Danilo Gallinari

Hawks Notes: Bogdanovic, J. Johnson, Gallinari, Cooper

Bogdan Bogdanovic had surgery to address inflammation in his right patella tendon, according to a tweet from the Hawks. That confirms a report late last week that the veteran guard had to undergo the procedure because of persistent discomfort in the knee, which bothered him late in the season and forced him to miss the team’s final playoff game.

Bogdanovic is expected to be fully ready in time for the start of the season, the team adds. He will make $18MM next season with an $18MM player option for 2023/24 and could be a trade chip this summer as Atlanta tries to revamp its roster.

The Hawks also issued a medical update on Jalen Johnson, who had a non-surgical procedure on his left knee because of tendinitis (Twitter link). Johnson, who appeared in just 22 games as a rookie, should be available by the start of training camp, according to the team.

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • Danilo Gallinari cited a “special bond” with Milan while attending the Italian League finals over the weekend, but said he’s not ready to leave the NBA, according to a BasketNews article. Gallinari, 34, indicated that he might play in Italy eventually, but said he wants to accomplish more in the NBA. He’s entering the final year of his contract with Atlanta at $21.45MM (only $5MM is guaranteed). “The NBA is still in my plans. I want to achieve goals, and when I do, we will see if there is a possibility for me to return to Milan,” he said.
  • The Hawks are a wild card in next week’s draft, with opportunities to trade up from No. 16 or trade out of the draft entirely, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Kirschner identifies his favorite targets for the team regardless of the scenario, including Ochai Agbaji, Kendall Brown, Dyson Daniels, Tari Eason, Jaden Hardy and Jeremy Sochan.
  • Sharife Cooper, who spent part of his rookie season in the G League and only played 13 games for the Hawks, offers some advice for this year’s draft class in an interview with Rashad Milligan of Rolling Out. “Stay grounded. A lot of things that have never happened in life are going to be thrown at you,” Cooper said. “It’s a different world, a different environment, a place that I can honestly say throws a lot of things at you. You have to be strong, mentally strong, and able to deal with a lot of ups and downs.”

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Lowry, Strus, Wizards, Magic

By earning a spot on the All-NBA Third Team this week, Hawks guard Trae Young ensured that his five-year, maximum-salary rookie scale extension will start at 30% of the 2022/23 cap rather than 25%, as we outlined on Tuesday. Based on the current maximum-salary projections, that means Atlanta’s projected team salary for next season will increase by $6.1MM.

As Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes, Young’s salary bump means Atlanta is more likely to be over the luxury-tax line in 2022/23 and perhaps less likely to bring back Danilo Gallinari, whose $21.45MM salary is only partially guaranteed for $5MM. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), the Hawks currently project to be about $7.8MM over the tax line, so they could, at least temporarily, get out of tax territory by waiving Gallinari and saving that $16MM+.

Young’s more lucrative contract may place a few more constraints on the Hawks over the next five years as they attempt to build a championship-caliber roster around him. However, as Kirschner observes, the team will at least no longer have to worry about Young being disgruntled as a result of missing out on an All-NBA spot and an extra $35MM.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • With Kyle Lowry still clearly being affected by the left hamstring injury that has forced him to miss eight playoff games, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel and Joe Vardon of The Athletic believe the Heat have to seriously consider whether or not Lowry should start – or even play – in a do-or-die Game 6. Vardon says the team should probably bench both Lowry and Max Strus, who are a combined 1-of-28 from the floor in the last two games.
  • Josh Robbins and John Hollinger of The Athletic take a look at the Wizards‘ future, discussing whether a full-fledged rebuild or building around Bradley Beal would be a better course of action for the franchise. Hollinger wonders if the team missed an opportunity to get a Jrue Holiday-esque haul (or better) for Beal by not moving him a year or two ago, but believes that the best course of action at this point would be to re-sign the All-Star guard, since he could always be traded later.
  • Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel explores what the Magic‘s starting five may look like next season, depending on whether the team drafts Jabari Smith or Chet Holmgren. In Price’s view, floor-spacing issues mean that Cole Anthony may be a better fit alongside Holmgren, while Jalen Suggs could make more sense alongside Smith.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Beal, Wizards, Magic

The Hawks, who are widely expected to be one of the more active NBA teams this summer, are believed to be open to discussing possible trades involving nearly all the players on their roster, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who says rival executives view Trae Young as Atlanta’s only untouchable player.

The Hawks had trade conversations prior to this year’s trade deadline about John Collins, Kevin Huerter, and Danilo Gallinari, among others, Fischer notes.

Although Fischer says that restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton has been a “popular rumored target” for the Hawks, he cites multiple league sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking that believe the front office will prioritize adding a wing scorer over a big man.

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago previously reported that “league gossip” had linked the Hawks to Zach LaVine, a point Fischer reiterates, writing that multiple sources have mentioned Atlanta as a possible destination for LaVine. Since they’ll be well over the cap, the Hawks would likely have to try to work out a sign-and-trade if they get serious about pursuing LaVine.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • After indicating in early March that he’s leaning toward re-signing with the Wizards, Bradley Beal recently suggested his position hasn’t changed. According to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post, Beal – who said his recovery from season-ending wrist surgery has gone well – confirmed that he’s still leaning toward remaining in Washington. “This injury also gave me a mental break, a time to evaluate life, and I haven’t changed my mind-set,” Beal said. “I enjoy being in D.C.; I enjoy being on this team.”
  • In a mailbag for The Athletic, Josh Robbins considers whether or not Wizards fans would embrace a full-fledged rebuild and explores whether the team could trade up from No. 10 in the draft. Of course, if Washington re-signs Beal, it’s a safe bet the team isn’t shifting into rebuilding mode this summer.
  • The Magic have a history of trading out of the second round of the draft, but they’re expected to use at least one of the No. 32 and No. 35 picks this year, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Price notes that Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams, who has a 7’2″ wingspan despite being just 6’4″, is the type of player the Magic typically like, and he spoke to the team at last week’s combine.

Hawks Notes: Offseason Priorities, Draft Workouts, More

Appearing on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said, unprompted, that the front office is committed this offseason to making roster changes in an attempt to improve the team after standing relatively pat a year ago.

“We made the decision last year to kind of run the same group back and we probably should’ve tried to upgrade as opposed to stay status quo,” Schlenk said. “This year, the way the season ended and played out, we’re certainly going to try to upgrade the roster moving forward into next season.”

Asked specifically about how much turnover the Hawks’ roster could experience, Schlenk suggested the club won’t be looking to re-sign all of its free agents.

“We have some guys that are free agents, we have some guys that have contract situations. We’ve got a guy eligible for a contract extension,” Schlenk said. “All that stuff plays into it. Every year, the only thing that’s really consistent in this league is change, so we anticipate that there will be some change, certainly with some of our free agents as we look to upgrade our roster.”

Delon Wright, Lou Williams, Gorgui Dieng, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Kevin Knox, and Skylar Mays will be free agents this offseason, while Danilo Gallinari has a small partial guarantee on his salary for 2022/23 and De’Andre Hunter will be eligible for a rookie scale extension.

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • Schlenk said during his appearance on 92.9 The Game that the Hawks’ defense was a “big letdown” in 2021/22 and will be an area the club looks to address in the offseason. Schlenk added that having another reliable secondary ball-handler and shot creator to relieve the pressure on Trae Young will be a priority.
  • The Hawks announced in a press release that they’ve brought in 12 prospects this week, hosting six for a group workout on Monday and another half-dozen on Wednesday. Justin Bean (Utah State), Darius Days (LSU), Michael Devoe (Georgia Tech), Gaige Prim (Missouri State), Will Richardson (Oregon), and Cole Swider (Syracuse) were in earlier this week, while Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech), Garrison Brooks (Mississippi State), Jamal Cain (Oakland), Keon Ellis (Alabama), Allen Flanigan (Auburn), and Jaden Shackelford (Alabama) were part of today’s pre-draft workout.
  • Chris Kirschner of The Athletic examines 10 offseason questions facing the Hawks, including whether team owner Tony Ressler is willing to go into luxury-tax territory, whether the team can attract a second star, and what level of pressure head coach Nate McMillan is under.

Southeast Notes: Fultz, Wizards, McMillan, Hawks

Former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, who spent much of the 2021/22 season recovering from a torn ACL, only ended up appearing in 18 games for the Magic and found himself playing alongside mostly new teammates, given that the roster has been overhauled since he suffered that ACL tear.

However, as Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel writes, Fultz acquitted himself well in his limited action this season, shooting a career-high 47.4% from the field and averaging a career-best 5.5 APG despite logging only 20.0 minutes per contest.

According to Price, in a recent appearance on FM 96.9 The Game’s Open Mike with Mike Bianchi, Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman described Fultz as “exquisitely talented in creating offense for others” and said the team believes he has a “crazy physical package of size and skills and vision.” It sounds like Orlando has big plans going forward for Fultz, who – for his part – was thrilled to feel fully healthy and comfortable during the final couple months of the season.

“I’m honestly the most excited I’ve ever been just to have a summer where I’m not really focused on rehab or recovery and I can really attack my summer head-on,” Fultz said. “I know I have a few goals I want to hit, but this is the summer I can really focus on my summer and enjoy the process.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The Wizards will have a lottery pick this June, but they’re unlikely to use the draft to add a starting point guard, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, who says the team figures to turn to free agency or the trade market to find that player.
  • After making the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago, the Hawks were one of the first teams eliminated from this year’s playoffs. Chris Kirschner of The Athletic takes a look at what went wrong in 2021/22 for Atlanta and says that Nate McMillan‘s job security wasn’t a question as of a few days ago — it’s unclear if the way the Hawks’ season ended could change the equation at all, Kirschner writes.
  • In his offseason preview for the Hawks, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) outlines how team ownership’s willingness to pay the luxury tax could impact Danilo Gallinari‘s future and examines the case for extending forward De’Andre Hunter before he reaches restricted free agency in 2023.

New York Notes: Dragic, Brown, Porter Jr., Randle

Nets guard Goran Dragic has entered the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the team tweets. Dragic has been a rotation piece since signing with the Nets as a free agent, averaging 7.3 PPG and 4.8 APG in 25.5 MPG through 16 games.

Bruce Brown has a non-COVID illness and will also miss Saturday’s contest against the Hawks.

We have more on the New York teams:

Hawks Rumors: Simmons, McCollum, White, Collins, Bogdanovic, Gallinari

Although the Hawks didn’t make more trades prior to Thursday’s deadline, that doesn’t mean they weren’t active in discussions to try and upgrade the roster, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. The Hawks believed trading Cam Reddish to the Knicks last month would help clear the rotational logjam at wing and give clarity to the roster, Kirschner writes.

Atlanta has gone 9-5 since Reddish was dealt. After starting the season a disappointing 17-23, the Hawks currently sit with a 26-28 record, 10th in the East, one game ahead of the Wizards for the final Play-In spot.

The Hawks were in discussions about deals for Ben Simmons, CJ McCollum, and Derrick White, but all fell through for various reasons, sources tell Kirschner. Atlanta called Portland about McCollum before he was traded to New Orleans, but Portland wanted multiple rotation players and draft picks, which tabled the discussion.

For Simmons, the Hawks offered John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and picks. However, the deal wasn’t seriously considered by the Sixers, as they were set on acquiring a second star. Once James Harden became available, that’s all Philly was focused on.

Some members of Atlanta’s organization were skeptical of Simmons’ potential fit with center Clint Capela, another non-shooter, per Kirschner’s sources. Others in favor of the deal thought that adding an elite defender would help mask Trae Young‘s deficiencies on that end, and that shooting was an overall strength of the roster, which would’ve helped Simmons.

The Hawks offered Bogdanovic for White, but the Spurs wanted a first-round pick as well, which Atlanta declined because it wasn’t clear that White would be an upgrade over Bogdanovic. There were mixed feelings about the deal inside the organization.

Here are some more interesting notes from Kirschner:

  • Danilo Gallinari was discussed with Toronto and other teams, but the talks didn’t go far, says Kirschner. It’s expected that Atlanta will field calls about him in the offseason or possibly even consider waiving and stretching him, as his contract for next season is only partially guaranteed at $5MM ($21.45MM total). Moving off that money would help Atlanta stay out of the luxury tax, which ownership is only willing to pay if it believes the club is a true contender.
  • The Hawks remain high on De’Andre Hunter and believe a healthy offseason will be crucial to his progress. They’re also happy with Onyeka Okongwu‘s progress as a sophomore, and Kirschner thinks that eventually the team will have to decide whether to keep Okongwu or Capela long-term.
  • Collins’ camp denies that he ever asked for a trade, despite reports that he was unhappy. Many teams around the league are interested in his services, which is evident based on his name perpetually popping up in rumors.
  • Kirschner believes former Hawk DeAndre’ Bembry would be a good fit for Atlanta’s open roster spot after he was waived by the Nets as part of the Simmons trade. Gary Harris could also be a nice addition, if the Magic opt to buy him out, Kirschner opines.

Raptors Working On Deal For Danilo Gallinari

The Raptors have talked to the Hawks about acquiring Danilo Gallinari, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

The framework of the trade would send Goran Dragic‘s $19.4MM expiring contract to Atlanta in exchange for Gallinari. Fischer adds that additional details about what other assets might be involved are still unclear.

Fischer believes that the trade agreement earlier today that will send CJ McCollum from the Trail Blazers to the Pelicans could make the swap of Gallinari to Toronto more likely. The Hawks had been among the teams discussing a possible McCollum deal.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN confirms that the Raptors are offering Dragic and draft assets in their search to add another wing player and help in the middle. Although Toronto is 14-6 since the beginning of 2022, Windhorst notes that the Raptors are hoping to add depth because their starters have been logging heavy minutes.

Pelicans, Blazers In Serious Talks About CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum is now the biggest name that people around the NBA expect to be dealt before this Thursday’s trade deadline, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who confirms that the Pelicans, Knicks, and Hawks remain in the mix for the Trail Blazers guard. Fischer also reported that the Pacers are among the teams believed to have interest in McCollum.

While a handful of new clubs have been identified this week as potential suitors for McCollum, the Pelicans may still be the frontrunners. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), New Orleans and Portland are engaged in “serious” discussions about McCollum, with those talks ongoing today.

Sources tell Bleacher Report that the Blazers, after sending Norman Powell to the Clippers, remain focused on creating more financial flexibility going forward and have expressed little interest in taking back future salary in a potential McCollum deal.

As Fischer explains, Portland wants to sign Anfernee Simons to a long-term deal this offseason and appears increasingly unlikely to trade Jusuf Nurkic, since he and the team have mutual interest in working out a new contract this offseason. If they keep McCollum and sign Simons and Nurkic to lucrative new deals, the Blazers would be at risk of going back into luxury tax territory next season.

A Pelicans offer for McCollum seems likely to include some combination of Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Jaxson Hayes, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, according to Fischer, who notes that New Orleans also still has a surplus of first-round picks available to include as sweeteners, if necessary.

Fischer suggests that a Hawks proposal for McCollum may include Danilo Gallinari and Delon Wright‘s expiring contract. He’s skeptical that the Knicks would be able to make an appealing offer, pointing to Evan Fournier‘s and Julius Randle‘s long-term contracts as pieces Portland wouldn’t want to take back. Theoretically, New York could put together a package of players on shorter-term contracts, such as Alec Burks, Kemba Walker, and Nerlens Noel, but it’s unclear exactly which players the club would be willing to put on the table.

Marc Berman of The New York Post, confirming the Knicks have talked to Portland about McCollum, says New York also had interest in Powell before he was sent to Los Angeles.

Scotto’s Latest: McCollum, Covington, Finney-Smith, Raptors, Gallinari

In the wake of Friday’s trade that sent Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers, many executives around the league expect the Trail Blazers to move CJ McCollum either before the deadline or during the offseason, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The Pelicans and Mavericks are among the teams with interest in McCollum, Scotto adds.

Joe Cronin, the interim general manager in Portland, said the trade with L.A. was designed to create more playing time for Anfernee Simons, who has emerged as a potential star in his fourth NBA season. Cronin calls Simons, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, a “core piece” and said the team “wanted to create a runway here for him.” The same reasoning could apply to moving the 30-year-old McCollum, who will make $69.13MM over the next two seasons.

Scotto shares a few more trade-related tidbits:

  • After Friday’s trade was completed, several teams called the Clippers to see if they were interested in flipping Covington, who has a $12.975MM expiring contract. However, L.A. sees Covington as insurance if Nicolas Batum decides to turn down his $3.3MM player option this summer and would consider re-signing him even if Batum remains with the team. Scotto views Serge Ibaka as the next Clipper who might be traded.
  • Sources tell Scotto that the Mavericks passed on an offer of a potential late-lottery pick in exchange for Dorian Finney-Smith. The 28-year-old forward will be a free agent this summer, but Scotto cites “sentiment around the league” that Finney-Smith is outplaying his maximum extension of $55.6MM over four years.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner is among the names the Raptors have considered in their search for help in the middle. Scotto identifies Jakob PoeltlRobert WilliamsNicolas Claxton and Jusuf Nurkic as other potential Toronto targets, saying the Raptors have considered offering a first-round pick to the Spurs for Poeltl. The price for Turner would be even higher, as Indiana wants either two first-round picks or one first-rounder and a young player with potential.
  • The Raptors are among several teams with interest in acquiring veteran forward Danilo Gallinari from the Hawks. Scotto notes that Goran Dragic, who hasn’t played since November, could be used to help match salaries in a deal with Atlanta.