John Collins

Southeast Notes: Huerter, Beal, Prince, Isaac

The Hawks are in the early stages of a rebuild. Having brought in a new coaching staff and with a new focus on player development, it has been very encouraging for the team to see Kevin Huerter break out in recent weeks. After slowly adjusting to the NBA, Huerter has received more playing time as of late and has been productive in his role. Chris Kirschner of The Athletic details Huerter’s recent stretch of play and what it means for the Hawks’ future.

For the season, Huerter is averaging 8.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while knocking down 38% of his 3-pointers. However, in January the 20-year-old guard is averaging 15 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while playing 38 minutes per contest.

As Huerter continues to develop alongside Trae Young and John Collins, it’s clear that the Hawks have quality young talent to grow and develop for years to come.

There’s more from the Southeast division:

Southeast Notes: Parker, Collins, Wizards, Clifford

Hawks power forward John Collins continues to show progress from mild inflammation and soreness in his left ankle, according to a team press release, but it’s still uncertain when he’ll make his season debut. The 2017 first-round selection has progressed to modified on-court drills and shooting routines with the goal of integrating him into modified team practice this week. Collins averaged 10.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG in his rookie year.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Tony Parker and Malik Monk head the list of pleasant surprises for the Hornets this season, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines. Parker has stabilized the second unit and Bonnell notes that the veteran point guard averaged 19.9 points and 9.2 assists per 100 possessions last season for the Spurs but is posting 28.2 points and 13.3 assists per 100 possessions in his first 10 games with Charlotte. Monk, a second-year shooting guard, is the team’s second-leading scorer (13.4 PPG) despite also coming off the bench.
  • Wizards coach Scott Brooks shortened his rotation in a victory over the Knicks on Sunday, as Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington points out. Ian Mahinmi was the odd man out even though the Knicks kept a traditional center on the court throughout the game. With Dwight Howard back in action and starting at center, Brooks used forward Markieff Morris at the five spot to make the second unit more mobile.
  • The Magic have gotten off to another slow start but first-year coach Steve Clifford is keeping the team’s spirits up with stories of how other teams he’s coached have gone through similar stretches, John Denton of the team’s website writes. “He was telling us that in his first year in Charlotte they were under (eight) games from .500, but they stuck together, kept fighting, made the playoffs and was a top-10 defensive team,’’ Magic swingman Evan Fournier said. “When a guy like that has seen it all, it gives you confidence and belief.”

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Morris, Whiteside, Parker

The Hawks have provided some detail regarding some of the injuries that have been plaguing their roster to begin the 2018/19 season.

Swingman Justin Anderson, who was traded to the Hawks from the Sixers back in July, is still rehabilitating from a pre-trade surgery to address recurring tibial stress syndrome in his left leg. There is still no timetable for his return.

Big man John Collins, who may expect to have a breakout sophomore campaign in 2018/19, is also still rehabilitating from mild inflammation and soreness in his left ankle. He is still out, but his return is clearer. His rehab will be reviewed in eleven days with an update from the Hawks to follow.

Fellow big man Dewayne Dedmon is returning after participating in his first full live practice with the team yesterday. He was re-assessed today and is playing for the Hawks in their game against Dallas this evening.

Finally, Hawks swingman Daniel Hamilton has returned to modified practice following rehab for a tear in his right rotator cuff. There is no timetable for his return to game action.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

John Collins Still Weeks Away From Returning

Hawks big man John Collins, who has yet to make his 2018/19 debut, is still weeks away from returning to action, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Collins, currently recovering from a non-surgical procedure on his ankle, was initially ruled out for the start of the season and was scheduled for a re-evaluation this week. Now, according to Vivlamore, who cites a person familiar with the situation, the Hawks aren’t expecting to get Collins back in their lineup until sometime in the first half of November.

Vivlamore, noting that Collins has yet to resume on-court activity and will need to work his way into playing shape, estimates that the second-year power forward will miss another nine games. That would put him on track to return on Sunday, November 11 in Los Angeles against the Lakers, though that date is hardly set in stone.

With Collins unavailable to start the season, the Hawks have leaned on smaller lineups, with Taurean Prince, DeAndre’ Bembry, and Vince Carter seeing time at the four. Two-way player Alex Poythress has also averaged 22.0 minutes per game in the early going, and may see his role cut back substantially when Collins is healthy.

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.

Eastern Notes: Howard, Trier, Collins, Nance Jr., Taylor

Dwight Howard has been shut down since Oct. 6 after he received a second opinion on a buttocks injury, but he could return to the court for light training on Monday, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes.

Howard, 32, has yet to practice with his new team as the injury has kept him sidelined for all of training camp the preseason. Given that the Wizards‘ regular season begins on Thursday, it’s highly unlikely their center will be ready to go by then. However, Washington’s plan is to make sure the veteran is healthy and ready before he returns to game action, per head coach Scott Brooks.

“We’re in no rush. It’s a long season and we would love to have him,” Brooks said.

Howard averaged 16.6 PPG and 12.5 RPG for the Hornets last season as he appeared in 80-plus games for the first time since 2009/10.

Check out more Eastern Conference notes below:

  • The Knicks will let Allonzo Trier use up all 45 NBA days on his two-way deal in lieu of waiving someone to create room on the 15-man roster, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “We have 45 days of him working with us to figure out what’s the next move,’’  head coach David Fizdale said of the undrafted guard. “We are in the process of working with that and finding the best way to stretch that out. Obviously the kid has shown he’s an NBA basketball player.”
  • The Knicks’ preseason schedule is wrapped up but New York will enter the regular without a defined point guard, Steve Popper of Newsday writes. Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke and even the aforementioned Trier are all possibilities. “I am definitely undecided going into the first game,” Fizdale said. “I don’t feel a deadline for game one like everybody else does.”
  • Hawks big man John Collins underwent a non-surgical procedure on his injured left ankle on Monday and is scheduled for a re-evaluation on Oct. 22, the team announced. In addition to Collins, the Hawks will likely be without Dewayne Dedmon, Justin Anderson and Daniel Hamilton for the regular-season opener, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Cavaliers swingman Larry Nance Jr. suffered a right ankle sprain on Thursday and will undergo treatment before being re-evaluated, the team announced. Also, Isaiah Taylor received additional imaging on his left leg that revealed a stress fracture. Taylor could miss upwards of a month, putting his hope of making Cleveland’s roster in jeopardy, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes.

And-Ones: Age Limit, Summer League, Hibbert, Toupane

As we’ve relayed previously, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced during an NBA Board of Governors meetings in Las Vegas last week that the NBA is ready to make changes to its age limit, thereby potentially allowing high school seniors the opportunity to jump straight to the NBA once again.

However, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, teams have been told privately by league officials not to expect a change to the age limit until the 2022 NBA Draft at the earliest.

Assuming the 2022 NBA Draft allows high school players to jump directly to the NBA, players entering their freshman year of high school this fall will be the first ones to benefit from this potential rule change.

As for any trades that could be affected by this, no team has as yet traded an unprotected 2022 first-rounder, and the only one that could potentially change hands at this point was sent by the Mavericks to the Hawks in order to move up in this year’s draft and select Luka Doncic.

It will be interesting to see whether teams will be wary of trading draft picks in 2022 and beyond before a final ruling is made on this issue.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • In a Q&A piece for ESPN, several different writers spoke about who they believed to be the standouts and disappointments from this year’s NBA Summer League. Wendell Carter, Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Deandre Ayton were among the rookies recognized, while John Collins and Josh Hart were two players who were mentioned as probably too good to have even played in this year’s summer league.
  • In an interview with TMZ Sports, former NBA player Roy Hibbert says that he is done playing professional basketball, explaining that “It’s just time to move on.” Hibbert, 31, was named an All-Star as recently as 2014, but saw his impact dwindle over his last few years in the league as he got older and the game got smaller and quicker.
  • French forward Axel Toupane, who appeared in 25 total NBA regular season games in 2016 and 2017, has signed with EuroLeague club Olympiacos B.C. after helping lead Zalgiris Kaunas to the EuroLeague Final Four last season, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

NBA Announces 2017/18 All-Rookie Teams

The NBA has officially announced its First and Second All-Rookie Teams for the 2017/18 season. Ben Simmons of the Sixers and Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz – widely viewed as the top two contenders for this season’s Rookie of the Year award – were the only two players to be unanimously selected to the First Team. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum received 99 of 100 potential First Team votes.

Listed below are the NBA’s All-Rookie teams for 2017/18, with the player’s vote total in parentheses. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.

First Team:

  • Ben Simmons, Sixers (200)
  • Donovan Mitchell, Jazz (200)
  • Jayson Tatum, Celtics (199)
  • Kyle Kuzma, Lakers (193)
  • Lauri Markkanen, Bulls (173)

Second Team:

Jackson, who received one First Team vote to go along with 43 Second Team votes, narrowly beat out Bam Adebayo of the Heat for the final spot on the Second Team — Adebayo finished with 44 points.

Outside of Adebayo and the 10 players who earned spots on the All-Rookie teams, 14 other players received votes, with De’Aaron Fox (Kings), OG Anunoby (Raptors), and Jarrett Allen (Nets) leading the way among that group.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Collins, Trade Landscape

The Wizards have a host of tradable assets that could help them shake things up, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. That may be the franchise’s best hope of appeasing John Wall considering that they don’t have anywhere near enough financial flexibility to sign a free agent.

Hughes writes that both Wall and Bradley Beal could be considered untouchable this offseason but doesn’t grant such immunity to Otto Porter, the forward they paid handsomely just last summer. The 24-year-old is under team control for two more seasons and could play a role in landing an All-Star.

Other players that could be earmarked as potential trade bait include veterans Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris and developing youngsters like Kelly Oubre and Tomas Satoransky. The latter may already be 26 years old but showed excellent progress in what was just his sophomore season.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The fate of the Eastern Conference depends on what LeBron James decides to do this offseason. If he heads west, it could open new opportunities for other contenders. If the 15-year veteran decides to return to the Cavaliers, it could precipitate a trade market in which teams like the Heat and Wizards could be involved, Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel writes.
  • First-year Hawks big man John Collins won over plenty of fans during his rookie campaign, so much so that Mike Schmitz and Kevin Pelton of ESPN both rank him No. 7 in their list of the rookies from 2017/18 with the most future potential. That, according to the scribes, puts him ahead of players like Dennis Smith Jr. and Josh Jackson.
  • The Wizards made the ambitious decision to help 23-year-old two-way contract rookie Devin Robinson reinvent his jumpshot. NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes reports that Robinson was a solid shooter at Florida but ran into issues with his low release point.

Southeast Notes: Walker, Hawks, Isaac, Wall

The Hornets have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA this year. Expected to make the playoffs and owing a payroll nearing $120MM, a seldom few could have foreseen a 29-38 record through the first week and a half of March and the word “rebuild” come into the picture.

And according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, team leader and All-Star point guard Kemba Walker isn’t sure he’s prepared to undergo another rebuilding effort in Charlotte. “I’m not sure. Nobody wants to lose. Especially not me,” Walker said at practice Friday, following the Hornets’ fifth consecutive loss.

Walker, who was part of a Bobcats team (before becoming the Hornets) that went 7-59 in his rookie season, has one season left on his contract, which will pay him a team-friendly $12MM, making him a hot commodity on the trade market this summer. When asked about what the offseason may have in store, he added, “I haven’t thought about any of that. It’s something I’ve got to deal with whenever it happens. It’s just not something that has come up to me.”

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders takes a look at how the bottom-dwelling Hawks can go about their rebuilding efforts in a positive way. Davies opines that Atlanta is already ahead of the curve due to focusing on giving their young core of Taurean Prince and rookie big man John Collins valuable playing time and experience at the expense of veterans. The next step is bringing in a young, talented front court player such as Mohamed Bamba or DeAndre Ayton to pair with Collins.
  • Magic rookie Jonathan Isaac is trying to stay patient through the rustiness associated with returning from an injury, writes John Denton of the team’s official website. Isaac, who missed four months with an ankle injury, still has the confidence of head coach Frank Vogel, who said, “(Isaac) is a 20-year-old young man who is still finding his way on the offensive end. I encouraged him to be more aggressive than he’s been. To his credit, he plays within himself, but there’s going to be some growing pains that come along with that. I was just happy with the spirit that he played with (on Friday).”
  • The Wizards still don’t know when to expect All-Star point guard John Wall back from injury, but per an AP report (via USA Today), Wall is looking to closer to form after working out on the floor in Miami about a half-hour before the Wizards visited the Heat on Saturday night.