Kevin Knox

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.

Potential 2022 RFAs Whose Qualifying Offers Will Be Impacted By Starter Criteria

The NBA’s rookie scale, which determines how much first-round picks earn during their first four NBA seasons, also dictates how much the qualifying offers will be worth for those players when they reach restricted free agency after year four. However, the value of those qualifying offers can fluctuate depending on whether or not a player has met the “starter criteria.”

Here’s how the starter criteria works in a typical year:

  • A player who is eligible for restricted free agency is considered to have met the starter criteria if he plays at least 2,000 minutes or starts 41 games in the season before he reaches free agency.
  • A player can also meet the criteria if he averages either of those marks in the two seasons prior to his restricted free agency. For instance, if a player started 50 games one year and 32 the next, he’d meet the starter criteria, since his average number of starts over the last two seasons is 41.

The thresholds for the starter criteria this year are a little different due to the truncated nature of the 2020/21 season. We outlined those tweaks at the start of the season.

A player’s ability or inability to meet the starter criteria can affect the value of the qualifying offer he receives as a restricted free agent, as follows:

  • A top-14 pick who does not meet the starter criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 15th overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A player picked between 10th and 30th who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the ninth overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A second-round pick or undrafted player who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 21st overall pick would receive if he signed for 100% of the rookie scale.
  • For all other RFAs, the standard criteria determine the amounts of their qualifying offers.

Extending a qualifying offer to a player eligible for restricted free agency officially makes that player an RFA, ensuring that his team has the right of first refusal if he signs an offer sheet with another club. It also gives the player the option of signing that one-year QO.

Generally, the value of a restricted free agent’s qualifying offer isn’t hugely important, since very few RFAs accept those offers outright. There are exceptions though.

Last offseason, for instance, Bruce Brown met the starter criteria heading into restricted free agency, increasing the value of his qualifying offer to $4,736,102. The Nets decided to issue that qualifying offer and he accepted it. Had he fallen short of the starter criteria, Brown only would have been eligible for a qualifying offer worth around $2MM and his free agency could have played out very differently.


Top-14 picks who failed to meet starter criteria:

With all that in mind, let’s check in on how this year’s RFAs-to-be will be impacted by the starter criteria. Listed below are the former top-14 picks on track for restricted free agency who did not meet the starter criteria. These players will be eligible for qualifying offers worth $7,228,448.

Seven of the 14 players selected with lottery picks in the 2018 draft signed rookie scale extensions in 2021, meaning they won’t have to worry about the value of their qualifying offers this offseason.

Of the other seven, the three players listed above failed to meet the criteria. Bagley is the biggest loser in the trio — his qualifying offer would’ve been worth approximately $14.76MM if he had met the starter criteria. Sexton’s would’ve been about $8.56MM, while Knox’s would’ve been $7.92MM.

Even with the amount of his qualifying offer lowered a little, Knox likely won’t receive a QO at all, making him an unrestricted free agent. Bagley and Sexton are much safer bets for QOs.

Top-14 picks Deandre Ayton (Suns) and Mohamed Bamba (Magic), each met the starter criteria, locking in their QO amounts at $16.42MM and $10.1MM, respectively. Miles Bridges (Hornets) also met the starter criteria, as detailed in the next section.

Jerome Robinson was the only top-14 pick from ’18 who was waived before completing his rookie contract — he’s no longer on an NBA roster and won’t be eligible for a qualifying offer this summer.


First-round picks between 10-30 who met starter criteria:

A player who fell into this category would see the amount of his qualifying offer increase to $7,921,300. Bridges, the No. 12 overall pick, was the only player to qualify.

As a result of meeting the starter criteria, Bridges’ qualifying offer will increase from about $7.46MM to $7.92MM, a modest bump. It shouldn’t change the outlook of his free agency, since he’ll almost certainly receive a lucrative long-term offer.

Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons looked like one of the best candidates to join Bridges in this group. He needed to make 41 starts this season for Portland, but only got to 30 before he was shut down for the season with a left knee injury. His qualifying offer will remain at $5.76MM, but that shouldn’t have a major impact on his free agency, since he’ll likely work out a multiyear deal with the Blazers.

Meanwhile, because Kings wing Donte DiVincenzo was a full-time starter for the Bucks in 2020/21, he only needed to make seven starts this season to meet the starter criteria. However, he ultimately started just once for Milwaukee and Sacramento, even when he was playing heavy minutes down the stretch for the Kings.

DiVincenzo’s qualifying offer will remain at $6.6MM, which actually could have a tangible effect on his free agency — if he doesn’t get a multiyear offer with a starting salary much higher than his qualifying offer, accepting the QO and reaching unrestricted free agency in 2023 may be DiVincenzo’s best option. Presumably, that’s why his camp reportedly wasn’t thrilled that he was still coming off the bench at the end of the season.


Second-round picks and UDFAs who met starter criteria:

The players listed below signed as second-round picks or undrafted free agents, but met the starter criteria and are now eligible for a qualifying offer worth $4,869,012.

Of course, it’s very possible neither Dort nor Tate will even become a free agent this summer, since their contracts both include team options for 2022/23.

The Thunder could decide to turn down Dort’s minimum-salary option for next season in order to make him a restricted free agent this year instead of an unrestricted free agent next year, but there’s no guarantee they’ll go that route. If they do, his QO would be worth $4.87MM instead of $2.22MM.

Meanwhile, there’s no incentive for the Rockets to decline Tate’s option, since he’ll still be eligible for restricted free agency in 2023, so the amount of his potential qualifying offer this summer will be rendered moot.

Among other second-round picks and undrafted free agents, Hornets wing Cody Martin (1,866 minutes), Clippers swingman Amir Coffey (30 starts), and Trail Blazers forward CJ Elleby (28 starts) are a few who were in the ballpark of the starter criteria, but none got there. Martin, Coffey, Elleby, and the rest of this year’s restricted free agents won’t have their projected qualifying offers impacted by the starter criteria.

Southeast Notes: Reddish, Knox, Suggs, Kuzma

The reduced role that Cam Reddish had with the Hawks before being traded to New York came about because he expressed a desire to be dealt over the offseason, head coach Nate McMillan told reporters, including Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link), before tonight’s game. Even though the team was beset by injuries and players in the league’s health and safety protocols, Reddish averaged a career-low 23.4 minutes per night in 34 games.

“This year, he made the decision during the summer that he wanted to go elsewhere and play somewhere else,” McMillan said. “So it was tough. It was tough for him to come in and he was a professional. He was a pro. He didn’t do anything through the media, he came in, he tried to work.

“A lot of you guys were asking why he wasn’t in the rotation or why we weren’t doing certain things, and it was we knew that this was something that wasn’t going to, he wasn’t probably going to end the season with us. Unfortunate. I think he has a lot of talent, great kid, and I wish him well. We had a conversation when it happened and he’s looking forward to the opportunity.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Kevin Knox, who was part of the Hawks‘ return for Reddish, has passed his physical and is eligible to play in tonight’s game against the Knicks, Spencer tweets.
  • Rookie guard Jalen Suggs returned to the Magic’s lineup Friday night for the first time since fracturing his right thumb on November 29, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Suggs, who got off to a slow start, called the injury “a blessing in disguise” after putting up 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a win at Charlotte. “It gave me time to sit back and reevaluate the things I was doing, the habits I had, change those to better ones and grow. I needed that,” Suggs said.
  • Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma is firmly entrenched as a starter in Washington after coming off the bench for the Lakers the past two seasons, notes Jackson Filyo of NBA.com. Kuzma, who narrowly missed his first career triple-double this week, said he benefited from the lessons he learned in L.A. “I credit a lot of my success this season to the last two years, taking a seat and watching some great players play basketball and learning from them,” Kuzma said. “I just knew once I got traded, it was a golden opportunity for me to enhance my game and show everything I’ve learned and what I’m capable of with opportunity. I’m just showing that right now.”

Southeast Rumors: Harris, Ross, Bamba, Washington, Knox, More

The Magic are believed to be asking for a first-round pick in exchange for each of Gary Harris, Terrence Ross, and Mohamed Bamba, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. That asking price is more justifiable for some of those players than others, but I’m skeptical that Orlando will be able to get a first-rounder for any of the three unless the pick is heavily protected or the Magic take back some bad money.

Fischer says rival teams with interest in those players believe Orlando’s asking price may drop as the trade deadline nears. In some cases, the Magic could end up seeking two second-rounders, which was what they accepted in return for Evan Fournier at last season’s deadline.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • According to Fischer, Hornets forward P.J. Washington is a candidate to be moved at the February 10 trade deadline. Fischer suggests Charlotte may be facing a bit of a roster crunch this summer with team salary on the rise, and Washington could be the odd man out. The third-year forward is extension-eligible in the 2022 offseason and would reached restricted free agency in 2023 if he doesn’t sign a new deal this year.
  • The protected first-round pick the Hawks received in exchange for Cam Reddish was the primary motivator to make the trade, but Kevin Knox may not have just been a salary throw-in. Sources tell Fred Katz and Chris Kirschner of The Athletic that Atlanta has no plans to trade or release Knox right now.
  • According to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link), The Hawks sent the Knicks $834,589 in cash in the Reddish trade. That amount covers the salary still owed to Solomon Hill, so Atlanta didn’t save any money as a result of including Hill in the deal — the team did open up a roster spot though.
  • Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie has been cleared to play in both ends of back-to-backs after not doing so during the first half, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Dinwiddie, coming off an ACL tear in 2020/21, played on both Tuesday and Wednesday for Washington.

Reddish Trade Notes: Other Offers, Details, Grades, More

The Hawks traded Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill and 2025 second-round pick to the Knicks in exchange for Kevin Knox and a protected first-round pick on Thursday. According to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, the Hawks were interested in acquiring Quentin Grimes, but the Knicks were reluctant to part with the rookie, who was the 25th overall pick of the 2021 draft.

The Knicks are likely to explore other trades ahead of the deadline and are known to be interested in Myles Turner and Jalen Brunson, Begley reports. He mentions that any player on New York’s roster could be on the table for the right return, pointing to Alec Burks and Mitchell Robinson as players who could draw interest, but the Knicks would likely want a top-end starter in return for Burks and/or Robinson.

Teams pursuing Reddish believed he could command a salary in the range of $18-20MM per year on his next contract, whether it be this summer in an extension or as a restricted free agent in the summer of 2023, so Begley thinks the Knicks must be open to that figure, unless they plan to trade him again in the future.

Here’s more on the trade between Atlanta and New York:

  • Atlanta had been seeking a first-round pick for Reddish for several months and never wavered in its asking price, write Fred Katz and Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. The Pacers, Cavaliers, Pistons, and Lakers were among the teams interested in Reddish, with L.A. recently offering two second-round picks for the third-year wing.
  • Reddish requested a trade from Atlanta months ago, which led to awkwardness in the team’s locker room, and it was inevitable he would be dealt once a team met Atlanta’s asking price, according to Katz and Kirschner. Reddish was reportedly unhappy with his role as a spot-up shooter and desired more play-making opportunities, which is questionable given he has more turnovers than assists in his career. It’s unclear how he’ll fit in with the Knicks, who have a crowded rotation when healthy, meaning finding more minutes than Reddish was getting in Atlanta (23.4 MPG) could be a challenge. Katz and Kirschner believe the first-round pick Atlanta acquired could be used in a subsequent trade, perhaps for Ben Simmons or Jerami Grant.
  • Zach Harper of The Athletic and Kevin Pelton of ESPN (Insider link) provide their grades for the trade. They both liked it more for the Knicks than the Hawks.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic thinks that the trade is in the eye of the beholder, because while Reddish has the size and talent to be a good NBA player, the idea of him has been better than his actual play to this point in his career. The winner of the deal will ultimately depend on how Reddish develops, Hollinger notes. He adds that Hawks were -10.0 points per 100 possessions with Reddish on the court, compared to +5.7 per 100 when he was off.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (video link) provides his thoughts on the deal, essentially saying it’s a low-risk, potentially high-reward for the Knicks, but the Hawks got fair value for Reddish too.
  • Sources tell Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link) that Reddish and RJ Barrett didn’t get along well at Duke, and some in the Knicks’ front office wanted to trade back to draft Reddish in 2019.

Hawks Trade Cam Reddish To Knicks

6:47pm: The trade is now official, the Hawks announced in a press release. Atlanta received Knox and Charlotte’ 2022 first-round pick (top-18 protected) in exchange for Reddish, Hill, Brooklyn’s 2025 second-round pick, and cash.

The Knicks confirmed in their own press release that they waived Arcidiacono.


10:33am: The Hawks will send Cam Reddish to the Knicks in a multi-player trade, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

New York will also receive veteran forward Solomon Hill and a second-round draft pick in 2025 that originally belonged to the Nets. Atlanta will get Kevin Knox in return, along with a protected first-round pick from the Hornets. The protections on Charlotte’s pick are top-18 this year, top-16 in 2023 and top-14 in 2024 and 2025, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). It will convert to second-round picks in 2026 and 2027 if not conveyed by then.

Atlanta had been searching around the league for a team willing to part with a mid-first-round pick or a young player in exchange for Reddish, Wojnarowski adds (Twitter link). The Hawks explored several potential trade packages with the Knicks before settling on the final deal, and Woj reports that they also talked recently to the Pacers and Lakers about potential trades involving Reddish.

The 10th pick in the 2019 draft, Reddish has been an explosive bench scorer and a part-time starter during his two-and-a-half seasons in Atlanta. After having much of last season wiped out by injuries, he’s averaging a career-high 11.9 points per game this year while shooting 40.2% from the field and 37.9% from three-point range.

Reddish will be eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, which is one of the reasons the Hawks, who already have several sizable contracts in place, were willing to move him. He will carry cap hits for the Knicks of $4.7MM this season and $5.95MM for 2022/23, Marks tweets.

Hill, 30, is out for the rest of the season after suffering a torn right hamstring last month. He has veto power over the trade, but plans to approve it, according to Marks. He’s making $2,389,641 on a veteran-minimum contract that will expire after this season.

Knox, 22, had a bright rookie season in 2018/19, but hasn’t been the same player since. He has appeared in just 13 games this season, averaging 3.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 8.5 minutes per night. He is headed for free agency this summer, and the Hawks will have the option to make him restricted, though that seems unlikely.

The Knicks will have to release Ryan Arcidiacono early from his 10-day contract to make room on the roster for an extra player, Marks notes (Twitter link). Arcidiacono’s deal had been set to expire on Saturday night.

Atlanta will have an open roster spot, along with a $1.7MM trade exception. The Hawks will also get a little bit of luxury tax relief, moving from $1.87MM to $2.36MM under the tax threshold.

D’Angelo Russell, Three Blazers Enter Protocols

Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell has joined the growing list of Minnesota players in the health and safety protocols, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

The Timberwolves now have eight players affected, including stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. They’ve already signed a pair of replacement players – Chris Silva and Rayjon Tucker – using hardship exceptions, but will likely make at least one more roster addition before their next game on Monday.

Here are more COVID-19 protocol updates from around the NBA:

  • Three Trail Blazers players – Robert Covington, Ben McLemore, and Keljin Blevins – have entered the health and safety protocols, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). That brings Portland’s total count to five affected players, all of whom have been placed in the protocols in the last two days.
  • Kevin Knox has exited the protocols, but Jericho Sims has entered, so the Knicks still have three players affected, according to the team (Twitter links). RJ Barrett is back in the starting lineup for New York today and Quentin Grimes is also expected to play, but Immanuel Quickley and Knox will need a little more time to ramp up their conditioning, says Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Mavericks wing Josh Green has tested out of the protocols, but didn’t travel with the team to Utah and won’t play tonight, tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

Knicks Notes: Knox, Fournier, Walker, Toppin

Forward Kevin Knox entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Thursday, becoming the fourth Knicks player to do so within the last week, per an announcement from the team (via Twitter). Knox joins RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Quentin Grimes in the protocols and will be unavailable for at least 10 days or until he returns two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart.

It’s unfortunate timing for Knox, who played 49 total minutes in the Knicks’ last two games after having logged just 22 minutes across six games in the first seven-plus weeks of the regular season. We’ll see if he gets a chance to earn playing time once he clears the protocols and is available again.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • As Steve Popper of Newsday writes, determining a starting lineup and rotation with a COVID-depleted roster was already turning a challenge for head coach Tom Thibodeau, who will now be down one more player for at least the team’s Thursday game in Houston.
  • Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker became trade-eligible on Wednesday, and while Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post could imagine the Knicks moving Walker by February 10, he says it’s more difficult to envision a deal involving Fournier, who is in the first season of a four-year contract. For what it’s worth, another report this week indicated there’s very little interest around the league in Walker.
  • In his latest mailbag for The Athletic, Fred Katz explores the Knicks’ defensive struggles, what’s next for Kemba, and whether there’s room for Obi Toppin to take on a larger role.

Eastern Trade Rumors: Brown, Celtics, Knox, Hunter

Celtics wing Jaylen Brown is among the players believed to be on the Sixers‘ list of targets in a potential Ben Simmons trade, but Brown – along with Jayson Tatum – is viewed as off-limits for the time being, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

“Talking to Boston, those are the only two untouchables,” one assistant general manager told Fischer, referring to Brown and Tatum.

Although the Celtics are currently averse to the idea of splitting up Brown and Tatum, there has been increased speculation around the NBA about the possibility, given the team’s underwhelming play this season, says Fischer. Teams are keeping an eye on Brown, in particular, in case Boston reverses course and make him available at some point in 2022, perhaps in the offseason.

“I think there’s pretty widespread belief that they don’t work together,” a general manager told Bleacher Report. “But unless ownership adds pressure on [president of basketball operations Brad Stevens], I don’t see them doing anything.”

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference, including another Boston-related note:

  • Besides Brown and Tatum, the players the Celtics value the most appear to be Marcus Smart and Robert Williams, according to Fischer. Smart, Williams, and Dennis Schröder are among the Boston players rival executives believe could be available in trades this season, Fischer adds.
  • Following up on Shams Charania’s Monday report on Kevin Knox, Fischer says the Knicks would be interested in trading the fourth-year forward, but it’s unclear if he has any real value on the open market.
  • Rival executives think the Hawks would be open to discussing De’Andre Hunter as part of a package for an “established impact veteran,” per Fischer. Hunter, who has been limited to 34 regular season games since the start of the 2020/21 campaign due to injuries, will become extension-eligible during the 2022 offseason

Trade Rumors: Schröder, Reddish, Ross, Knox, Forbes, J. Smith

Rival teams anticipate that the Celtics will be willing to discuss Dennis Schröder in trade talks this season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Boston unexpectedly signed Schröder to a one-year, $5.9MM deal in the offseason using the taxpayer mid-level exception after the bottom fell out of the point guard’s market. He has enjoyed a strong season so far, averaging 17.5 PPG and 4.9 APG through his first 26 games (33.4 MPG) with the Celtics, which may ultimately price the club out of being able to re-sign him as a free agent in 2022.

The Celtics won’t have cap room in 2022 and would only be able to offer Schröder a 20% raise using his Non-Bird rights. As such, it might make more sense to recoup some value by getting what they can for him at the trade deadline — especially since the C’s don’t look like a legitimate contender at this point.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA, courtesy of Charania:

  • The Hawks are believed to be seeking a first-round pick in any trade involving Cam Reddish, while the Magic are taking a similar stance with Terrence Ross, says Charania. Neither team should face significant pressure to lower its asking price, since both players are under contract for one more season beyond this one.
  • Sources tell Charania that teams have called the Knicks to ask about former lottery pick Kevin Knox, who is in his fourth season and will be a free agent in 2022. Knox had a nice game on Sunday, with 18 points and five rebounds vs. Milwaukee, but has otherwise barely played this season, prompting teams to wonder what New York’s plan for him is.
  • Spurs guard Bryn Forbes, who is on a one-year, $4.5MM deal, is expected to receive trade interest from contenders, according to Charania. Forbes played a role for Milwaukee’s championship team last season.
  • Suns center Jalen Smith has drawn a little interest and is a candidate to be moved before this season’s trade deadline, per Charania.