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Hawks Notes: Babbitt, Dedmon, Tanking

The Hawks were in the bottom half of the league in three-point shooting last season, but the team’s front office believes the addition of Luke Babbitt will help them improve in that area, as KL Chouinard of relays.

“Luke is a proven veteran and adds another experienced player to our locker room,” GM Travis Schlenk said of Babbitt. “He is one of the premier long-range shooting big men in the league, has played a variety of roles over his career and will contribute to our team.”

Babbitt, who inked a one-year deal with Atlanta last week, said he’s excited to play under coach Mike Budenholzer.

“When I got the call, the first thing I thought of was Coach Bud. I’ve always respected what he did from afar,” Babbitt said. “I’m really excited to play for him and be with this young group of guys.”

Here’s more from Atlanta:

  • Babbitt continued to praise the Hawks‘ system, citing the ball movement and the unselfishness in how the players operate on the floor, as KL Chouinard passes along in the same piece. The small forward believes he can assist the team’s playmakers with his ability to space the floor. “Dennis [Schroder] and (Kent Bazemore], they’re the attackers on this team,” Babbitt said. “It’s something I’m really looking forward to this season: creating space and opportunities for them.”
  • Atlanta pried Dewayne Dedmon away the from the Spurs in free agency and Buddy Grizzard of Basketball Insiders believes the signing could have major upside. Dedmon, who’s on a two-year, $14MM deal, didn’t play basketball until he was a junior in college, meaning he only has been on the court for slightly over seven years.
  • While the Hawks will likely take a step back this season, tanking is something that interests coach Budenholzer, Grizzard writes in the same piece. The scribe adds that the goal of the front office is to retool while remaining competitive.

Fantasy Hoops: Hawks, Jazz, Matchups

Hoops Rumors is examining the fantasy basketball landscape in order to help you dominate the competition both during championship week and in daily fantasy. Check back weekly for more analysis.

Band-Aids In Atlanta

Right as the league enters a crucial stretch for playoff spots and seeding, the Hawks get ravished with injuries. Being undermanned has caused Atlanta drop seven straight games and fall out of contention for a top-4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Help may be on the way. Kent Bazemore is planning to re-join the team on Wednesday night against the Sixers. For those of you in your fantasy championships (Congrats!), I’d wait to see Bazemore’s workload before adding him. However, if sees 20-30 minutes and doesn’t suffer any setbacks, he’s becomes quite valuable.

Tim Hardaway Jr. will see his value drop upon Bazemore’s return and even more so when injured swingman Thabo Sefolosha is able to see the court. The shooting guard has seen 32.9 minutes per game in the month of March and he’s averaged 20.1 points and 1.2 steals per contest while shooting 48.9% from the field since the calendar turned. He’ll still deliver quality production once everyone is healthy, just don’t expect the gaudy stat lines we’ve seen recently.

Paul Millsap will be sidelined until at least Sunday’s tilt with the Nets and it’s not certain that he’ll be back then. The power forward was enjoying an excellent season, averaging 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds while adding 1.3 steals and a block per contest. In his absence, Ersan Ilyasova has started and he’s produced in the points and rebounds categories, averaging 11.8 and 9.0 respectively over his five starts. The 37.7% shooting is troubling, but if field goal percentage is not a concern, he makes a solid waiver-wire pickup or cheap play in daily fantasy.

One more player to keep an eye on is Taurean Prince. He played 38 minutes against the Nets on Sunday, contributing 17 points, six rebounds, three steals, and a block. He’s a nice play against the Suns tonight, but when Bazemore and Sefolosha return, he may not have much of role.

Here’s more fantasy notes and analysis from around the league:

  • Gordon Hayward is nursing a left quad injury and if can’t play this week, Rodney Hood could be a nice fantasy option. Hood scored 20 points on 16 shots and added six rebounds and three assists against the Pelicans on Monday. Joe Ingles also belongs on the fantasy radar while Hayward is sidelined. Later this week, the Jazz will take on the Kings (a team that has the fifth-worst defensive rating since the All-Star break) and the Wizards, (sixth-worst defensive rating since the break).
  • The Wizards are also giving the third-most points and second-most made 3-pointers while allowing the second-best field goal percentage to the opposing shooting guards over their last 10 games. Washington takes on the Lakers tonight before playing the Clippers, Jazz, and Warriors later in the week.
  • The Wolves are having a hard time containing opposing shooting guards over the last 10 games, allowing them to make 51% of their shots (worst mark in the league).
  • The Knicks are doing something right. Over their last 10 games, no team has allowed fewer points per contest to the shooting guard position. New York has allowed opposing twos to shoot just 35.6% from the field over that stretch, which is the stingiest mark in the league.
  • The Pacers have been a particularly terrible match-up for opposing point guards lately. Over their last 10 games, they’ve given up just 16.4 points (stingiest in the league) to the position. Indiana has also allowed opposing ones to make 38.6% of their shots, which is the second-best mark in the league (behind only the Spurs).

Fantasy questions? Take to the comment section below or tweet me at @CW_Crouse.

Statistics are current through Tuesday afternoon.

Hawks’ Isaia Cordinier To Remain Overseas

Second-round pick Isaia Cordinier will remain overseas rather than joining the Hawks immediately, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Vivlamore reports that Cordinier, who played for Denain-Voltaire last season, will return to France and join Antibes for the coming season.

[RELATED: 2016 Draft Pick Signings]

Cordinier, the 44th overall pick in this year’s draft, is still just 19 years old, so it’s no surprise that the Hawks want him to get a little more seasoning overseas. Jonathan Givony of had reported in the wake of the draft that Cordinier may be joining Antibes, his hometown team, for the 2016/17 campaign, with an eye toward signing with Atlanta a year from now.

According to Givony, Cordinier had received a promise from a team drafting in the late-30s or early-40s, but that team reneged on the promise at the last minute. Givony referred to it as an “ugly story,” noting that Cordinier’s camp had even told other teams not to draft him, since he was guaranteed to be brought to the NBA immediately. Fortunately for the French shooting guard, he didn’t slip too far, and may just spend one more season playing international ball before joining the Hawks.

This past season, Cordinier appeared in 32 French League games for Denain-Voltaire, averaging 10.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 2.0 APG, with a shooting line of .503/.404/.779. His new team, Antibes, plays Pro A ball, as opposed to Pro B ball like Denain-Voltaire, so it will be a step up for Cordinier, who was a member of the Hawks’ Summer League squad this month.

Hawks Sign Dennis Schroder To Extension

4:58pm: The Hawks have issued a press release officially confirming Schroder’s extension.

“I am excited to sign this long-term deal with the Hawks. Since coming from Germany as a rookie, this organization and the entire city of Atlanta has embraced me and watched me grow,” Schroder said in a statement. “I would like to thank my teammates, the coaching staff and the front office for having faith in me. I’m determined to keep improving as a player and I believe that our team has a chance to accomplish some special things together.”

4:16pm: Schroder’s new deal will include $62MM in guaranteed money over the next four years, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter). Based on the original report of $70MM, it appears that a portion of the total salary will either be non-guaranteed or available via incentives.

3:09pm: Dennis Schroder will be taking over as the Hawks’ full-time starting point guard this season, and the team has now ensured he’ll remain in Atlanta for several more years beyond that. According to Marc Stein and Zach Lowe of, Schroder and the Hawks have reached an agreement on a four-year, $70MM contract extension. Schroder confirmed the deal, tweeting out a photo that shows him signing his new pact."<strong

Schroder has gradually taking on a larger role over the course of his three seasons with the Hawks, having seen his minutes per game increase from 13.1 in his rookie season to 20.3 in 2015/16. Last season, he established new career highs in PPG (11.0), APG (4.4), RPG (2.6), SPG (0.9), and several other categories.

During the summer, the Hawks agreed to a three-way trade that sent starting point guard Jeff Teague to the Pacers, opening the door for Schroder to take on a larger role in Atlanta. Both players had been set to enter contract years, but Schroder is younger and is still on his rookie contract, making him the more appealing option for the long term.

Schroder will earn a modest $2,708,582 salary in 2016/17, but rather than being eligible for restricted free agency next summer, he’ll now move on to his second contract, with his extension going into effect in July 2017. Assuming there are no options on the deal, it will keep the 23-year-old under team control through the 2020/21 season.

We’ll have to wait for the exact terms and details on Schroder’s new deal to properly evaluate it, but it looks awfully similar to the ones signed by a pair of free agent wings this summer — Evan Turner inked a four-year, $70MM contract with the Trail Blazers, while Schroder’s teammate Kent Bazemore got a four-year, $70MM deal from the Hawks, as our free agent tracker shows.

Although there’s some uncertainty about how the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement will look next summer if and when the league and the NBPA reach a new agreement, that hasn’t stopped extension-eligible players from signing new deals early — Schroder becomes the third player eligible for a rookie-scale extension to agree to terms with his team so far this offseason, just five days before the October 31 deadline. Previously, C.J. McCollum signed a four-year, $106MM+ extension with the Blazers, and Giannis Antetokounmpo agreed to a four-year, $100MM deal with the Bucks.

Earlier today, Schroder headlined our list of five rookie-scale extension candidates to watch before Monday’s deadline, so we’ll see if others on that list – such as Rudy Gobert, Steven Adams, and Gorgui Dieng – can reach agreements with their respective clubs as well.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Will The Hawks Trade Josh Smith?

Josh Smith has been the subject of off-and-on trade rumors for years, but even as the Hawks' roster changes around him, Smith has remained a fixture in Atlanta. His contract is finally set to expire this summer though, and with a month remaining until the trade deadline, it's not entirely clear what the veteran forward's future holds.

For most of this season, Smith expressed satisfaction with new general manager Danny Ferry and the Hawks' direction. However, a recent slide by the team has frustrated the 27-year-old, something agent Wallace Prather conveyed to Ferry last week. Neither Smith nor his agent requested a trade, and a weekend report suggested that the team was still committed to the longtime Hawk, but Smith's frustration and a one-game suspension doled out by the club seemed to bring some of those old issues back to the surface.

Zach Lowe tackles the possibility of the Hawks trading Smith in his latest piece for Grantland, noting that there are a number of factors in play. Potential suitors could be reluctant to give up much of value for a player on an expiring contract, and the Hawks may not want to part with Smith if they intend to pursue Dwight Howard this summer, since the two are good friends. Nonetheless, Lowe sees a few teams as real candidates to be trade partners if Atlanta explores deals over the next few weeks. The Rockets, Mavericks, Suns, and Nuggets top Lowe's list.

So what do you think? Is this the year we finally see Smith on the move, or will the Hawks hang on to him, hoping to re-sign him to a long-term contract this summer?

Hawks’ Budenholzer Suspended For One Game

9:44pm: Budenholzer has issued a statement on the suspension. “With the league’s permission, I have reached out to and apologized to Ben Taylor for what happened in the game versus Cleveland,” he said. “Ben is an excellent young referee who is a valuable member of the NBA family. We all understand that any contact — including incidental contact — with an official is unacceptable. I accept the NBA’s fine and look forward to putting this situation in the past.”

8:31pm: The NBA has suspended Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer for one game, tweets Chris Mannix of The Vertical.

The incident that prompted the suspension happened Friday night when Budenholzer made contact with an official during a loss to the Cavaliers. He will not be on the sidelines for Sunday’s game with the Pacers and will not be paid.

In announcing the suspension, the NBA noted that Budenholzer had a similar suspension last season, stemming from a Nov. 21st, 2015, game against Cleveland.

Hawks Fully Embrace Total Rebuild

Hawks majority owner Tony Ressler is convinced the franchise had no choice but to go into full rebuild mode, as he told’s David Aldridge in an extensive piece on the team’s direction. New GM Travis Schlenk helped convince Ressler that the franchise was spinning its wheels and needed to stockpile draft picks while developing a young core, Aldridge continues.

“Truly, there are three options in the NBA, I would argue: being a contender, being a competitive team, and being young and fun,” Ressler told Adridge. “At least that would be my opinion. And we didn’t have the option of being a contender. So we could be competitive, or more competitive, and maybe, shall we say, with a whole bunch of higher-priced vets that made us older and made our payroll less flexible, and made our future more cloudy.”

Instead, Ressler selected the “young and fun” option, despite knowing the losses would pile up this season. The team has five first-round picks during the next two drafts, including one from the Clippers that they acquired this offseason by getting involved in a three-way deal that included the Nuggets. The Hawks also traded away center Dwight Howard and opted not to pursue their top free agent, power forward Paul Millsap.

Aldridge also offered these nuggets in the story:

  • The team is building around point guard Dennis Schroder, second-year wings Taurean Prince and DeAndre’ Bembry, and rookie big man John Collins.
  • Schlenk feels pressure to produce on the draft picks: “It’s my job to, hopefully, get four of those right,” he said.
  • Ressler told coach Mike Budenholzer that he didn’t think anyone could be an effective head coach and run the organization at the same time. Budenholzer relinquished his duties as president of basketball operations. “I tried to convince him and I think he realized fully that being the GM is a full-time job,” Ressler said. “So why does anyone on earth think they can do two extraordinarily difficult jobs? And I believe Bud saw that very clearly.”
  • Budenholzer lobbied Schlenk to make an offer to Millsap even after the decision to rebuild was made.

Vince Carter Re-Signs With Hawks

SEPTEMBER 20: Carter’s signing is official, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

AUGUST 5: Vince Carter, the oldest player in the NBA, has agreed to return to the Hawks, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Carter, 42, will be playing for a record 22nd season. It’s expected to his last, Wojnarowski adds.

Carter will surpass Dirk NowitzkiRobert Parish, Kevin Willis and Kevin Garnett, who each played 21 seasons. Carter had already established the record for most seasons by a wing player. Kobe Bryant played 20 seasons.

Carter’s return to Atlanta was not a surprise. The team had held a roster spot open for him in anticipation a deal would eventually get done. The Hawks will now have 14 players with guaranteed contracts.

Other than Carter, the Hawks have the league’s youngest roster that includes rookies Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter and Bruno Fernando and last season’s Rookie of the Year finalist, Trae Young.

Carter proved that he was still an effective and durable player last season in Atlanta, appearing in 76 games, including nine starts. He averaged 7.4 PPG and shot 38.9% beyond the arc in 17.5 MPG. The future Hall of Famer began his career in 1998 with Toronto. The Hawks became the eighth team to acquire his services prior to last season.

Carter will add depth at the wing positions while also serving a mentorship role.

Skal Labissiere Interested In Hawks Reunion

Skal Labissiere has yet to suit up for the Hawks since being acquired in early February and has not seen any NBA action since December due to a knee injury. Now a participant at Atlanta’s minicamp, Labissiere has made it clear he wants to return to the Hawks next season, Sarak K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.

The Hawks were not invited to the Orlando campus once the 2019/20 season resumed given their poor record. However, Labissiere has been a frequent presence around the team, demonstrating his progress in recovering from his injury.

“Just to show that I’m ready to go, I can play,” Labissere said. “I’m ready to play. I’ve been out since December, and I’ve been doing rehab with the team that whole time, so for me I just wanted to show that ‘Hey, I’m ready to go,’ I’m ready to play, and I feel good. I just want to play basketball. It’s been a long time since I’ve played.”

Labissiere, 24, played in just 33 games this past season, averaging 5.8 PPG and 5.1 RPG for the Trail Blazers before he was traded. The 28th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft is not just the Hawks’ only pending free agent to participate in minicamp — he hopes the work he has put in with the team’s staff has earned him an opportunity to return for the 2020/21 campaign.

“I would love to be here,” Labissiere said. “Obviously, if I was not interested in being here I would not be here doing training camp, I could have been just working out somewhere else and not in the bubble setting. I’m very interested in being here, and we’ll see.”

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Wizards, Hawks

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune discusses the health of Derrick Rose and Joakim NoahLuol Deng's uncertain long-term future with the franchise, how Mike Dunleavy Jr. will look to mesh with the roster, and how Jimmy Butler will handle a move to starting shooting guard as five things to look at for the Bulls going into fall.  Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago (via Twitter) says that Chicago's official training camp roster is expected to be released tomorrow but doesn't expect Malcolm Thomas or Chris Wright to be on the list. 
  • Michael Lee of CSN Washington wonders if John Wall is ready to lead the Wizards to the playoffs, who will step up in the absence of Emeka Okafor, if Bradley Beal is primed for a breakout season, what to expect from Otto Porter, and the health of Nene as the team's top storylines heading into training camp. 
  • Hawks GM Danny Ferry wouldn't set a timeline for the return of Louis Williams (who is still recovering from reconstructive knee surgery), though he did say that the eighth-year guard has been playing one-on-one games and has had no restrictions in doing so. Ferry also appeared encouraged about what Dennis Schröder can contribute to the team now as a promising prospect and said that Lucas Nogueira and Mike Muscala still need to continue their development overseas (USA Today via the Associated Press). 
  • As Tom Layman of the Boston Herald points out, Celtics coach Brad Stevens will look toward Avery Bradley to be the team's floor general while they wait for the return of Rajon Rondo. In another piece, a handful of college coaches had positive comments for Stevens regarding how they believe he'll be able to transition to the NBA game ( via the Associated Press).
  • With Steve Mills in place as the Knicks' newest GM, Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld thinks that it will be important for Mills to start forming a strong relationship with Carmelo Anthony now, especially with the possibility that he could become a free agent this upcoming summer. 
  • Since arriving in New York City, Anthony has been able to build his brand and explore plenty of business opportunities, writes Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report. From the sound of it, Zwerling doesn't think that Anthony will be leaving New York anytime soon, even with an opt-out clause at the end of the season. 
  • Ian Begley of ESPN New York examines the orange and blue's current situation at small forward. 
  • With the rest of the NBA's power elite growing tired of the Heat's dominance, Sam Amick of USA Today delves into why the 2013/14 season could be Miami's toughest campaign for a title yet. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times notes that the Bulls are especially eager to put a halt to the Heat's reign as the NBA's top dog. 

Read more

Hawks Exercise Options On Hardaway, Schröder

6:04pm: The Hawks have officially announced that they have picked up the fourth-year options on both players.

5:43pm: The Hawks have announced that they’ve exercised their 2016/17 rookie scale options on Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dennis Schröder, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link). Both players will be entering their fourth NBA season in 2016/17.

Hardaway, 23, was acquired by Atlanta in a draft day deal with the Knicks this offseason. He is set to earn $2,281,605 next season, the final one of his rookie contract. The swingman appeared in 70 contests for the Knicks during the 2014/15 campaign, averaging 11.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 24.0 minutes per contest. Hardway’s shooting line was .389/.342/.801.

Schröder, 22, was the No. 17 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 126 contests since arriving in Atlanta, notching averages of 7.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists to accompany a slash line of .417/.326/.797. The German born point guard is set to earn $2,708,582.

Eastern Rumors: Nets, Irving, Hawks

Deron Williams has yet to appear in a preseason game for the Nets, despite being the fulcrum for their $102.211MM payroll this season. If he’s kept out of the rest of the preseason, Nets coach Jason Kidd tells Rod Boone at Newsday that Deron might not be ready, conditioning wise, for the start of the season (Twitter).

Boone added, via Twitter, that Williams hasn’t had any setback with his rehabilitation, Kidd and team officials are just being cautious by keeping him out.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving is coming up on the end of his rookie-scale contract, and Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal notes that staying healthy this season – Irving hasn’t played more than 60 games in either of this first two seasons – will go a long way towards the Cavs offering him the maximum allowable 5-year, $80MM contract next summer when he becomes eligible.
  • Hawks GM Danny Ferry was in Spain today to check up on 44th overall pick Mike Muscala, according to Chema De Lucas of (Twitter link; hat tip to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution). Muscala signed with Spanish club Obradoiro in the offseason, as our International Player Movement Tracker shows. Atlanta retains his NBA rights.
  • The AP reports Bulls point guard Derrick Rose sat out today’s preseason action against the Wizards due to “left knee soreness.”
  • Keith Bogans will be out “a couple weeks,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told media today (Twitter). A. Sherrod Blakeley of reports, via Twitter, Bogans had an MRI this morning that confirmed a right thumb strain. He’ll be re-evaluated this Monday.

 Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Hawks Notes: Howard, Koonin, Reserves

The addition of center Dwight Howard and a change in coach Mike Budenholzer’s approach has dramatically improved the Hawks’ offensive rebounding, KL Chouinard of the team’s website relays. The Hawks ranked at the bottom in the NBA in that category last season but sit No. 3 in the early going. Howard leads the league with a 4.9 offensive rebounding average, as the Hawks’ bigs have been given greater freedom to pursue those caroms, Chouinard adds. “I would call it a slight tweak or an emphasis, but not at the expense of transition defense,” Budenholzer told Chouinard. “[It’s] an emphasis of ‘Can we be better on the offensive boards? Can we take advantage of who we have and be more committed there?’ I think the guys have done a nice job of doing that and they have been rewarded.”

In other news regarding the Hawks:
  • CEO Steve Koonin signed a new three-year contract with the team this summer, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Koonin signed a contract with the previous ownership group in April 2014. Principal owner Tony Ressler, who purchased the team in June 2015, decided to keep Koonin on board. He oversees the team’s business, financial and strategic operations, Vivlamore adds.
  • The Hawks didn’t spend heavily on their reserves but that unit is paying big dividends, Vivlamore writes in a separate story. Swingman Thabo Sefolosha ($3.85MM salary this season) ranks second in the league in steals (2.6 per game), sixth in field goal percentage (60.0) and sixth in plus/minus rating (plus-78) despite averaging 25 minutes per game. Big man Mike Muscala ($1MM) leads the league in field goal percentage at 66%, while guards Malcolm Delaney ($2.5MM) and Tim Hardaway Jr. rank among the top 20 in plus/minus rating. “Everyone on this team can play, a guy in the starting five, a guy from the bench, everybody can contribute big time,” Sefolosha told Vivlamore. “Different night, different guy steps up.”

Hawks Rumors: Budenholzer, Carroll, Millsap

The Hawks crashed to earth in the conference finals after the high of a 60-win joy ride through the regular season, but a sweep at the hands of the Cavs hasn’t shaken the faith that coach and acting GM Mike Budenholzer has in his team. Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll, Pero Antic, Elton Brand and John Jenkins will become free agents this summer, when the Hawks have only about $39MM against a projected $67.1MM cap. Budenholzer wasn’t anxious to talk about the future so soon after Tuesday’s loss, but he made it clear that he’s not dreaming of changes, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays.

“I will say that this is a hell of a group and to bring them back would be a huge priority,” Budenholzer said.

Here’s more from Atlanta:

  • League sources tell Kevin Arnovitz of that Carroll is liable to see $50MM on a four-year deal this summer, with a chance for that figure to come in even higher if a front office is particularly enamored. The expectation is that Millsap will command the max or close to it, Arnovitz adds. Previous estimates for Carroll have come in at $8-9MM annually and $9-12MM a year.
  • The tight-knit fabric of the Hawks will be a lure to re-sign with the team, Millsap admitted in the wake of Atlanta’s elimination Tuesday, notes Brian Windhorst of (on Twitter). “This team is family, this team is close and that will play into the decision,” Millsap said.
  • Purpose and well-defined roles helped Carroll ascend from journeyman to sought-after free agent, as Eric Weiss and Kevin O’Connor of DraftExpress examine.

Raptors, Hawks Exchange Salmons, Williams

TUESDAY, 7:13am: The Raptors and Hawks officially announced the trade overnight before the July moratorium began. Williams and the rights to Nogueira go to Toronto while Salmons and a 2015 second-rounder go to Atlanta.

NBA: Charlotte Bobcats at Atlanta HawksMONDAY, 10:00pm: The snag in the trade has been resolved.  The Raptors will also send a 2015 second-round choice to Atlanta in the deal, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.

The Raptors should end up with a $2.133MM trade exception for Salmons, Pincus tweets.

8:06pm: The Hawks still aren’t expected to keep Salmons past the new deadline, a league source tells Charania (on Twitter).

8:04pm: The Hawks won’t release Salmons today, and both sides have agreed to extend the waiver deadline to July 10th, a league source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 8:25pm: The Hawks will indeed waive Salmons tomorrow, Wojnarowski reveals in his full story.

7:37pm: The Raptors have agreed to send John Salmons to the Hawks in exchange for Lou Williams and the rights to Lucas Nogueira, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Marc Stein of ESPN first revealed that the two sides were in advanced discussions of such a deal (Twitter link).

Salmons’ $7MM contract is only partially guaranteed for $1MM if he’s waived by the end of tomorrow, as Chuck Myron explained in our recap of upcoming guarantee dates. Given Atlanta’s reported interest in a run at a Carmelo Anthony/LeBron James pairing, it’s probably only a matter of time until Salmons finds himself a free agent. In 78 games for the Kings and Raptors last season, Salmons averaged just 5.0 points per game while shooting 36.8% from the floor.

Williams is a few years removed from his prime, but it’s unlikely the Hawks are giving up the former stud point guard and rights to Nogueira, a 2013 first-round selection, just to get $7MM off of their books. It’s possible, and maybe even likely, that this move is a precursor to a bigger deal, suggests Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). The trade should be finalized sometime tomorrow, tweets David Aldridge of TNT, giving Atlanta the window required to shed Salmons’ contract before it becomes guaranteed.

Eastern Notes: Harrington, Hill, Hawks

The Nets will add Adam Harrington to their staff, David Aldridge of tweets. Harrington was formerly Kevin Durant‘s personal trainer and Oklahoma City’s shooting coach. Aldridge points out that Harrington helped Durant learn Dirk Nowitzki‘s signature 1-legged jump shot.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

And Ones: Gasol, Nuggets, Drummond, Hawks

The BullsPau Gasol could miss out on a major payday if he doesn’t opt out of his current deal next summer, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Gasol has a player option on the final season of a three-year, $22.3MM contract that brought him to Chicago in 2014. He is owed a little less than $7.77MM for 2016/17, when increased TV revenues are expected to greatly raise the salary cap. Two unidentified executives from rival teams told Johnson that even at age 36, Gasol could land two more years of guaranteed money if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. “I’ll wait to make that decision,” Gasol said. “All I’m focused on now is trying to play the best I can so that if I do opt out and explore, I have options. If I have the best season possible and work on my body and stay healthy and help this team accomplish its goals, I’ll go from there.”

There’s more from around the world of basketball:

  • The league has taken steps to reduce the unique home-court advantage the Nuggets possess because of Denver’s location and altitude, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Denver is at least a two-hour flight from nearly all NBA cities, which gives the home team a decided advantage against an opponent playing back-to-back games, especially when the thin mountain air is factored in. “I didn’t like it when I had to come here,” said Michael Malone, who is in his first season as Nuggets coach. “But I love it now.” Dempsey reports that the NBA has tried to cut into that edge by making Denver the first stop for teams traveling from the east and building an off day into the schedule for teams coming from the west.
  • The PistonsAndre Drummond tops a list of six players exceeding expectations compiled by Jonathan Concool of Basketball Insiders. Drummond was averaging 20.3 points and 20.3 rebounds per game heading into Saturday’s action. Rounding out the list are the BlazersC.J. McCollum, the Pistons’ Marcus Morris, the Bucks‘ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Magic’s Evan Fournier and the LakersJordan Clarkson.
  • The Hawks will recall Edy Tavares and Lamar Patterson from the D-League Sunday, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Both are expected to be in Atlanta in time for the game with the Jazz.

Koonin Approved As New Hawks CEO

Steve Koonin will become the new Hawks CEO, per Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The team has confirmed the news on its website. NBA owners have approved Koonin for the position. Atlanta sold a minority share of the team in March, which increased the team’s stakeholders to 12. Bruce Levenson will remain the primary owner for the team.

Koonin, who had been serving as president of Turner Entertainment Networks, will own a minority share of the team, as The Associated Press details. He’s spent the past 14 years at Turner, and was previously a marketing executive for Coca-Cola for more than a decade.

Koonin will oversee all business operations for the Hawks, according to the AP. It’s not clear whether he’ll have any say over the team’s basketball side, but it seems as though GM Danny Ferry will maintain autonomy over that department.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Walton, Van Gundy, Hawks

At his introductory press conference today, new Lakers coach Luke Walton says now that the NBA Finals are over he is completely focused on the task at hand and is ready to help restore the franchise to its former glory, The Los Angeles Daily News relays. Walton noted the franchise’s exciting young talent, the amount of money the team can afford to spend in free agency and the opportunity to turn things around for a franchise that is coming off some of its worst seasons ever as reasons the post interested and excited him. “The fact that [GM] Mitch [Kupchak] and [VP] Jimmy Buss trusted me to be part of this rebuilding, post-Kobe [Bryant] era means the world to me,” Walton said. “Everything excites me. We have young talented players, we have draft picks, we have $60-70 million in free agency, the greatest fans.

Walton also added that he doesn’t foresee any issues with him reaching and connecting with the team’s young roster. “Our players are going to like coming into practice every day,” Walton said. “We are going to play a brand of b-ball that the L.A. fans will appreciate. You have to make it fun for them. Basketball is meant to be a game of joy.

Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • The Jazz have told interested teams that Gordon Hayward isn’t available and won’t be traded, Marc Stein of tweets. The Bucks are also turning away teams calling about Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton, Stein adds.
  • Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy is confident the team will nab a solid player with the No. 18 overall pick, but he doesn’t expect whomever is selected to contribute next season, Keith Langlois of writes. Van Gundy also noted that Detroit’s draft night results won’t alter its approach to free agency this summer. “It’s possible [the draft pick becomes part of the rotation], but we still wouldn’t view them that way at 18, quite honestly,” Van Gundy said. “Nothing that we do Thursday night will change the way we look at free agency. So if we draft a point guard Thursday night, we’ll still be looking at a point guard in free agency. If we draft a true power forward in the draft on Thursday night, we’re still going out looking for one.”
  • Discussing a possible trade of the Pistons‘ No. 18 pick, Van Gundy told reporters that the team plans on keeping the selection if there is a player available whom they like, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets. “The chances are, if there are guys there at 18 that we like, we’ll just go ahead and make our pick,” Van Gundy said.
  • The Hawks‘ wealth of draft picks over the four years provides the team with ample assets to be active in the trade market on Thursday night, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. “It’s always important to have multiple picks because it gives you the opportunity to explore trades that may take you higher in the draft,” GM Wes Wilcox said. “So, yes, it certainly provides some flexibility that we will explore on draft night. It’s not just in the current draft. We are fortunate to have all of our first-round picks going forward plus one additional. It depends on how to count the second-round picks because some are contingent on other picks being delivered but we essentially have two second-round picks in every draft for the next four years.

Hawks’ Kent Bazemore Out For Season

2:46pm: The Hawks have issued a press release confirming the injuries to Bazemore and Morris. According to the team, Bazemore will miss the rest of the season and Morris will be out for approximately two to four weeks.

2:20pm: After leaving Sunday’s game with a knee injury, Hawks swingman Kent Bazemore isn’t expected to return to action anytime soon. A source tells Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Bazemore will likely miss “several weeks” due to a right knee bone bruise.

A three-and-D wing, Bazemore has started 65 of the Hawks’ 67 games this year, averaging 12.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 3.5 APG with a career-best .394 3PT%. He still has two seasons left on the lucrative four-year deal he signed back in 2016, and is owed an $18MM+ guaranteed salary for 2018/19, plus a $19MM+ player option for 2019/20.

The tanking Hawks are currently tied for the third-worst record in the NBA at 20-47, so the club likely won’t be too devastated to lose one of its more productive rotation players. While the recovery timeline on Bazemore suggests he could be back before season’s end, it’s very possible that Atlanta will play it safe and hold him out for the club’s final 15 games.

Meanwhile, the Hawks will also be without rookie Jaylen Morris, who suffered a left ankle sprain and is expected to be out for two weeks, according to Cunningham. Morris just signed his second 10-day contract with the club on Sunday, but it sounds like he won’t be healthy before that deal expires on March 20.

If Morris remains a part of Atlanta’s plans, the team figures to keep him around during his recovery and then sign him to a rest-of-season contract later this month. If not, the Hawks could end up terminating his 10-day deal early.

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