with us. We continue to have a good relationship with him. We’re glad he was a part of it.”

2018 NBA Draft Order Tiebreaker Results

After a series of tiebreakers were conducted Friday night, the lottery odds for the NBA Draft have been finalized. Similarly, the draft order for teams outside of the lottery has been decided as well.

While a total of four two-way ties and one four-way tie were all broken by coin toss, the biggest winner of the night would have to be the Mavs who will now officially boast the third-greatest odds when the lottery is drawn on May 15.

Although the Hawks equaled Dallas in futility, both teams limited to 24 wins on the year, they’ll slot in one spot behind them at No. 4. That means, if neither team secures a top-three pick when the lottery results are revealed, they’ll just pick after them, the same as if they had won one more game. Both teams, however, will have nearly identical odds (13.7% versus 13.8%) of securing a top-three pick in the lottery.

The Bulls also won big today, edging out the Kings for the No. 6 spot. Sacramento will have an identical shot at landing at top-three pick, however.

The four-way tie between Utah, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Indiana ended with the Thunder at No. 20, the Jazz at No. 21, the Pelicans at No. 22 and the Pacers at No. 23.

That Oklahoma City pick will head to Minnesota while the 22nd pick will go straight to the Bulls as part of the Nikola Mirotic deal.

The Heat won the tiebreaker for the the 16th pick, ahead of the Bucks, and will send that to Phoenix as part of the Goran Dragic trade back in 2015.

Milwaukee claiming the No. 17 pick is particularly interesting since, had they won the tiebreaker, they would have had to flip the pick to the Suns as part of the Greg Monroe trade. Since they didn’t, they’ll keep the pick and send a protected first-rounder in 2019, so long as it falls between 4-16.

The Spurs won the coin toss between themselves and the Timberwolves and will now pick at No. 18. Minnesota’s 19th pick will go to Atlanta as part of a 2015 Adreian Payne trade.

As is always the case, the loser of any tiebreaker will end up with the better pick in the second round. In the event of the four-way tie, all four teams will simply be flipped, giving the Pacers the 50th pick and so on.

Here’s a rundown of what the draft order currently looks like, prior to the results of the May lottery.

Pick Team
1 Suns
2 Grizzlies
3 Mavs
4 Hawks
5 Magic
6 Bulls
7 Kings
8 Cavaliers
9 Knicks
10 76ers
11 Hornets
12 Clippers
13 Clippers
14 Nuggets
15 Wizards
16 Suns
17 Bucks
18 Spurs
19 Hawks
20 Wolves
21 Jazz
22 Bulls
23 Pacers
24 Trail Blazers
25 Lakers
26 76ers
27 Celtics
28 Warriors
29 Nets
30 Hawks

Hawks Likely To Use Cap Room For Trades, Not FAs

  • The Hawks will head into the offseason as one of the few NBA teams projected to have significant salary cap room. However, don’t count on GM Travis Schlenk making a splash in free agency, says Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As Cunningham details, Schlenk has said the plan is to look for trades that would allow the Hawks to acquire assets while absorbing salary.

Injury Updates: Embiid, Brewer, Harkless, Bembry

Joel Embiid said he’s feeling better as he recovers from facial surgery but the Sixers big man maintains that it is unlikely that he plays in the team’s Game 1 playoff matchup against the Heat, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

“œUnlikely,” Embiid said, “œbut there’s still a chance based on the way I’™ve been feeling the past couple of days and the way I’ve progressed. Unlikely, but we’re going to see how it feels.”

Embiid missed Philadelphia’s last eight regular season games after he suffered an orbital fracture near his left eye and a concussion during a March 28 matchup against the Knicks. While the Sixers did not lose a game during Embiid’s absence, adding a player who averaged 22.9 PPG and 11.0 RPG during the regular season would be a major postseason boost.

Check out more injury updates below:

  • Thunder guard Corey Brewer will receive treatment on his sprained knee over the next few days with the intention to play in the Thunder’s Game 1 matchup against the Jazz, tweets Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania. Brewer suffered the injury in Oklahoma City’s regular-season finale, causing concern about his postseason status.
  • The Trail Blazers got some positive news on Maurice Harkless, who is expected to return sometime during Portland’s first-round series against the Pelicans, sources tell Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest. Harkless missed Portland’s final nine games to clean out his left knee and was a key part of the team before the injury.
  • Hawks forward DeAndre’ Bembry has been diagnosed with a right wrist fracture, the team announced. He is expected to recover within four to six weeks.