Bismack Biyombo

Southeast Notes: Young, Magic, Wizards, Biyombo

Unlike some other probable All-Stars who have expressed reluctance about playing in a potential March 7 All-Star Game in Atlanta, Hawks point guard Trae Young has said he would relish the opportunity to participate if he earns a second straight All-Star berth, according to Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I understand both sides,” said Young, who is averaging 26.7 PPG, 9.2 APG, and 4.0 RPG for the 11-12 Hawks. “Obviously, it’s in Atlanta, I’d love to be a part of it, if there is a game.”

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Magic assistant general manager Matt Lloyd spoke with Josh Robbins of The Athletic about how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Orlando’s scouting process. “We’ve gotten to the point with technology where we have so much to study,” Lloyd acknowledged. “Every game is on film… But there is still an advantage of being able to see how prospects look in person. There’s always going to be that one element of being in an arena or in a gym and being able to size players up to get some sort of sense of their real physicality, their size, their length and how fast they are.”
  • The Wizards have been performing better when $41.4MM point guard Russell Westbrook sits, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. In a somewhat alarming trend, Washington is 4-3 without Westbrook and 2-12 with him this season. Washington is 7.7 points per 100 possessions worse when Westbrook plays for the club this year.
  • Hornets center Bismack Biyombo is relishing his role as a mentor with a scrappy Charlotte team, according to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports. Biyombo has become a key advisor to rookie guard LaMelo Ball, the No. 3 pick in the 2020 draft. “I was telling LaMelo when I first got to the league I was his age because I came from overseas as well,” Biyombo said. “The transition, how far you grow from playing overseas versus when you see kids who come out of college, it’s totally two different mindsets.”

Hornets Notes: Biyombo, Batum, Hayward, Offense

The Hornets used some of their available cap space to re-sign reserve center Bismack Biyombo to a one-year contract worth $3.5MM, and also gave first-year salaries of $1.5MM to center Vernon Carey Jr. and $1MM to forward Nick Richards, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Marks goes on to note that the Hornets, who still have about $4MM in available cap space, will also be able to use their $4.8M room exception to add an additional player if they so choose.

There’s more out of Charlotte:

  • After forward Nicolas Batum signed a veteran’s minimum deal with the Clippers when the Hornets waived him, Charlotte stands to save $559,528 spread out over the three-year duration of his stretched contract, per ESPN’ s Bobby Marks (via Twitter).
  • The robust $120MM, four-year contract of new Hornets forward Gordon Hayward has a 15% trade kicker baked into it, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. This would make the end of his deal, already thought to be exorbitant for a player with his injury history and age, even more expensive if he’s moved.
  • Following a breakout scoring season with the Hornets in 2019/20, guard Devonte’ Graham is in favor of a more balanced offensive attack incorporating new additions Hayward and LaMelo Ball, even though that means Graham’s looks could decrease, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports.

Hornets Re-Sign Bismack Biyombo

NOVEMBER 30: The signing is official, according to a team press release.


NOVEMBER 22: The Hornets have reached an agreement with center Bismack Biyombo, bringing him back for a third straight season, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes tweets. Biyombo’s deal will be for one year, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer

Biyombo holds nine years of NBA experience, making past stops with Charlotte, Toronto and Orlando. He spent the first three seasons of his career with the Hornets before signing with the Raptors, where he averaged 6.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game during the 2016 NBA playoffs.

This past season, the 28-year-old held per-game averages of 7.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 19.4 minutes in Charlotte. At 6-foot-9 and 255 pounds, Biyombo was the No. 7 pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.

Charlotte has made several notable moves in free agency, including drafting LaMelo Ball at No. 3 and reaching a four-year, $120MM deal with Gordon Hayward. The team finished with the tenth-best record in the East at 23-42 last season.

Free Agency Rumors: Lakers, Hornets, Pelicans, Baynes, Bazemore

The Lakers anticipate being “first in line” to talk to two of their veteran free agents, Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley, when free agency opens, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Howard and Bradley are expected to draw interest from multiple other clubs, including perhaps the Warriors, but it sounds like L.A. has interest in bringing back both of them. The Lakers and veteran forward Jared Dudley also have mutual interest in a new deal, Scotto adds.

Here’s more from Scotto on free agency:

  • The Hornets are expected to be in the market for a free agent center, according to Scotto, who notes that the team will likely lose Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez in free agency.
  • Scotto echoes a rumor we heard earlier in the week, writing that the Pelicans are expected to show interest in free agent center Aron Baynes.
  • The Kings and Kent Bazemore are expected to have mutual interest in reaching a new deal, according to Scotto, who notes that the free agent swingman will likely speak with a number of teams once free agency begins.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Hawks, Collins, Wizards

The Hornets have officially published the list of 17 players who will participate in their in-market bubble mini-camp this week and next, including 13 players on the NBA roster and four from their G League affiliate.

Among the most interesting inclusions on the Hornets’ list are Dwayne Bacon and Willy Hernangomez, both of whom are eligible for free agency this offseason. A number of veteran free agents have opted out of these voluntary mini-camps so as not to risk injury, but Bacon and Hernangomez are young players who are unlikely to generate major interest on the open market, so they’re not jeopardizing massive paydays by participating.

The two Hornets players who aren’t taking part in the team’s group activities are Nicolas Batum and Bismack Biyombo. As Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes, Biyombo’s absence doesn’t come as a major surprise, since he’s an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Batum, meanwhile, has one year left on his contract, but he has been in France for much of the summer and his wife is pregnant with the couple’s second child, per Bonnell.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • While he acknowledged that the 2020 NBA draft class may not be as star-studded as some past groups, Hornets head coach James Borrego is confident that the team will be able to use the No. 3 pick on a player who will “really add value to our program,” as he tells Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Mitch (Kupchak) and I have dialogue every day,” Borrego said. “I’m excited about the third pick and the 32nd pick, as well. That’s a really good pick for us. The more I dig in, the more I like.”
  • Speaking today to reporters, Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk confirmed that the club anticipates having contract extension discussions with John Collins‘ reps once they’re able to do so (Twitter link via Brad Rowland of Uproxx). Collins will become eligible for a rookie scale extension once the 2020/21 league year begins.
  • Michael Lee and Ben Standig of The Athletic explore the missteps the Wizards have made since 2015 that led them to their current position — capped-out and in the lottery for a second consecutive year.

Eastern Notes: Kennard, Biyombo, Van Gundy, Tatum

Pistons swingman Luke Kennard has fully healed from the knee tendinitis that sidelined him for nearly three months before the season was suspended, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. Kennard will have to wait until December to play again since the lottery-bound Pistons won’t be part of 22-team restart in Orlando. He’ll be eligible for a rookie scale extension when this season ends.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Hornets’ season is over and that means three of their players are now free agents, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes. Centers Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez and guard Dwayne Bacon will be on the market in October when free agency begins. Guard Malik Monk remains suspended indefinitely for violation of the NBA anti-drug policy, Bonnell adds. Monk was suspended in late February.
  • Tom Thibodeau is considered the front-runner for the Knicks head coaching job and Jeff Van Gundy says Thibodeau is misunderstood, Marc Berman of the New York Post relays. The longtime TV analyst and former Knicks coach made his comments during a Sirius XM Radio interview. “Unfortunately for him the perception of him on the sidelines as this gruff, nasty dude is not even close to who is he personally,” Van Gundy said. “Like, he is a great guy. He’s fun to be around. He’s enjoyable to be around, and he loves basketball.” 
  • NBC Sports’ A. Sherrod Blakely takes a close look on what Celtics fans should watch for when the season resumes, including whether Jayson Tatum can continue his breakout season.

Hornets Notes: Rozier, McDaniels, Martin

Terry Rozier, who joined the Hornets this past offseason, doesn’t have to fill Kemba Walker‘s shoes, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. The offensive doesn’t necessarily revolve around Rozier and the point guard is alright with that role.

“When you come to a new team, there are a lot of expectations when you get signed [to a big contract],” teammate Bismack Biyombo said. “He’s trusted the coaches and adapted to the system, which isn’t easy right away. And he has excelled.”

Here’s more from Charlotte:
  • Jalen McDaniels has been a pleasant surprise for the Hornets this season and lately, he’s been the first player off the bench for the squad, as Bonnell relays in a separate piece“We’ve said, ‘Here’s your role, here’s what we need from you. Go execute it’. And he’s doing that right now,” James Borrego said.
  • The buyouts of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams paved the way for McDaniels to see more playing time. with the Hornets. Bonnell notes in the same piece. MKG went to Dallas after his buyout agreement while Williams landed in Milwaukee.
  • The Hornets are impressed with undrafted free agent Caleb Martin, who has split his time between the NBA club and its G League affiliate. “For him to make it in this league, he’s going to have to make that 3-ball,” Borrego said (via Bonnell in a separate piece).  “He was really good offensively — attacked the rim, played with great pace, moved the ball. And he competes defensively. I’ve got Cody a little bit ahead of him defensively right now — that’s why we drafted him — but Caleb’s got the same length and size and tenacity.”

Hornets’ Biyombo Explains Decision To Pass On Buyout

Following last month’s trade deadline, the Hornets were more than willing to negotiate buyouts with their veterans on expiring contracts. Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were both bought out within days of the deadline and quickly caught on with new teams.

Veteran center Bismack Biyombo, whose four-year, $68MM contract will be up at season’s end, tells Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer that he could have gotten a buyout and that he considered the possibility, noting that “a lot of (teams were) calling.” However, he opted to stick with the Hornets and play out the rest of his contract in Charlotte, explaining that he wanted to continue to be a veteran mentor as the team rebuilds.

“The house is on fire? Let’s find a way to fix it,” Biyombo said of the Hornets’ situation. “I think the way we have been competing shows a lot of character from a lot of guys.”

Biyombo, 27, has been out of the starting lineup and even out of the rotation at times this season, but he’s seeing regular minutes lately, averaging 8.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in his last seven games (20.5 MPG).

Although it’s probably too late for the Hornets, who are 5.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Nets, to make a run at the playoffs, Biyombo is happy to fill the leadership void that was created in Charlotte when longtime Hornets like Kemba Walker, Williams, and Kidd-Gilchrist departed.

“When things are not going right, everybody wants to run away. It’s human nature,” Biyombo said. “Instead of always seeing problems, sometimes you can see opportunity. So we lean on each other.”

Southeast Notes: Monk, Hornets, Capela, Heat

Speaking to reporters before tonight’s game, Hornets coach James Borrego pledged his support for Malik Monk, who has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of the NBA’s anti-drug program, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Borrego said he hasn’t talked with Monk since the suspension was announced this morning.

“All of us face different things in life; it’s how you respond,” Borrego said. “It’s my belief, knowing Malik, that he’ll respond the right way. (The suspension) does put us in a bind. But in the end, this could be a very positive story. I look forward to talking to him.”

Bonnell points out that Monk has turned in some of the best performances of his career recently, averaging 17.8 PPG over the past 11 games while shooting 47% from the field and 38% from beyond the arc. Tuesday marked the first start of his three-season career.

While Monk is unavailable, Bonnell expects more playing time for rookies Cody Martin and Caleb Martin and possibly an early return from the G League for Dwayne Bacon.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • It appears Borrego will give opportunities to all three of the Hornets‘ centers for the rest of the season, Bonnell tweets. Cody Zeller, who has appeared in 53 of the team’s 58 games, was active for tonight’s game but didn’t play. Bismack Biyombo got the start with Willy Hernangomez as his backup.
  • Clint Capela has shown progress with running and movement, but there’s still not a definite plan for his Hawks debut, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal Consitution. Capela, who was acquired from the Rockets at the trade deadline, is dealing with plantar fasciitis and a right calcaneus contusion. He will be re-evaluated on March 4. “He felt he came back too soon, and re-injured it, now he’s being cautious,” coach Lloyd Pierce said. “He thought it was a setback when he re-injured it as opposed to just coming back and taking his time and letting it completely heal.” 
  • The Heat still may be active on the buyout market, suggests Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. He mentions Solomon Hill, who has barely played since being acquired from the Grizzlies earlier this month, as a possible buyout candidate if Miami wants to open a roster spot. Winderman adds that the Heat can offer a portion of their mid-level or bi-annual exceptions, giving them an edge over teams that can only offer minimum contracts.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Clark, Nunn, Fultz

Allowing the contracts of Marvin Williams, Bismack Biyombo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to expire, rather than trading those impending free agents, might be the best course of action for the Hornets, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer opines.

The Hornets would have to take back comparable salary unless the team they’re dealing with has a large trade exception. The player or players they take back might have contracts that extend beyond this season and unless they figure into Charlotte’s long term plans, it would not be worth it, Bonnell continues. The Hornets’ players on expiring contracts wouldn’t bring back much more in future assets than a second-round pick anyway, Bonnell adds.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Magic forward Gary Clark hopes his defensive skills and rebounding will allow him to stick with the club, as he told David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders. Clark signed a 10-day contract after getting waived by the Rockets. “Just bringing some energy and knocking down shots. Being versatile defensively, being able to switch on multiple guys if need be, and use my athleticism,” Clark said. “Knocking down shots is one thing, but my activity on the glass on both ends has been solid.”
  • Kendrick Nunn‘s value to the Heat goes beyond his on-court production, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes. Nunn is only making $1.4MM this season and $1.6MM next season and the Heat can an extend a low-cost $2.1MM qualifying offer in the summer of 2021 to make him a restricted free agent. He can then be re-signed above the salary cap after luring a quality free agent. That makes his current contract a major bargain by providing the team plenty of cap flexibility.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown is pleased that 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz has revived his career with the Magic after his struggles in Philadelphia, Rich Hofmann of The Athletic tweets. “From a human standpoint, with complete sincerity, you’re happy for him,” Brown said. “It’s a journey that none of us could have imagined and good for him. Like he didn’t blink, he kept moving forward and I wish him well.”