Bogdan Bogdanovic

Hawks Notes: Huerter, Okongwu, Bogdanovic, Hunter, Capela, Collins, Hill

The Hawks are engaged in extension talks with Kevin Huerter, and coach Nate McMillan hopes an agreement can be reached before next month’s deadline, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Speaking at Media Day, McMillan said the Hawks are “crossing their fingers” that a new deal will happen and the team is laying a foundation by signing core players to long-term contracts this offseason.

Huerter also expressed hope, telling Spencer, “We’re still working. It’s something we’ve kind of worked through throughout the summer. Mostly I let my agent and (general manager Travis Schlenk) handle (it). Obviously I hope to get something done, but there’s no guarantees.” (Twitter link).

Huerter continues to rehab from offseason ankle surgery, and said he’s “95% healthy” heading into the start of training camp (Twitter link).

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • Onyeka Okongwu tells Spencer that he hopes to be ready to play in December (Twitter link). The second-year center underwent surgery in July to fix a torn labrum in his right shoulder and was given a six-month timetable for recovery.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter and Clint Capela entered the offseason with health concerns, but McMillan expects them all to be ready for the October 21 season opener, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. However, McMillan doesn’t plan for them to see much playing time in the team’s four preseason games. Bogdanovic experienced soreness in his right knee during last season’s playoffs, but recently said he feels completely healthy. Hunter had surgery on his right knee in June, while Capela had to get a PRP injection in his Achilles tendon. He told reporters that he played through an Achilles injury last season (Twitter link).
  • Re-signing restricted free agent John Collins was an offseason priority in Atlanta, but he revealed today that he never talked with any other teams, Kirschner adds (Twitter link). Collins reached a five-year, $125MM deal to stay with the Hawks.
  • Veteran forward Solomon Hill said his close relationship with McMillan influenced his decision to re-sign with Atlanta (Twitter link). “I knew this is where I wanted to be,” Hill said.

Hawks Notes: Huerter, Hunter, Bogdanovic, Capela, Vaccinations

Extension talks are ongoing between the Hawks and Kevin Huerter, but president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk isn’t sure if anything will get signed, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes.

“As I’ve said all along, we’re hopeful to get something done with Kevin long-term, but if we don’t, that’s OK too,” Schlenk said. “As we saw last year with John (Collins), that certainly doesn’t mean that we’re not going to work hard next year in free agency to try to get Kevin wrapped up long-term. These things are kind of hard to predict how things will go. They’re kind of hard to do.”

If no agreement is reached, Huerter will be a restricted free agent next summer.

We have more on the Hawks:

  • De’Andre Hunter won’t be a full participant in camp, according to Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The teams expects him to be ready when the season begins. Hunter underwent right knee surgery in June. Huerter and Bogdan Bogdanovic, who also dealt with knee injuries last season, are also expected to a full go by the regular season. Clint Capela had a PRP injection in his Achilles tendon, and he’ll gradually ramp up activity during camp, Spencer adds.
  • The Hawks will be fully vaccinated by the start of the season, Spencer writes. One player still has to receive his second dose, but that will be done by opening night. All staff members have been vaccinated.
  • In case you missed it, Jahlil Okafor has signed a non-guaranteed contract with Atlanta. Get the details here.

Bogdan Bogdanovic Says He’s Completely Healthy

Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic says he’s completely recovered from the right knee soreness that hampered him during the postseason, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reports.

Bogdanovic appeared in 18 postseason games and averaged 14.1 PPG but shot a subpar 32.9% from long range after knocking down a career-best 43.8% of his 3-point attempts during 44 regular season games.

He received a PRP shot after the season and says he’s ready for training camp.

“I wanted to just make sure that I was 100 percent healthy at the beginning of this coming season,” he said. “It’s nothing serious where I had surgery or anything like that. I am good, and I am healthy now. That’s already behind me and was a long time ago. I have no problems now.”

He admitted the injury nagged him during the playoffs.

“You just don’t have time in the playoffs to recover how you would want,” he said. “It’s such a loss to get hurt in the playoffs because you feel like you can’t do anything that you want to do.”

Bogdanovic, who will be entering the second year of the four-year, $72MM contract he signed as a restricted free agent, addressed numerous other topics with Kirschner. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Bogdanovic says it’s imperative that the team doesn’t get complacent after its surprising postseason run: “Our heads should be on this is a new season and we need to scratch everything that we did last season,” he said. “It’s a new mentality. We have to find new motivation.”
  • He believes the team won’t gain greater respect around the league unless it continues to advance deep into the playoffs: “We can’t just do it one year and then the next season we get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs,” he said.
  • He sees De’Andre Hunter as a key to the team’s continued success. “He’s really one of those players I was talking about that just wants to be one of those great players,” Bogdanovic said. “He’s so good on both ends of the floor, and it’s just different when you have him on the court.”

Hawks Notes: Young, McMillan, Reddish, Bogdanovic

Hawks guard Trae Young returned Saturday, but he was clearly limited by injuries that forced him to miss the previous two games, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Young played 40 minutes, but didn’t have his usual explosiveness as he shot 4 of 17 from the field and scored 14 points.

He was still feeling the effects of a bone bruise in his right foot and a sprained right ankle that happened during Game 3. Saturday marked the first time he had stepped onto a court since the injury, other than testing it before Games 4 and 5. Young told reporters the bruise was in his heel and it affected him when he tried to get to the rim for a floater or a layup.

“Not being able to be out there for my team for two games, and then tonight just wanting to battle and try to fight through it as much as I could and try to be out there for my team, it’s definitely frustrating not being healthy and not being able to give my full 100 percent,” Young said.

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • One of the first orders of business for the offseason will be to negotiate a long-term deal with coach Nate McMillan, Bontemps adds. McMillan took over the Hawks in March when they were stuck in 11th place in the East and led them to the brink of the NBA Finals. “I don’t see interim on his label here soon,” Young said. “In my mind, I don’t think that will be a case that much longer.” 
  • Cam Reddish had a star-making performance in Saturday’s loss, observes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Playing in just his third game since returning from Achilles soreness that had sidelined him since February, Reddish scored 21 points and hit six of his seven three-point attempts. Kirschner notes that Reddish didn’t have a good relationship with former coach Lloyd Pierce, and many in the organization think he has the potential to be the team’s best player. “I really took to Cam when I first got here,” McMillan said. “He was a kid that I talked to early and was really wanting to coach him. I see a lot of Paul George in Cam — his length, his ability to defend.”
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic, who was a restricted free agent last offseason, said the Kings told him they would match any offer and they saw his value as $15MM to $17MM a year, according to Kirschner. He wound up getting $18MM from Atlanta and said he had no desire to return to Sacramento, calling it disrespectful that the Kings worked out a sign-and-trade with the Bucks without telling him. “I remember talking with (coach) Luke (Walton) and (general manager) Monte (McNair), and they both told me how they wanted me,” Bogdanovic said. “I said, ‘OK, fine.’ They said they were going to wait for my offer because they couldn’t make a deal before going to the market. I’m talking with my guys from (Sacramento) and I wasn’t even looking at free agency. … I was in Serbia and no one reached out to me. No one talked with me. No one asked me anything. I woke up, I saw it and then I didn’t know what to do. I called my agent and he told me to calm down because there was nothing they could do because I was a restricted free agent and they couldn’t do anything like that.”

Trae Young To Play In Game 6

The Hawks will have Trae Young available for tonight’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The star guard missed the last two games with a bone bruise in his right foot.

Young has been outstanding in the series when he has been on the court, averaging 32.7 points and 6.0 assists while shooting 47.9% from the field. He suffered the injury in Game 3 when he accidentally stepped on an official’s foot.

Atlanta’s season will be on the line after dropping a 123-112 decision Thursday night in Milwaukee. The Bucks will be still without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been ruled out with a hyperextended left knee.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has been plagued by soreness in his right knee throughout the series, will also be available, Spencer adds (via Twitter).

Antetokounmpo Doubtful to Play In Game 6; Young Listed As Questionable

6:08pm: It’s believed the Bucks would give Antetokounmpo the green light to play in Game 7 if he sits out on Saturday and the Hawks win, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

4:33pm: Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is once again listed as doubtful to play as the team attempts to clinch the Eastern Conference Finals in Atlanta on Saturday, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Hawks star guard Trae Young is listed as questionable to play in Game 6 by his team with the season on the line, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

With both of the teams’ top players sitting out, Milwaukee took a 3-2 lead in the series with a 123-112 win on Thursday. Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextension of his left knee in Game 4, while Young sustained a right foot bone bruise in Game 3.

Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, who scored a team-high 28 points in Game 5, is listed as probable despite right knee soreness.

Bucks Notes: Portis, Bogdanovic, Lopez, Holiday

Nobody knows where Bobby Portis might have been Thursday night if the Bucks‘ offseason attempt to trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic had worked out, but he wouldn’t have been helping Milwaukee move to within a game of the NBA Finals, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. With Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined by a hyperextended left knee, Portis moved into the starting lineup and contributed 22 points and eight rebounds in a Game 5 win over the Hawks.

Signing Portis wasn’t Plan A for the Bucks, who were focused on improving their outside shooting by adding Bogdanovic, a restricted free agent, in a sign-and-trade arrangement. Rumors of that deal with the Kings leaked in mid-November, but it wouldn’t have been legal at the time because it would have involved negotiations before the start of free agency. The NBA launched an investigation and the rumored trade wound up getting scrapped.

General manager Jon Horst landed Portis instead on a two-year contract worth $7.4MM. He brought a physical style to the team as Antetokounmpo’s backup and quickly became a fan favorite.

“Milwaukee’s a tough city,” Portis said. “You know, some people at the start of the season — they were telling us all about the city and how tough it is to live here and things like that, and you know, the city goes through a lot. So, when they see somebody that gives his all and works hard, because it’s a blue-collar city and I’m a blue-collar player, I’m going to make the shots — whether they are going in or not, I still give my all to the team 100 percent, for the name in front of the jersey and they love players like that.”

There’s more on the Bucks:

  • Portis is getting a chance to shine after being kept on the bench for the final three games of the Nets series. He might have faced an uncertain future if the Bucks had lost to Brooklyn, according to Vincent Goodwill of The Athletic, but now he has a chance to show that he can be part of Milwaukee’s future.
  • Brook Lopez also responded to Antetokounmpo’s absence with a career-best playoff performance, notes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Lopez posted 33 points and had seven rebounds, four blocks and two steals as Milwaukee turned to the veteran center to take advantage of Atlanta’s lack of size. “That was a great opportunity for him to I think just get the ball a little bit more, try and use him a little bit more and he came through big time,” coach Mike Budenholzer said.
  • The Bucks have been collecting players who fit well around Antetokounmpo, and that combination worked Thursday night, observes Royce Young of ESPN. One important offseason addition was Jrue Holiday, who was acquired in a trade with the Pelicans. Holiday is an elite defender whose scoring has been inconsistent throughout the playoffs, but he delivered 25 points and 13 assists in Game 5. “I just knew I had to be aggressive. Whatever that means, Giannis being out or not, I knew that I had to be aggressive,” he said.

Hawks’ Young, Capela Listed As Questionable For Game 5

Hawks guard Trae Young and center Clint Capela are listed as questionable for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets.

Young missed Game 4 on Tuesday with a right foot bone bruise, so the questionable tag should give Hawks fans some hope he’ll return to action in the pivotal game of the series. Atlanta’s 110-88 victory in Game 4 knotted the series at 2-2.

Capela is dealing with right eye inflammation. He caught an elbow from Bucks guard Sam Merrill in the late going, Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets. He contributed 15 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes during Game 4.

Additionally, Bogdan Bogdanovic is listed as probable despite right knee soreness, Spencer adds.

The Bucks are likely to be without their star. Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as doubtful after suffering a hyperextension of his left knee in Game 4. An MRI revealed no structural damage.

Trae Young Out For Game Four

Hawks star Trae Young has been ruled out for Game Four, report ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews.

According to Andrews and Wojnarowski, Young made every effort to be ready to play, but was hampered by a severe lack of mobility and amount of pain. The star point guard suffered a bone bruise and tweaked ankle in Game Three loss to the Bucks when he stepped on the foot of a referee while trying to get back on defense.

Young had previously gone through shoot-around, and had “looked good,” according to teammate Onyeka Okongwu. With the Hawks down two games to one in the series against the Bucksthis news comes as a devastating blow. Young’s availability for future games remains in question. He will continue to rehab and hopes to be ready for Game Five, tweets Wojnarowski.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has been hampered with right knee soreness, is available to play.

Hawks Will Have Bogdan Bogdanovic, Cam Reddish For Game 1

Hawks shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has been cleared to play in tonight’s opener of the Eastern Conference finals, tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN. He had been listed as questionable because of soreness in his right knee and was a game-time decision.

Bogdanovic, who is in the playoffs for the first time in his four-year career, has been an effective weapon for Atlanta. He averaged 14.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists in the first round against the Knicks and posted a 13.3/3.9/1.7 line in the seven-game series with the Sixers.

Small forward Cam Reddish will return to the lineup after missing the past four months with right Achilles soreness, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Reddish returned to practice early this month, but he hasn’t appeared in a game since February 21.

Coach Nate McMillan made the announcement in a pre-game session with reporters, but said there’s no guarantee Reddish will see any action, adds Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). McMillan noted that Solomon Hill and Tony Snell are ahead of him in the rotation and said the team will be careful with Reddish whenever he plays.

In his second NBA season, Reddish averaged 11.2 points and 4.0 rebounds through 26 games before being sidelined with the Achilles issue.