DeAndre' Bembry

Eastern Contract Details: Heat, Rondo, Harris, Clark, Raptors

Although Maurice Harkless‘ one-year, $3.623MM deal is exactly the same amount as the bi-annual exception, the Heat completed the signing using a portion of their mid-level exception, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Avery Bradley received the remaining portion of the $9.258MM MLE, for a first-year salary of $5.635MM, Smith adds (via Twitter).

The Heat will still be hard-capped as a result of using the full mid-level exception, but they now retain their bi-annual exception to use either this season or next year, if they remain over the cap in 2021/22.

Smith (Twitter link) also passes along the exact details on Meyers Leonard‘s new contract with the Heat, which has a $9.4MM first-year salary and a team option for 2021/22 worth $10.152MM.

Here are a few more specific details on some of the new free agent contracts signed in the last couple days, via Smith unless otherwise indicated:

  • Rajon Rondo‘s two-year, $15MM deal with the Hawks has matching cap hits of $7.5MM this season and next year. It also includes $750K in annual bonuses – tied to games played and playoff appearances – that could increase the annual value to $8.25MM (Twitter link).
  • Joe Harris‘ new four-year contract with the Nets technically has a base value of $72MM, with $500K in annual bonuses tied to games played, playoff games played, and team performance (Twitter link).
  • The Magic used part of their mid-level exception to sign Gary Clark to a contract starting at $2MM. His $2.1MM second-year salary won’t become guaranteed until seven days after the 2021 moratorium (Twitter link).
  • The Raptors‘ deals for Aron Baynes, Chris Boucher, and DeAndre’ Bembry will all be non-guaranteed in year two rather than technically featuring team options, tweets Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. That means they’ll have to be waived next summer if Toronto doesn’t want to retain them for two years.

Raptors Sign DeAndre’ Bembry

NOVEMBER 26: The Raptors’ deal with Bembry is now official, according to the NBA’s transactions log.


NOVEMBER 22: The Raptors have reached an agreement with free agent swingman DeAndre’ Bembry, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets.

It’s for the veteran’s minimum and the second year isn’t guaranteed, The Athletic’s Blake Murphy tweets. He’ll receive $1,737,145 next season with $1,977,011 for the non-guaranteed second year.

Bembry became an unrestricted free agent with the Hawks decided to not extend him a qualifying offer. He’ll provide a little more depth on the wing for the Raptors.

Bembry was the No. 21 pick in 2016 and has spent the last four seasons in Atlanta, but didn’t have a notable season in 2019/20, averaging 5.8 PPG and 3.5 RPG on .456/.231/.542 shooting in 43 games (21.3 MPG).

Toronto reached an agreement on Sunday with one of its free agents, Chris Boucher. They’re also signing former Suns center Aron Baynes.

Hawks Notes: Okongwu, Trade Offers, Labissiere, QOs

Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk never got to see Onyeka Okongwu play in person, but he was convinced the USC center was the right choice with the No. 6 pick, according to Chris Kirschner and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. Atlanta’s scouts were promoting Okongwu during the season and urged Schlenk to watch him, but that fell through when the Pac-12 Tournament was canceled.

Okongwu also didn’t work out for the Hawks because of a stress fracture in his sesamoid bone, which is located underneath his big toe. However, Schlenk knows what his new center can provide without seeing him in action.

“He’s going to be a plus rebounder defensively,” the Atlanta GM said. “He’s going to be a rim protector, and the other thing he does is he moves his feet very, very well in pick-and-roll coverages, and as you guys know, that’s extremely important for big guys to be able to guard in pick-and-rolls. Those are his strengths coming in. He’s got great instincts. Improving defensively is important for our group. The foundation of your defense is your big guy. They’re kind of the quarterback of the defense. They’re on the back line. They see everything. … That’s his strength, and that’s a very valuable strength in the NBA.”

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • The Hawks took a long look at Israeli forward Deni Avdija and Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton, according to Kirschner and Vecenie, but decided Okongwu’s potential was too good to pass up. They also listened to trade-down offers from the Knicks, Wizards and a few teams in the teens, but there were no prospects they especially liked in that range.
  • Atlanta now has four centers on its roster, but the front office won’t be in a hurry to unload any of them, Kirschner and Vecenie add. The Hawks traded for Clint Capela and Dewayne Dedmon last season. They also have Bruno Fernando, and John Collins plays in the middle sometimes. The addition of Okongwu means there’s no longer room on the roster for Skal Labissiere, who will not receive a qualifying offer. QOs also won’t be coming for DeAndre’ Bembry, Damian Jones and Charlie Brown Jr.
  • The Hawks aren’t worried that Okongwu’s injury will be a long-term issue, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Journal-Constitution. Their medical team was able to evaluate his condition during the pre-draft process in October and will check him again soon to see how much he has healed. “The doctors, they weren’t concerned about a long-term injury at all,” Schlenk said. “So hopefully it’s healed from when the MRI was taken probably about four weeks ago, but it’s really hard to say until we get him here and get our doctors to see him. But there was no concern of a long-term injury with it.”

 

Hawks’ Bembry, Labissiere, Jones To Become UFAs

The Hawks have elected not to extend qualifying offers to DeAndre’ Bembry, Skal Labissiere, Damian Jones, or Charlie Brown Jr., according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter link). As a result, all four players will be unrestricted free agents rather than restricted.

The decisions don’t come as a major surprise. Bembry was the No. 21 pick in 2016 and has spent the last four seasons in Atlanta, but didn’t have a great year in 2019/20, averaging 5.8 PPG and 3.5 RPG on .456/.231/.542 shooting in 43 games (21.3 MPG). Labissiere was said to be someone who intrigued Atlanta when he was acquired at the trade deadline, but he was unable to suit up for the Hawks due to health issues.

Jones made 55 appearances for Atlanta in 2019/20 but was unlikely to have a regular role next season with Clint Capela healthy and Onyeka Okongwu joining the Hawks in the draft. Brown, meanwhile, saw limited action in 10 games for the Hawks while on a two-way contract.

While those four players appear unlikely to return to Atlanta, Kirschner says (via Twitter) that the team is expected to guarantee Brandon Goodwin‘s minimum salary for 2020/21. Goodwin would earn a $1.7MM salary before becoming eligible for restricted free agency himself in 2021.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Hawks, Heat, Jones

After initially targeting Tuesday as the date for the potential reopening of their practice facility, the Magic delayed that target date to Wednesday, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

While there’s a chance that the team hits that target date and opens its facility today, Orlando is still waiting on coronavirus test results for some of its asymptomatic players and staffers, according to Robbins, who tweets that the Magic are in a “holding pattern” for the time being.

Although their plans remain fluid, the Magic appear likely to allow players to conduct individual workouts at their facility soon, something the Hawks did earlier this week.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has questioned the need to reopen his team’s facility, since his players have their own workout equipment and hoops, and the NBA is limiting players to an hour at a time at practice facilities. But Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk sees value in making his team’s facility available to players, as Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes.

“You can certainly get a lot out of this,” Schlenk said. “You can get individual skill work, form stuff. For us, the focus this week is to really just get the guys back in the building and be able to get out of the house. It’s more the mental side than the physical side of things that we can get out of this. I’ve told the coaches that this isn’t the week to prove you’re the best individual coach in the league. This week is about getting the guys in here, getting their bodies moving.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

Trade Rumors: Bembry, Ojeleye, Celtics, Bertans

Hawks swingman DeAndre’ Bembry, who is dealing with a hand injury, could be moved before the deadline, per a source. The Timberwolves are among the teams with eyes on the wing, though interest around the league isn’t expected to be strong.

It’s possible that Bembry is included in a potential multi-team D’Angelo Russell trade. Bembry starred at St. Joe’s before being selected with the No. 21 overall pick. Through three-plus seasons on the Hawks, the New Jersey native hasn’t taken flight.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • At least one team has an interest in trading for Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye, provided the price tag isn’t significant at all, a source tells Hoops Rumors. The 25-year-old has played in 47 games for Boston this season.
  • All signs point to a quiet deadline for the Celtics, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “It feels like it’s kind of dead right now,” one league source told the Boston writer. Himmelsbach also noted that Houston was the party to initiate the Clint Capela talks, adding that it now appears those talks aren’t going anywhere because of the Rockets‘ high asking price.
  • As we passed along last month, the Wizards love Davis Bertans and see him as a long-term piece. Not much has changed, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post, the team plans on keeping the 27-year-old power forward and wants to re-sign him this offseason.
  • The Celtics remain interested in Bertans, per Himmelsbach. Chris Mannix of SI.com shared similar intel earlier today, writing that Boston’s interest in Bertans is “strong.”  However, according to Himmelsbach, the C’s appears resigned to the fact that they’re not getting the power forward.

Hawks Pick Up 2019/20 Options For Three Players

The Hawks, as expected, have picked up their 2019/20 team options for three players on rookie scale contracts, per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Taurean Prince and DeAndre’ Bembry have had their fourth-year options exercised, while John Collins‘ third-year option has also been picked up.

Prince and Collins are two key pieces of Atlanta’s young core. Prince, who averaged 14.1 PPG and made 38.5% of his three-pointers last season, will now have his $3,481,986 cap hit guaranteed for 2019/20 and will be eligible for a rookie scale extension as of next July. Collins, who emerged as Atlanta’s starting center down the stretch in his rookie season, recorded 10.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG in 74 games (24.1 MPG). His ’19/20 cap charge of $2,686,560 is now locked in.

As for Bembry, he has struggled to make the same impact as some of his fellow first-rounders so far, having averaged just 5.2 PPG in 26 games last season, but the cost of his fourth-year option ($2,603,982) is barely more than the minimum salary, making it an easy decision for the rebuilding Hawks.

The full list of rookie scale option decisions for 2019/20 can be found right here.

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.

Injury Updates: Hill, Irving, Wall, Gasol

An MRI confirmed that Cavaliers guard George Hill sprained his left ankle in last night’s win over the Pelicans, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Hill was pulled from the game midway through the third quarter after landing awkwardly on a layup attempt.

Hill has been declared out of Sunday’s game with the Mavericks, but there is no word on his availability beyond that. He will undergo treatment and rehab, but the team hasn’t set a timetable for a return, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link).

Hill has been a valuable addition to the Cavs since he was acquired from the Kings in a deal at the deadline. He has appeared in 22 games, all starts, and is averaging 9.9 points and 2.9 assists per night.

There’s more injury-related news from around the NBA:

  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens offered an update on the progress of Kyrie Irving, who underwent a procedure on his left knee last week, relays Chris Forsberg of ESPN (Twitter link). “I saw him yesterday,” Stevens said, “spent a lot of time with him. Spirits were good. Bending, extending his knee on a training table. No on-court videos. No 360 dunks.”
  • John Wall played 33 minutes today in his first game since arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in January. However, the Wizards aren’t going to take a chance with using him in back-to-back games as coach Scott Brooks has already ruled him out of Sunday’s contest in Chicago, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.
  • Spurs center Pau Gasol will continue to play through a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, relays Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). Gasol said the shoulder is “going to nag” him for the rest of the season.
  • An MRI conducted today showed that Trail Blazers forward Ed Davis has a sprained right ankle, according to Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com (Twitter link). Davis will be re-evaluated in seven to 14 days and may miss the start of the playoffs.
  • Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon was removed from today’s game with a right ankle sprain, the team tweeted. Further evaluation will be needed to determine the extent of the damage.
  • Hawks forward DeAndre’ Bembry is listed as probable for Sunday’s game with the Magic, according to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link). Bembry has been limited to 21 games this season and hasn’t played since suffering a groin injury Feb. 23.

Hawks Notes: Ilyasova, Dorsey, Bembry

There has been considerable speculation that the Hawks will look into possible buyout options with forward Ersan Ilyasova, and rightfully so. Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted as much shortly after the trade deadline.

At this point, however, the parties haven’t discussed such an arrangement. Hours after that initial tweet, Cunningham tweeted that Ilyasova himself isn’t looking for a buyout, so long as the team is playing to win games. On Friday, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution chipped in with a note that the 30-year-old hasn’t been approached about one either.

Ilyasova, who signed a one-year, $6MM deal with the club in the offseason, has averaged 10.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Hawks. He’d be a valuable addition to any contender looking to add versatile frontcourt depth heading into the final stretch of the season.

A testament to Ilyasova’s value is the fact that, as Cunningham mentioned in one of his aforementioned tweets, the team did have trade offers for him — he simply invoked his right to reject them.

There’s more out of Atlanta: