De’Andre Hunter

Scotto’s Latest: Wizards, DeRozan, Hunter, Jazz, Magic, Thunder, More

After using a lottery pick last year to add Bilal Coulibaly, the Wizards may draft another Frenchman early in the 2024 event, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who hears from league sources that the team expects to choose between big man Alexandre Sarr and forward Zaccharie Risacher.

Those prospects sit atop most 2024 big boards and mock drafts, so Washington may not actually get to “choose between” the two, given that one of them will likely be selected at No. 1. Still, Scotto’s report suggests the front office would be happy to add either Sarr or Risacher to its young core.

The Wizards’ long-term goal is to build its roster through the draft, Scotto writes, which is one reason why Brian Keefe – who has a reputation for being a strong player development coach – is considered the “heavy favorite” to be promoted from interim to permanent head coach in D.C.

According to Scotto, Washington would also like to retain free agent point guard Tyus Jones, who started 66 games in 2023/24 and could provide a stabilizing veteran presence for the Wizards youngsters. However, the expectation is that the Wizards will face competition for Jones if and when he reaches the open market.

Here are several more items of interest from Scotto’s latest aggregate mock draft at HoopsHype:

  • If the Clippers end up losing Paul George, they’re a team to watch as a potential sign-and-trade destination for Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan, Scotto reports. A team must remain below the first tax apron if it acquires a player via sign-and-trade — that would be a more viable option for Los Angeles with George’s maximum-salary contract off the books.
  • Rival executives anticipate that Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter, who has been mentioned in trade rumors in the past, will become available again this offseason, Scotto writes. Hunter, who set new career highs in 2023/24 with 15.6 points per game and a .385 3PT%, is owed approximately $70MM over the next three seasons.
  • The Jazz are expected to be open to trading their picks in this year’s draft, including No. 10 overall, and some people around the league believe team owner Ryan Smith is ready to add more high-level talent to the roster, Scotto writes, adding that Jazz CEO Danny Ainge has “aggressively monitored” the trade market.
  • The Magic will focus on adding shooting in the draft and free agency, according to Scotto, who notes that rival executives are keeping an eye on the Thunder as a team that could be active in the free agent market for centers. Orlando ranked dead-last in the NBA this season in three-pointers made (11.0 per game), while Oklahoma City placed 28th in rebounding rate (48.4%).
  • The Raptors will likely exercise their $23MM team option on swingman Bruce Brown, league sources tell HoopsHype. A previous report from The Toronto Star suggested the team was a good bet to pick up that option with an eye toward trading Brown.
  • Former Weber State wing Dillon Jones has pre-draft workouts lined up with the Pacers, Hornets, Bucks, Celtics, Raptors, and Spurs, per Scotto.

Eastern Notes: Hunter, Pistons’ Draft, Fournier, Suggs

The Hawks have won six of their last 11 games despite the absence of Trae Young and some other key players. De’Andre Hunter has played a major role in keeping the Hawks afloat while they’re shorthanded. In the last 11 games, Hunter is averaging 16.9 points on 50.4% shooting from the field and 43.9% from beyond the arc, The Athletic’s Law Murray notes.

“He’s playing really well,” Hawks head coach Quin Snyder said. “We just want him really on offense just to attack, to be in attack mode. And he’s embraced that. And he’s a fun guy to coach and a heck of a player.”

Hunter has been the subject of trade rumors for the past year, but the Hawks are in position to keep him long-term if they so choose — he’s under contract through the 2026/27 season on a deal that will pay him nearly $70MM over the next three years.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • There are no surefire stars in this year’s draft but Pistons fans need something to focus on besides the team’s poor record. The Athletic’s James Edwards III takes a look at seven prospects participating in the NCAA Tournament who might interest Detroit’s front office, including Colorado’s Cody Williams, UConn’s Stephon Castle and Duke’s Kyle Filipowski.
  • Pistons guard Evan Fournier has been fined $25K for kicking the game ball into the spectator stands on Sunday, the NBA announced (via Twitter). Fournier was frustrated when the Heat’s Bam Adebayo hit a game-winning 30-foot shot in the Pistons’ 104-101 loss.
  • Magic coach Jamahl Mosley believes Jalen Suggs should be heavily considered for the NBA’s All-Defensive Team, Jason Beede of the Orlando Sentinel tweets. “When Jalen is healthy and he’s good to go, he is a first-team All-Defensive player,”  Mosley said. “He cares and wants to defend.” Suggs will be eligible for a rookie scale extension after the season.

Fischer’s Latest: Carter, Brogdon, Smart, Hawks, Jones, Hornets

While there will likely be plenty of trades completed between now and next Thursday’s deadline, many of the players whom rival teams had hoped would hit the market aren’t expected to be available this season, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

As Fischer details, that list of players who are believed to be off-limits includes several current and former All-Stars, such as Lauri Markkanen, Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Karl-Anthony Towns. It also features talented forwards Mikal Bridges and Jerami Grant, as well as rising talent Jonathan Kuminga.

Fischer isn’t the first to report that those players likely won’t be on the move at the deadline, so no names in that group come as real surprises. However, Fischer adds a few more players to the list of unlikely trade candidates, writing that Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. is no longer considered available and citing league personnel who are skeptical that the Trail Blazers will part with Malcolm Brogdon.

Additionally, while a handful of clubs – including the Bucks and Lakers – have called the Grizzlies to inquire about Marcus Smart, according to Fischer, Memphis has shown no interest in moving the veteran guard, who remains in the team’s plans beyond this season.

Here are a few more trade-related notes and rumors from Fischer:

  • The Hawks are viewed by rival executives as the most “active and aggressive” team in the trade market, with Dejounte Murray, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, and AJ Griffin among the players who could be moved. While previous reports have indicated that Trae Young and Jalen Johnson are Atlanta’s only two untouchable players, Fischer says the club values Bogdan Bogdanovic as highly as any player on its roster outside of Young and Johnson.
  • Even though the Wizards are seeking a first-round pick for Tyus Jones, rival executives are confident that Washington will ultimately accept a package consisting of multiple second-rounders for the veteran point guard, per Fischer. Jones is on an expiring contract and wouldn’t be a starter on many teams, so a first-rounder would be a high price to pay.
  • Hornets forward P.J. Washington and center Nick Richards are generating a good deal of interest from potential trade partners, league sources tell Fischer. Kyle Lowry, Gordon Hayward, and Miles Bridges are among Charlotte’s other trade candidates.
  • We also passed along several of Fischer’s trade rumors related to Western Conference teams in a separate article.

Stein’s Latest: Rockets, Barnes, O’Neale, Hunter, Bogdanovic, Jazz, Murray

The Rockets are pursuing frontcourt options to give Most Improved Player Award candidate Alperen Şengün some help, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack post. They’re danging Victor Oladipo‘s expiring $9.5MM deal and Jock Landale‘s contract, which isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, as enticements. Houston is also seeking another shooter and has shown interest in the Kings’ Harrison Barnes, according to Stein.

Here are more tidbits from Stein’s story:

  • Barnes could be on the move, despite signing a three-year, $54MM extension last offseason. However, the Kings would prefer to get an impact player using Barnes as part of the package. They’ve had discussions with the Raptors regarding a potential Pascal Siakam deal. The Kings have also made Kevin Huerter and Davion Mitchell available but have no interest in dealing second-year forward Keegan Murray.
  • Stein suggested a couple of days ago that the Cavaliers might pursue Royce O’Neale to fill their 3-and-D need. He now hears that the Nets forward is indeed on Cleveland’s list of targets. The Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter could also be a target to watch for Cleveland, but his contract — he’s in the first year of a four-year, $90MM extension — would make the Cavs’ future cap issues more challenging. O’Neale will be a free agent after the season.
  • The Pistons had some exploratory discussions with a number of teams regarding swingman Bojan Bogdanović. However, it’s not a certainty they’ll deal him, says Stein. They may want to keep him around to help avoid setting the NBA record for the worst all-time season record, currently held by Sixers (9-73).
  • The Jazz’s surge up the Western Conference standings has made it tougher to predict what their front office will do in the coming weeks. Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Clarkson are the veterans most frequently mentioned as potential trade pieces but the chatter regarding John Collins has died down since he became the team’s starting center, according to Stein. Top exec Danny Ainge will still likely listen to trade pitches for virtually any player on the roster.
  • Dejounte Murray‘s list of potential suitors includes the Spurs, Lakers, Nets, Knicks and Pistons, Stein reports. The Hawks, as previously noted, are looking to replenish their draft assets after they gave up three first-round picks (two of their own) and a pick swap to acquire him from San Antonio in 2022.

Southeast Notes: Livers, Bagley, Christopher, Hawks’ Trade Chatter, Washington

The Wizards view Isaiah Livers and Marvin Bagley III as the most important parts of their trade with the Pistons on Sunday, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, rather than the two second-round picks Detroit tossed in to rid itself of Bagley’s contract.

Washngton parted with Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala in the deal. The Wizards are banking on their player development system to get more out of the two forwards they acquired. The team can make Livers a restricted free agent this summer if it likes what it sees from him the rest of the season.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Josh Christopher is joining the Heat’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Christopher, who had a two-way contract with the Jazz before he was waived on Monday, appeared in 138 games with Houston from 2021-23 but hasn’t seen any NBA action this season. He has appeared in 18 games (17 starts) for the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, averaging 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in 29.0 minutes per contest.
  • Trae Young and Jalen Johnson are the only players the Hawks are unwilling to trade, John Hollinger of The Athletic confirms. There’s plenty of trade chatter involving Dejounte Murray and they’re also trying to determine the trade value of De’Andre Hunter and Clint Capela. The Hawks could use Murray as means to shed the contract of either Capela or Hunter.
  • Hornets forward P.J. Washington returned to action on Sunday after missing the previous three games with a foot injury. the team’s PR department tweets. Washington, who is averaging 13.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season, signed a three-year contract over the summer.

Southeast Notes: Butler, Hunter, Mathews, Hawks, Diallo, Hornets

After missing four games near the end of December due to a left calf strain, Heat star Jimmy Butler ‘s return on Dec. 30 was short-lived. He logged 23 minutes in a loss to Utah that night before suffering a new injury that the team has referred to as a right toe MP joint sprain.

Butler will miss a fifth consecutive game on Wednesday when the Heat face the Thunder, but he told reporters on Tuesday that he’s relieved the injury isn’t more serious and that he doesn’t think his absence will last much longer.

“I (initially) thought it was way worse than it really was. I was scared for a much larger reason because of a bruise or the bone. So glad it wasn’t (that),” Butler said, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “It’s getting better. I’m moving a little bit better. … It was bad. It’s not nearly as bad now. I can put my shoe on and tie it without too much pain. I’m smiling because I’ll be back soon.”

Wednesday’s game will be the 13th contest that Butler has missed so far this season. If he sits out five more games between now and the regular season finale in April, he’ll be ineligible for end-of-season award consideration. However, he said on Tuesday that’s not something that’s on his mind.

“What you think?” Butler said when asked if he cares about possibly becoming ineligible for awards. “You think I’m worried about some reward? The only reward I give a damn about is those banners over there.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The Hawks issued a pair of health updates on Tuesday, announcing (via Twitter) that injured forward De’Andre Hunter (right knee) recently begun taking part in half-court workouts and will increase his basketball activities soon. The team also stated that guard Garrison Mathews, who underwent an MRI after injuring his left ankle on Sunday, has been diagnosed with a sprain and will be reevaluated in one or two weeks.
  • Danny Chau of The Ringer digs into whether the Trae Young era in Atlanta can be salvaged and whether big roster changes might be coming for the Hawks in the next few weeks.
  • Discussing the newest addition to the Wizards‘ roster on Wednesday, head coach Wes Unseld Jr. talked about what Hamidou Diallo will bring to the team, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). “High-level energy,” Unseld said. “He defends. He plays downhill, plays with force. He can be very disruptive, very active. He’s got positional size, which I think is great. He’s improved his three-point shooting.” There hasn’t been much in-game evidence for Unseld’s final claim, as Diallo made just 7-of-33 threes (21.2%) with the Capital City Go-Go in the G League this season before signing a 10-day contract with Washington.
  • In a mailbag for The Charlotte Observer, Roderick Boone tackles several Hornets-related topics, weighing the odds of an in-season trade involving Terry Rozier and explaining why he doesn’t think Charlotte will let Miles Bridges walk for nothing in free agency in the summer.

De’Andre Hunter To Miss At Least Two Weeks With Right Knee Inflammation

De’Andre Hunter will undergo a non-surgical procedure on Tuesday to address inflammation in his right knee, the Hawks announced (via Twitter).

Hunter’s condition will be reevaluated in about two weeks, the team added. The 26-year-old small forward sat out Atlanta’s last two games because of pain in his knee.

Hunter has appeared in 24 of the Hawks’ first 29 games and is averaging 14.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per night while shooting 46% from the field and 40.4% from three-point range. He has been the subject of recent trade rumors as a result of Atlanta’s disappointing 12-17 start.

Hunter is in the first season of the rookie scale extension he signed in 2022 and has three more years left on his contract at $21.7MM, $23.3MM and $24.9MM.

Fischer’s Latest: Capela, Hunter, Quickley, Wizards, Rockets

There was minimal trade chatter at the NBA’s annual G League Showcase this week, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Still, the Hawks are among the teams worth keeping an eye on, according to Fischer, who says Atlanta still seems to be open to dealing Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter.

A veteran Swiss big man, Capela is averaging a double-double (11.8 PPG and 10.7 RPG in 26 games) for the seventh straight season. He’s making $20.6MM this season and will earn $22.3MM in 2024/25. Fifth-year forward Hunter, meanwhile, will make $90MM over the next four years after inking a rookie scale extension prior to 2022/23.

The news isn’t surprising, since both players were involved in rumors over the summer and the Hawks have had a pretty disappointing start to the 2023/24 campaign. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto has heard similarly.

While Scotto recently reported that the Knicks would consider trading Immanuel Quickley if the right deal presents itself, Fischer hears the fourth-year guard’s name “has been virtually absent” from early trade talks. Perhaps that will change in the next several weeks leading up to the deadline, but it seems to indicate New York isn’t actively shopping Quickley.

Here’s more from Fischer’s latest rumor round-up:

  • The 5-22 Wizards look like prime candidates to be sellers at the deadline in the first year of their rebuild, according to Fischer. Daniel Gafford, Kyle Kuzma and Tyus Jones are among the players who could net positive returns. Rival teams value Kuzma’s contract (four years, $90MM), and the Wizards could get “legitimate first-round capital” if they move the veteran forward, Fischer writes. Opposing executives also think Washington might be able to land a first-round pick for Jones, who is making $14MM in the final year of his deal.
  • The Wizards will likely receive calls on former lottery picks Corey Kispert and Deni Avdija as well, Fischer adds, but it’s unclear if Washington is interested in dealing them. Avdijia, in particular, would be difficult to trade due to the poison pill provision. According to Fischer, rivals are skeptical Jordan Poole would fetch a “worthwhile return” due to his early-season struggles and pricey long-term contract (he’s owed $123MM+ over the next four years).
  • The Rockets could be in the market for a backup center, sources tell Fischer. As Fischer explains, free agent addition Jock Landale hasn’t secured a rotation spot, averaging just 8.5 MPG in his 16 appearances, and the team might seek an upgrade behind Alperen Sengun.

Knicks Rumors: Murray, Anunoby, Barrett, Quickley, Fournier

While one recent report indicated the Knicks haven’t been very active in trade conversions thus far this season, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype hears from sources who say New York is among a group of teams that have shown “exploratory interest” in Hawks guard Dejounte Murray.

As Scotto writes, Murray can’t be traded until January 9, which is six months after the one-time All-Star signed a four-year, $111MM+ extension over the summer. But with the Hawks off to a slow start (they’re 12-15, the No. 10 seed in the East), Scotto suggests they’d be willing to listen to offers on several players on their roster, including De’Andre Hunter and Clint Capela, who have both popped up in trade rumors in the past year.

In June 2022, before Murray was traded to Atlanta from San Antonio, multiple reporters said the Knicks were interested in his services — it’s not surprising that they’re rumored to be checking in on his availability again. Through 27 games this season, the 27-year-old is averaging 20.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.4 APG and 1.5 SPG in 34.3 MPG.

Here are a few more Knicks rumors from Scotto:

  • New York is still interested in Raptors forward OG Anunoby, Scotto reports. When the two teams discussed Anunoby last season, RJ Barrett came up in the talks, but “nothing substantive materialized.” According to Scotto, the Knicks would likely have to give up a significant haul of assets to land Anunoby, who can become a free agent in 2024 if he declines his player option for ’24/25.
  • The Knicks and Immanuel Quickley did not agree to terms on a rookie scale extension before the ’23/24 season began, and Scotto previously reported that there was a pretty significant gap in what the young guard was seeking on his next deal and what New York was willing to offer. That gap — plus the team’s belief that he would eventually like to start — has made the Knicks willing to consider trading Quickley if the right opportunity arises, according to Scotto.
  • Unsurprisingly, Scotto hears the Knicks have also been attempting to trade Evan Fournier and his expiring contract, but they obviously haven’t found any takers yet — otherwise he wouldn’t still be on the roster.

Trade Rumors: Mitchell, Grant, Hawks, Clarkson

There’s no indication that the Cavaliers are considering trading Donovan Mitchell, and the star guard shut down that topic of conversation following injuries to teammates Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. However, in an Insider-only story for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton argues that it’s something the team should think about, given that Cleveland doesn’t appear to be a legitimate title contender in the short term and Mitchell can become a free agent in 2025.

As Pelton writes, if the Cavaliers aren’t confident in their ability to extend Mitchell beyond his current deal, they could maximize his value on the trade market by moving him sooner rather than later, potentially getting back pieces that could complement Garland and Mobley as they enter their respective primes.

It seems unlikely that the Cavs will heed Pelton’s advice and make Mitchell available in advance of this season’s trade deadline. But if the four-time All-Star eventually ends up on the trade block, the Knicks, Nets, Heat, and “at least two other” Southwest teams would be among the potential suitors to watch, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his latest Hoop Collective podcast (hat tip to NetsDaily).

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • Ever since Damian Lillard requested a trade out of Portland, forward Jerami Grant has been viewed as a logical trade candidate, given that he seems to be on a different timeline than the rebuilding Trail Blazers. However, Danny Marang of 1080 The Fan in Portland (Twitter link) says he continues to hear the team has “zero interest” in moving Grant and is happy with the role he’s playing on the current roster.
  • Teams around the NBA are keeping an eye on the Hawks to see if they’ll become a trade deadline seller, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack story. Atlanta was at the center of several offseason trade rumors – many of which involved Clint Capela and/or De’Andre Hunter – but didn’t end up doing anything too significant and is off to an underwhelming (11-15) start this fall.
  • Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report (video link) confirms that Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson is considered available via trade, as previous reports have suggested. Clarkson likes playing in Utah and isn’t seeking an exit, Haynes notes, but multiple contenders have inquired about him.