De'Andre Hunter

Hawks Rumors: Murray, Durant, Collins, Hunter

The Hawkstrade for Dejounte Murray was the result of pressure from ownership to improve the roster before Trae Young‘s super-max extension takes effect next season, according to Chris Kirschner and Sam Amick of The Athletic. Murray is under contract for a combined $34.2MM over the next two years, and while the team doesn’t expect him to agree to an early extension that would limit his future earnings, there’s confidence that he will be a long-term backcourt partner for Young.

Atlanta’s front office had a “sense of confusion and disbelief” that the Spurs were willing to part with Murray, a 25-year-old All-Star with a team-friendly contract, the authors add. Sources tell them that the teams discussed a Murray deal last week, but the Spurs didn’t contact the Hawks for a long time afterward, leading to concerns on Atlanta’s side that San Antonio was reconsidering the trade or may have found a better offer.

San Antonio also discussed Murray with the Timberwolves, but Minnesota wasn’t willing to give up as much as the Hawks eventually did, Kirschner and Amick add. The Knicks were reported as a possible destination, but the authors say they never had trade talks with the Spurs about Murray.

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • Amid the chaos surrounding the Nets last week, the Hawks were preparing to have an offer ready in case Kevin Durant asked for a trade, according to Kirschner and Amick.
  • Young is “really excited” about the Murray trade, states ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who adds that Atlanta likely isn’t done reshaping its roster (Twitter link).
  • The Hawks are facing a shrinking market for John Collins, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says in a podcast with Kirschner that was recorded Wednesday before the Murray trade was announced. Two potential destinations were eliminated when the Kings drafted Keegan Murray and the Trail Blazers traded for Jerami Grant. Kirschner adds that Atlanta won’t give up Collins without a decent return, so there’s a chance he won’t be traded this offseason.
  • Scotto and Kirschner address a number of other Hawks-related items. Atlanta may have interest in a Deandre Ayton sign-and-trade but only if it’s less than a max deal, De’Andre Hunter is considered part of the team’s core and could eventually land an extension near $20MM per season, and Delon Wright is much more likely to be re-signed than Lou Williams. Kirschner also cites potential “heat” on Nate McMillan, saying the Hawks will consider a coaching change if they don’t get off to a fast start next season.

Sixers, Suns Pursuing Rockets’ Eric Gordon?

The Sixers and Suns are two of the teams interested in a trade with the Rockets for veteran guard Eric Gordon, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Gordon, who averaged 13.4 PPG and shot 41.2% from 3-point range this past season, will make $19.57MM next season and has another non-guaranteed season left on his contract after that. Gordon could provide a perimeter boost to either playoff contender and would reunite with former Rockets teammate Chris Paul if he winds up in Phoenix.

Windhorst and Zach Lowe offered a number of interesting nuggets on ESPN’s NBA Today (video link):

  • The Sixers also have interest in veteran forward P.J. Tucker, who is opting out of the final year of his contract with the Heat.
  • The Hawks are looking at “five or six potential deals,” according to Windhorst, with everyone but Trae Young and possibly De’Andre Hunter in play. They could part with the No. 16 pick in certain scenarios.
  • The Hornets aren’t expected to hold onto both of their first-round picks at No. 13 and No. 15 and might even move both of them, along with a big salary, as they try to clear cap space to re-sign restricted free agent Miles Bridges. Charlotte could also be angling for the Pacers’ Myles Turner, according to Lowe.
  • The Grizzlies, with two picks late in the first round, are looking to clear a backcourt logjam and could move up or down the draft board as they try to maximize their trade chips. De’Anthony Melton, in particular, has drawn “a lot” of interest around the NBA, says Lowe.

Hawks Rumors: Collins, Capela, Grant, Bogdanovic

A John Collins trade appears more likely to happen this offseason than it ever has in the past, according to Marc Stein, who writes in his latest Substack article that a deal involving the Hawks big man seems to be “pretty much expected.”

Both Stein and Jeremy Woo of SI.com continue to link Collins to the Trail Blazers, with Woo suggesting that Atlanta is “eyeing” Portland’s No. 7 overall pick and Stein agreeing that a Collins deal structured around that No. 7 pick seems plausible.

Stein adds that Suns general manager James Jones has “rated Collins highly in the past,” so if Atlanta does pursue a sign-and-trade deal for Phoenix center Deandre Ayton, there could be a fit there.

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • Clint Capela‘s name continues to pop up in trade rumors, with Shams Charania of The Athletic reporting earlier today that the Timberwolves have talked to Atlanta about the veteran center. However, Stein notes that Capela is close with Trae Young and has been described as a “true Young favorite,” so if the Hawks move the big man, they’d have to be pretty confident the deal upgraded the roster.
  • After writing a couple weeks ago that the Hawks continued to exhibit interest in Pistons forward Jerami Grant, Stein clarifies that it was actually Detroit that showed more interest in a hypothetical deal that would involve Grant, the Hawks’ No. 16 overall pick, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, while Atlanta was less enthusiastic about the idea. It’s not clear how Bogdanovic’s recent knee surgery might affect the Pistons’ interest in such a trade or the Hawks’ ability to move him, Stein writes.
  • Despite Travis Schlenk‘s insistence that the Hawks won’t undergo a “major overhaul” this summer, rival teams still believe they’re looking to make significant changes, with Young, De’Andre Hunter, and Onyeka Okongwu widely believed to be the only players who are probably off limits, according to Stein.

Hawks To Pursue Extension With De’Andre Hunter

The Hawks‘ plans for an offseason roster shakeup won’t include trading De’Andre Hunter, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

At one time, Atlanta was thought to be willing to part with anyone except Trae Young, but Fischer reports that the team now plans keep Hunter and try to work out a contract extension. The 24-year-old small forward has dealt with injuries throughout his first three NBA seasons, but he has been a full-time starter when healthy.

The Hawks are pursuing numerous trades with the goals of finding a reliable guard to play alongside Young and creating a larger role for second-year big man Onyeka Okongwu, Fischer adds. Atlanta has been mentioned as a possible destination for Jazz center Rudy Gobert, with Clint CapelaJohn Collins, Kevin Huerter and the No. 16 pick in next week’s draft all considered potential trade chips.

Fischer points out that Utah CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge has pursued a deal for Capela before. According to Fischer’s sources, when Ainge was running the Celtics in 2019, he talked to the Rockets on draft night about swapping Marcus Smart and the No. 22 pick to land Capela. The trade was agreed to in principle, but it fell through when the Grizzlies selected Houston target Brandon Clarke at No. 21.

Collins could also be an option for the Trail Blazers, who are looking to deal the seventh pick in the draft for veteran help, Fischer adds. If Atlanta acquires that pick, G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels will likely be the target, Fischer’s sources say.

The Hawks have been seeking backcourt help for several years, Fischer adds. They tried to acquire CJ McCollum and Goran Dragic before this year’s deadline and have been involved in talks involving Zach LaVine and Bradley Beal. They also discussed a deal with the Pelicans about Jrue Holiday before he was moved to Milwaukee.

Northwest Notes: Gobert, Hunter, Jovic, Griffin, Maker

The Hawks have been identified in previous reports as a possible Rudy Gobert suitor, and multiple league sources have indicated the Jazz are interested in De’Andre Hunter, according to Matt Moore of ActionNetwork.com. Hunter is extension-eligible this offseason. However, according to Moore, the Hawks have tried to steer any teams inquiring on Hunter to players like Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter instead.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

Hawks Notes: Bogdanovic, Draft Workout, Trade Tiers

Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s lingering knee issue will likely prevent the Hawks wing from participating with the Serbian National Team in the EuroBasket tournament during September, according to MozzartSport.com (hat tip to Eurohoops.net). Bogdanovic, who was limited to 63 regular-season games,  played through the pain in the first round of the playoffs, and MozzartSport’s report suggests offseason surgery is a possibility.

We have more on the Hawks:

Hawks Notes: Simmons, Gobert, Hunter, Workouts

The Hawks will be in the mix to acquire a second star if one becomes available this offseason, Chris Kirschner writes in a mailbag for The Athletic. While Atlanta won’t have the cap flexibility to pursue top free agents, Kirschner expects the team to do its homework on a handful of possible trade candidates.

Several people within the Hawks’ organization wanted to acquire Ben Simmons prior to this year’s trade deadline, according to Kirschner, who suggests Simmons could be a player worth monitoring this summer. Given the way the 25-year-old’s season played out and the fact that he’ll be returning from back surgery, his price would presumably be even lower than it was at the deadline. However, there’s no indication at this point that the Nets are looking to move on from the three-time All-Star.

Here’s more on the Hawks:

Fischer’s Latest: McCollum, Powell, Simmons, Turner, Hawks, Schroder

Anfernee Simons‘ breakout season is leading to speculation that the Trail Blazers may try to trade CJ McCollum or Norman Powell, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Portland entered the season with plans to be a contender, but injuries and some disappointing performances have left the team in a tight race for a play-in spot. With Damian Lillard sidelined after abdominal surgery, the Blazers may opt to unload some of their assets and take advantage of a high draft pick going into next season.

There have been whispers throughout the league that McCollum might be available, though Fischer wonders how much of a return he’ll provide considering that he’s 30 years old, is in the middle of a down season, and has been out of action for six weeks after suffering a collapsed lung. He also has two full years left on his contract at $33.3MM and $35.8MM.

Powell, who signed a five-year, $90MM extension during the offseason, seems like a more surprising name to be included in trade talks. However, about a dozen teams wanted to acquire him before he went to Portland at last season’s deadline and Fischer found that many league executives see his contract as valuable.

There’s a belief that Powell wouldn’t mind being traded again, as sources tell Fischer that there were “several snags” in his contract negotiations with the Blazers. One of the teams he considered in free agency was the Pelicans, according to Fischer, who notes that New Orleans is seeking to upgrade to improve its chances of reaching the play-in tournament.

Fischer shares a few more trade rumors from around the league:

  • Little has changed on the Ben Simmons trade front since the offseason, as Sixers ownership, the front office, coach Doc Rivers, and star center Joel Embiid are all united in the stance that the team needs to get an elite player in return. Fischer states that Philadelphia is willing to wait for someone along the lines of Lillard, Bradley Beal, James Harden or Jaylen Brown to become available. The Sixers have discussed three-team packages with the Kings, Pacers and Timberwolves, but none of those teams can offer a star that Philadelphia sees as equal value for Simmons.
  • The Pacers are seeking multiple first-round picks in exchange for center Myles Turner. The Mavericks, Timberwolves, Knicks, Kings, Hornets and Trail Blazers have all expressed interest, and several league executives told Fischer that the Raptors might be a team to watch. The Cavaliers and Knicks have asked about Caris LeVert, but Indiana also wants multiple first-rounders for him. The Pacers have gauged the trade value of Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and Torrey Craig too, Fischer adds.
  • The Hawks are willing to consider a major upheaval before the deadline, with a rival assistant GM telling Fischer that he believes everyone except Trae Young and Clint Capela are available. Atlanta appears willing to move De’Andre Hunter for veteran help, and there may be a market for Danilo Gallinari, who only has a $5MM guarantee next season on his $20MM contract.
  • The Celtics will try to trade Dennis Schröder, who is unlikely to be re-signed next season because of tax considerations. The Knicks, Cavaliers and Mavericks are all possible destinations. Boston has also targeted Suns center Jalen Smith, who will be a free agent after Phoenix declined his third-year option.

De’Andre Hunter Set To Return For Hawks

Forward De’Andre Hunter is set to return on Wednesday night for the Hawks after recovering from right wrist surgery, according to Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).

In a couple of separate tweets, Spencer notes that Clint Capela and Cam Reddish are out Wednesday due to sprained ankles, so Atlanta’s starting lineup will be made up of Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, John Collins, and Onyeka Okongwu.

We noted on Tuesday evening that Hunter was close to returning to action after participating in a full five-on-five practice. Now in his third year as a pro, the 24-year-old has played just 11 games this season after injuring a tendon in his right wrist which required surgery in November. At the time, the Hawks said he could return in approximately eight weeks, which aligns nearly perfectly with his return date, so it’s great news for both player and team that he’s right on schedule.

Hunter has struggled with injuries in his young career, but he’s shown tantalizing glimpses of improved offense and strong defense in the 34 games he’s played over the past two seasons. Through 11 games (27.8 MPG) in 2021/22, Hunter is averaging 10.8 PPG and 2.7 RPG for Atlanta, currently 17-22, 12th in the East.

Southeast Notes: Morris, McMillan, Hunter, Magic

Heat power forward Markieff Morris, who has been sidelined since suffering a neck injury thanks to a hard foul from Nuggets center Nikola Jokic on November 8, will have to fight to gain back rotational time he has lost, opines writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Winderman notes that Miami opted to bring in Morris as the first backup power forward behind starter P.J. Tucker in the 10 games this season when Morris was healthy, but that the team may consider small-ball lineups with versatile reserve wings Caleb Martin or Max Strus playing nominal power forward minutes for the Heat.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks head coach Nate McMillan reflected on his time in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and away from his players, per Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. McMillan recently cleared protocols and has returned to coaching the team. “I’ve never had to go through anything like that,” McMillan said. “To coach during this time with COVID, some of my guys, it’s been close to a month since I’ve seen them.” The Hawks, who had 13 players in the protocols at one point in late December, are currently 17-22, the No. 12 seed in the East.
  • Hawks small forward De’Andre Hunter is nearing his return to the team, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter link), who reports that Hunter played in a full five-on-five team practice today. Trainers must green-light Hunter’s return to game action, which could happen as soon as tomorrow against the Heat, per head coach Nate McMillan. Hunter underwent surgery on his right wrist in mid-November. In 11 contests with Atlanta this season, he averaged 10.8 PPG on .450/.395/.400 shooting, along with 2.7 RPG and 0.6 SPG.
  • Young Magic point guards Jalen Suggs and Markelle Fultz have resumed practicing with the team, according to Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel. Power forward Jonathan Isaac, who has been absent since tearing his ACL in August 2020, is inching towards a return of his own, though Suggs and Fultz appear closer to rejoining their Orlando teammates on the hardwood. Fultz tore his left ACL early in the 2020/21 NBA season and has been absent ever since. Suggs continues to wear a splint for the fractured thumb on his right hand. Exact return timelines for Suggs and Fultz have not been determined.