Kevin Huerter

Hawks Notes: Draft, No. 8, Reddish, Fernando

The Mavericks agreed to send their top-5 protected 2019 first-rounder to the Hawks as part of the Luka Doncic draft night trade last June. Entering the NBA draft lottery, Dallas had hoped to keep this year’s pick and delay conveying the selection.

Assistant GM Keith Grant told Chris Kirschner of the Athletic that the Mavs would have liked to add another young piece to the Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis nucleus. Still, the team views last year’s trade as a win for both parties.

“We actually do believe that,” Grant said about both teams getting the guy they wanted. “We evaluated every player and thought Luka was our guy. Atlanta obviously had Trae as theirs, and so we had a deal.”

The trade between Dallas and Atlanta had been agreed to prior to the actual draft but was contingent on both Doncic and Trae Young being available at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively.

The Hawks are armed with two top-10 draft selections in this year’s draft and Kirschner passes along more from Atlanta:

  • It would be surprising if the Hawks didn’t pick a wing, assuming they stay at the No. 8 spot, Kirschner hears from sources within the organization. Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver has been linked to Atlanta but it’s hard to envision him falling out of the top seven.
  • Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are widely expected to be the top two picks in the draft. One Hawks executive told Kirschner that he expects three other players—R.J. Barrett, Darius Garland, and Coby White—to be unavailable when Atlanta makes its first selection at No. 8. The Suns and Bulls both covet upgrades at the point guard spot and Garland and White are the best available after Morant.
  • The Hawks have interest in Cam Reddish. While he failed to live up to lofty expectations at Duke, there’s “not much doubt” within Atlanta’s organization that playing alongside Young, John Collins, and Kevin Huerter would allow him to reach his potential, Kirschner adds.
  • Coach Lloyd Pierce prefers a center who can stretch the floor but that wouldn’t stop the team from selecting Jaxson Hayes if he’s the best player on the board at No. 10. “Roster building isn’t always about trying to perfectly pair up guys,” a source tells Kirschner.
  • Multiple sources tell Kirschner that the team likes Bruno Fernando out of Maryland. The big man likely isn’t in play with one of the Hawks‘ two top-10 selections, but the franchise holds three second-round picks (No. 35, No. 41, No. 44).

NBA Announces 2018/19 All-Rookie Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-Rookie teams for the 2018/19 season. Luka Doncic of the Mavericks and Trae Young of the Hawks – widely viewed as the only two legit contenders for this season’s Rookie of the Year award – were also the only two players to be unanimously selected to the First Team, receiving 100 out of 100 possible votes.

Suns center Deandre Ayton nearly joined them as another unanimous First Team pick. However, he was listed on the Second Team on five ballots, with 95 First Team votes. Kings forward Marvin Bagley was the only other player to be named on all 100 ballots, receiving 56 First Team votes.

Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. rounded out the First Team, ensuring that all five players in that group were top-five picks in the 2018 draft.

Listed below are the NBA’s All-Rookie teams for 2018/19, 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:

Second Team:

Of the players who missed out on All-Rookie honors, Suns forward Mikal Bridges came the closest, with 31 points, followed by Knicks forward Kevin Knox (22 points). None of the 10 other rookies who earned votes earned more than 12 points, though Josh Okogie (Timberwolves) and Miles Bridges (Hornets) each received one First Team vote.

The full voting results can be found within the NBA’s press release.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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:

Hawks’ Kevin Huerter Cleared For On-Court Work

Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter, who continues to recover from surgery on his right hand, is no longer wearing a cast and has been 100% cleared to participate in on-court basketball activities, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It’s an important step for Huerter, who reportedly underwent a procedure to repair torn ligaments in his right hand shortly before the draft. At the time, it wasn’t clear how the surgery would impact Huerter’s draft stock, but the former Maryland sharpshooter ultimately wasn’t negatively impacted by the injury, having been buoyed by a strong showing at the draft combine several weeks earlier.

Huerter, who entered the draft after averaging 14.8 PPG on .503/.417/.758 shooting in 2017/18, was the 19th overall pick in June, the second of three first-rounders for Atlanta. He signed his rookie contract last month and will earn a first-year salary of $2.25MM.

While Huerter probably wouldn’t be at 100% if the season started today, he still has plenty of time to work his way back to full health before training camps begin. It sounds like he’ll be ready to go when the 2018/19 campaign gets underway in October.

Hawks Sign All Three First-Round Picks

The Hawks have reached contract agreements with first-round picks Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman, according to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Their first-year salaries will be approximately $5.36MM for Young, $2.25MM for Huerter and $1.62MM for Spellman. All rookie scale deals cover two years, followed by two team option seasons.

Young, the fifth overall pick, was among the nation’s top collegiate scorers at Oklahoma. Atlanta grabbed him after trading down from No. 3 in a draft-day deal with Dallas. Huerter, a 3-point specialist out of Maryland, was taken at No. 19 despite a wrist injury that limited his pre-draft workouts. Spellman is a center with shooting range who won a national title at Villanova.

Central Notes: Wade, Bucks, Casey, Lowe

The signing of Dwyane Wade just before the start of the season led to jealousy in the Cavaliers‘ locker room, according to Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert were most affected, with Smith fearing Wade would take his starting spot and Shumpert believing Wade would cut into his playing time. Wade did start briefly, before asking to be moved to a bench role. Injuries limited Shumpert to just 14 games before he was traded to the Kings in February.

Pluto outlines other problems with the Cavs’ roster, including Tristan Thompson‘s distractions with the Kardashian family and his notoriety on gossip websites, Kevin Love‘s panic attacks and a team meeting where he felt he was being attacked by Wade and Isaiah Thomas, and Jae Crowder‘s ineffectiveness without the structured offense he had under Brad Stevens in Boston.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks contemplated a pair of draft night trades before selecting Donte DiVincenzo at No. 17, reports Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated. They talked about swapping picks with the Pacers and moving down to No. 23, and discussed a deal with the Hawks involving the 19th and 30th selections. Atlanta, which planned to take Kevin Huerter with the 17th pick, ended negotiations when word that the Bucks were drafting DiVincenzo leaked on Twitter. The Hawks expected the Spurs to grab Lonnie Walker at No. 18 and were confident that Huerter would fall to them at No. 19. DiVincenzo was happy to wind up in Milwaukee, which he and his representatives had singled out as a preferred destination.
  • Developing young players will be a priority for new coach Dwane Casey in his first season with the Pistons, writes Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The front office believes improvement from Stanley Johnson, Luke Kennard and Henry Ellenson is necessary for the team to return to the playoffs. “Three very talented young players,” Casey said at his introductory press conference this week. “That’s going to be on us, the coaching staff, to really draw as much of that as we can. The talent level on the roster is there. Getting it together and identifying how we’re going to play is very, very important. That’s the fun part of it because the talent base is there.”  The Pistons plan to experiment with Kennard as a point guard in summer league play, Ellis tweets.
  • After adding Bucks assistant Sean Sweeney to their coaching staff this week, the Pistons are now targeting Wizards assistant Sidney Lowe, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Southeast Notes: Kulboka, Sanon, Taylor, Walker

The Hornets plan to stash 6’10” forward Arnoldas Kulboka in Europe, Chapel Fowler of the Charlotte Observer relays. The Hornets took the Lithuanian native with the No. 55 pick with that plan in mind. “He’s got a buyout that’s manageable, but we’ve talked to his representative …” GM Mitch Kupchak told Fowler and other media members. “At least right now, the plan is to keep him over there and hopefully watch him develop and then, when he’s ready, bring him back over here and see how good he is.”

In other developments around the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards will go the draft-and-stash route with the No. 44 pick, Issuf Sanon, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. The Ukrainian combo guard is just 18 years old and played in the Slovenian League last season.
  • The Hawks have pushed back the date of Isaiah Taylor‘s partial guarantee from Friday until the end of the month, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Taylor would receive a $300K guarantee by remaining on the roster through the due date. The remainder of his $1,544,951 salary for next season would become guaranteed if he’s on the roster through July 27th. The 6’3” point guard appeared in 67 games last season and averaged 6.6 PPG and 3.1 APG.
  • The Hawks dealt their early second-round pick at No. 34 because the players they liked in that spot were guards and they already got two backcourt players in the first round, Cunningham reports in a separate tweet. The Hawks secured two future second-rounders in their deal with the Hornets. In the first round, Atlanta wound up with point guard Trae Young after dropping down two spots from the No. 3 slot and chose shooting guard Kevin Huerter at No. 19.
  • Kupchak would like to see point guard Kemba Walker play his whole career with the Hornets but can’t do much about that before Walker hits free agency next season, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. A contract extension isn’t feasible because of Charlotte’s salary-cap restraints. “He is on a (contract) that may make it a challenge going forward to figure out (the best course) before he becomes a free agent,” Kupchak told Bonnell.

Draft Rumors: Hawks, Bazemore, Porter, Suns

With Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III viewed as near-locks to be the first two players off the board in the 2018 NBA draft, the No. 3 pick is worth keeping a close eye on. Zach Klein of WSB in Atlanta hears (via Twitter) that the Hawks trading back to No. 5 is a viable possibility. In that scenario, the Mavericks would select Luka Doncic and Atlanta would grab Trae Young.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer follows up on Klein’s report, tweeting that the Hawks and Magic – who hold the No. 6 pick – have also been connected, according to a source. In either trade scenario, Kent Bazemore may be involved in a deal, per Klein and O’Connor.

As we wait to see what happens with the No. 3 pick, here are a few more draft-related rumors and notes:

  • In the latest version of his mock draft at ESPN.com, Jonathan Givony reports that there’s a chance Michael Porter Jr. will slip out of the top 10 due to concerns about his back and hip. Givony has Porter coming off the board at No. 12 to the Clippers.
  • The Suns continue to gauge the market as they explore a possible move up from No. 16, but it will be “extremely hard” to make a deal, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, adding that most teams in the top 10 are reluctant to trade. If Phoenix stays at No. 16, keep an eye on Maryland’s Kevin Huerter as a possible “sleeper” pick, Gambadoro adds (via Twitter).
  • As ESPN’s Bobby Marks details (via Twitter), the Hawks, Bulls, Mavericks, and Sixers are ineligible to acquire any cash in trades tonight, while the Cavaliers and Heat can’t send out any cash. Although those teams have reached their 2017/18 limits, they could always reach a tentative trade agreement and finalize it in July, after those traded-cash restrictions reset.

Givony’s Latest: Kings, Doncic, Porter, Gilgeous-Alexander

ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony posted his latest mock on Thursday morning, along with the updated information regarding what teams are planning to do. Here’s some of the most noteworthy nuggets he passed along:

  • The Kings will target Duke forward Marvin Bagley III if they keep the No. 2 overall pick but they have their eyes on Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. if they trade down in the lottery.
  • Hawks ownership has pushed for Euroleague guard Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick because of star power. The compromise between the front office and ownership could be trading down and then selecting Oklahoma point guard Trae Young.
  • Porter is favored by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban at No. 5 but they’re also considering Texas center Mohamed Bamba and Duke center Wendell Carter Jr.
  • Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander appears to be on the rise and Givony has him going at No. 6 to the Magic.
  • If the Clippers don’t trade their picks at No. 12 and No. 13, they’ll draft one of the top three college point guards – Gilgeous-Alexander, Alabama’s Collin Sexton or Young – if any are still on the board.
  • Boston College guard Jerome Robinson, Maryland forward Kevin Huerter and Texas A&M big man Robert Williams are under consideration with the Clippers’ second first-rounder.

Draft Rumors: Grizzlies, Bamba, Kings, Huerter

One draft-related storyline worth watching on Thursday will be whether top prospects’ apparent efforts to steer themselves to – or away from – certain teams will pay off.

Appearing on 92.9FM in Memphis today, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony suggested that Mohamed Bamba has declined to work out for the Grizzlies, refusing to share his medicals with the team and saying openly that he’d rather not land in Memphis (Twitter link via John Martin). The Grizzlies are the only team in the top half of the lottery with a standout veteran center already on the roster, so it makes some sense that Bamba would prefer to end up elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Givony said during an appearance on Zach Lowe’s ESPN podcast that multiple top prospects may be trying to avoid the Kings (link via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). According to Givony, Bamba, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Luka Doncic haven’t provided medical information to Sacramento. However, Marvin Bagley III – who wants to be picked as high as possible – seems to have no reservations about landing with the Kings, which may be one reason why the Bagley-to-Sacramento rumors are picking up steam this week.

Here are several more draft-related rumors:

  • Givony’s latest mock draft at ESPN.com includes some interesting changes, particularly in the back half of the lottery, where Trae Young falls all the way to the Clippers at No. 12. Givony also notes that there “seems to be a significant market” for Kevin Knox in the 7-11 range.
  • Jeremy Woo of SI.com has a new mock draft of his own up today, and it’s filled with intriguing tidbits. Among them: Maryland’s Kevin Huerter shut down his workouts weeks ago, and league sources tell Woo that the Lakers are the team that gave him a promise at No. 25. Whether or not that’s true, Woo doesn’t think Huerter will be available that late in the first round.
  • After winning an ACB championship today with Real Madrid, Luka Doncic‘s season is over, freeing him up to attend the NBA draft this Thursday. Doncic will be present in the Green Room for the event, tweets Givony.
  • Armed with four second-round picks in this year’s draft, the Sixers figure to trade at least one or two of those selections. If they do, they’d prefer future second-rounders in return rather than cash, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Appearing on ESPN Radio this week, Michael Porter Jr. said that he’s “feeling great” and that concerns about his health have been overblown. ESPN.com has the story and the quotes from the Missouri forward.