Mouhamed Gueye

Southeast Notes: Mills, Spoelstra, Gueye, Bufkin, Windler, Wagners

Patty Mills only appeared in 32 games with the Hawks and Heat this season but the 35-year-old guard isn’t ready to retire. Mills will head into free agency looking for a new deal, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“I take really good care of myself and my body and the plan is to continue to play until the wheels fall off is how I see it,” he said. Mills, who added he’d prefer to stay with the Heat, will play for Australia in the Paris Olympics.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat‘s early postseason exit has allowed coach Erik Spoelstra to spend more time evaluating draft prospects, though he’s offering opinions rather than getting too involved in the process. “I figured I had three days to get up to speed on the draft last year,” he told Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “The eight weeks leading up to [this year’s draft], I think I’ll just be probably overconfused by overanalysis. I’ll stay out of the way. Now that I have more time, I’m probably dangerous. I’ll stay out of the way of our scouting department. They do an exceptional job — Adam Simon and his staff — preparing for that draft.”
  • Mouhamed Gueye, Kobe Bufkin and Dylan Windler are expected to play on the Hawks’ Summer League squad next month, Brad Rowland of the LockedOnHawks podcast tweets. General manager Landry Fields made that revelation during his press conference on Monday. Gueye and Bufkin were on Atlanta’s 15-man roster to finish the season, while Windler was a two-way player.
  • Germany won the FIBA World Cup last summer, defeating Team USA along the way. The Magic‘s Franz Wagner and Moritz Wagner will now try to lead their home country to a gold medal at the Olympics. “It’s a dream come true for me as a player,” Franz told Jason Beede of the Orlando Sentinel. The Magic hold an $8MM option on Moritz’s contract for next season, so he could wind up as a free agent next month.

Hawks Notes: Murray, Young, Krejci, Gueye

Appearing on Trae Young‘s From The Point podcast (YouTube link) this week, Young’s Hawks teammate Dejounte Murray downplayed the trade rumors that have surrounded the two guards in recent months, dismissing them as internet chatter.

“People are going to do all the stuff they do on the internet,” Murray said (hat tip to HoopsHype). “They have to do that; they can’t just say good (stuff) because the bad stuff sells. The bad stuff is what makes any of us go read. Not too many people want to read, ‘Oh, this is the good thing that was put out.’ The negativity is the stuff that sells.

“So, you know, for me, when I see just all the BS, ‘Trade this guy or trade that guy.’ It means nothing. It’s somebody behind their computer. … I’m not the GM, he’s not the GM. I’m not the coach, he’s not the coach. So for me, that stuff means nothing.”

Young, meanwhile, refuted the idea that there’s any tension between the two Hawks point guards, stressing that his relationship with Murray goes “beyond basketball.”

“I think relationships can always be better if your team’s winning and things like that, and juices are flowing,” Young said (hat tip to HoopsHype). “But, I think there are certain relationships that you have that are just deeper than basketball. And so, he’s one of those guys that, I mean, it’s forever deeper than that. So, I got a good relationship with him, man.”

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • In spite of Murray’s and Young’s comments, Marc Stein (Substack link) hears from a league source that a trade involving one of those two guards continues to be the most likely scenario this offseason in Atlanta.
  • Hawks two-way player Vit Krejci has been a regular rotation piece as of late, averaging 27.8 minutes per game and starting 13 of Atlanta’s past 17 contests, prompting John Hollinger of The Athletic to wonder if the team will promote him to its 15-man roster this week. Krejci won’t be eligible for the Hawks’ play-in game (or the playoffs, if they make it) unless he’s converted to a standard contract, but the team doesn’t have an obvious candidate to be waived to make room for him, according to Hollinger, who adds that Garrison Mathews and Wesley Matthews looked like possible release candidates at one point but have both been playing more regularly recently.
  • A lower back stress fracture and a UCL sprain derailed Mouhamed Gueye‘s rookie season, limiting him to just three NBA appearances and four games in the G League. The silver lining, writes Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is that those injuries taught Gueye a lesson he might not have learned if he’d been healthy. “If you’re not injured you really don’t know how to take care of your body,” Gueye said. “That’s what I learned — taking care of my body, icing every day, being disciplined. Not just doing it because you feel like it but do it every day because it’s gonna pay off. And honestly just listening to guys like (Hawks assistant) Ekpe (Udoh). He went through it his rookie year too like, just be patient and your time will come.”

Southeast Notes: Russell, Johnson, Griffin, Gueye, Miller, George

The Magic may take a run at D’Angelo Russell in free agency this summer. The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, who covers the Lakers, has heard that Orlando would be the biggest threat to sign away the combo guard (hat tip to Jesse Cinquini of LakersDaily.com).

“Orlando is the team that — talking to people with the Lakers, talking to people outside the Lakers — Orlando is the team that probably gives them the most concern in terms of a potential suitor,” Buha said.

Russell would give Orlando’s backcourt an offensive boost. He’s averaging 18.1 points and 6.4 assists per game while shooting a career-best 41.9% from deep this season. Russell holds an $18.7MM option on his contract for next season and can become an unrestricted free agent by turning down that option.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks forward Jalen Johnson will return to action on Monday night against the Bulls, The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweets. Johnson, who is averaging 16.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest, has been out since March 18 after suffering an ankle sprain against the Lakers. The Hawks currently hold the final spot for the East’s play-in tournament at No. 10 in the conference.
  • Several other Hawks players still require more time to come back from their injuries, the team’s PR department tweets. AJ Griffin (right high ankle sprain) has progressed to individual basketball activities and will be re-evaluated in seven-to-10 days. Mouhamed Gueye (right UCL sprain) has progressed to full contact workouts, while Onyeka Okongwu (left big toe sprain) has resumed individual basketball activities. He will also be re-evaluated in seven-to-10 days.
  • Hornets rookie forward Brandon Miller has labeled Clippers forward Paul George the “Greatest Player of All-Time.” Miller got a chance to match up against his idol on Sunday, contributing 22 points, six rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes during Charlotte’s 12-point loss. George paid back Miller with a compliment, according to Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer. “He’s got a ton of game, and a ton of talent and I’m in his corner,” George said. “So can’t wait to see him fully blossom and be one of those guys that carried the league for a long time.”

Hawks Notes: Snyder, Johnson, Gueye, Griffin, Young

Hawks head coach Quin Snyder received a rousing ovation and a video tribute as he returned to Utah Friday night, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. It was Snyder’s first time back at the Delta Center since parting ways with the Jazz following the 2021/22 season, and fans were eager to celebrate the success he had during his eight years as head coach.

“There were so many people here in Utah that me and my family came across that touched our lives,” Snyder said. “Those relationships are timeless for me, even if I’m not here. I have so much gratitude for the people that I worked here with and for, particularly Ryan Smith and Justin Zanik and Danny Ainge. So to come back here to Utah and be reminded of that brings a lot of emotion. But life is about change, and it’s about adapting, and we all have to do these things at some point.”

Jones notes that Snyder had to build a winning team from scratch after he took over the Jazz in 2014, and he’s still early in that process with Atlanta. The Hawks are holding onto the East’s final play-in spot at 29-37 in Snyder’s first full season, but they aren’t nearly where he wants them to be.

“I think we know that we have a lot of work to do, but that’s what makes it fun,” Snyder said. “The most important thing for us is to make sure that we improve each day and that we are doing the right things. We have to make sure that we have the right habits and then work from there.”

There’s more on the Hawks:

  • Jalen Johnson, who returned Friday after missing three games with a sprained right ankle, is one of the few NBA players who spends the All-Star break training rather than relaxing, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. While most of the league is on vacation, Johnson undergoes an intense three-day workout in Los Angeles. “It lets you know how unsatisfied he is,” said his trainer, Chris Johnson. “He’s a starter now, he’s getting everything he wants, and he’s still unsatisfied. He has this desire to be the best version of himself. … Jalen Johnson is the next superstar in the making.”
  • Rookie big man Mouhamed Gueye suffered an ulnar collateral ligament sprain to his right elbow/forearm area in a G League game this week, the Hawks announced (via Twitter). Gueye will undergo rehabilitation in Atlanta and will be reevaluated in seven-to-10 days.
  • Second-year wing AJ Griffin has missed four straight G League games because of pain in his lower right leg and ankle, the team tweeted. He will be examined by the Hawks’ medical staff next week.
  • Michael Cunningham of The Journal-Constitution (subscription required) argues that Trae Young should try to return from hand surgery if the Hawks are still in strong position for the play-in tournament when he’s healed, but that’s not a guarantee considering their recent performance. Young’s timeline has him set to be reevaluated in about a week.

Southeast Notes: Kupchak, Hornets, Hayward, Gueye, Krejci, Beal

The Hornets’ front office could get a shakeup after the trade deadline. According to The Athletic’s John Hollinger, the scuttlebutt around league circles is that their new ownership group is planning to soon make a change in the front office.

Whether that involves Mitch Kupchak remains to be seen. Kupchak has been the Hornets’ president of basketball operations and general manager since April 2018.

We have more on the Southeast Division:

  • With Terry Rozier traded to Miami and LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward sidelined by injuries, the Hornets are struggling to get settled on offense. They’re saddled with an eight-game losing streak entering Wednesday’s contest against Toronto. ‘We gotta learn to trust the pass more, trust each other,” coach Steve Clifford said, per Alex Zietlow of the Charlotte Observer. “You know, that’s part of how we have to evolve. But we’re playing without one of the most creative players in the world in Melo. Terry obviously creates a lot of shots. And Gordon. So when you get used to playing a certain way, (it’s tough). Now we just have to just flick the switch a little bit. Move the ball, move our bodies a little bit more. And we have more than enough offense on the floor to play well for four quarters.”
  • Hayward, who hasn’t played since Dec. 26 due to a calf injury, is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game, the team’s PR department tweets.
  • Hawks forward Mouhamed Gueye (right low back stress fracture) has returned to modified practice with the NBA G League’s College Park Skyhawks, according to a team press release. He is traveling with the Hawks this week to continue his rehabilitation plan. Gueye has only appeared in two NBA games this season. Forward Vit Krejci (left shoulder subluxation) practiced Monday with the Skyhawks and is traveling with the Skyhawks for their games this week at Grand Rapids, Mich. Krejci, a two-way player, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game this season.
  • Bradley Beal returned to Washington and dropped a season-high 43 points on his former team on Sunday. The Suns wing said he has a lot of good memories regarding his former NBA home and has no ill will toward the Wizards organization, according to the Noah Trister of The Associated Press. “It was a mutual decision back in the summer. It wasn’t a spiteful or like a disgusting divorce,” Beal said of the offseason trade. “It was a good separation. No hard feelings in it.”

Injury Notes: Cunningham, LaVine, Hawks, Spurs, Whitehead

Pistons guard Cade Cunningham, who has been out since January 7 due to a left knee strain, has been cleared to resume basketball activities, the team announced today in a press release. According to the Pistons, the plan is for Cunningham to begin ramping up for a return to action, which should happen within the next five-to-seven days.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • After rolling his right ankle in the third quarter of Thursday’s win over Toronto, Bulls guard Zach LaVine headed to the locker room, then returned to the bench and played a couple minutes in the fourth quarter, but he didn’t finish the game and it was “obvious” he wasn’t quite right, says Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. It’s unclear if the injury – which affected the same foot that cost LaVine 17 games earlier in the season – will force him to miss any additional time.
  • Hawks rookie Mouhamed Gueye (right low back stress fracture) has increased the intensity of his individual work and is now doing full-court activity, per the team (Twitter link). Gueye will be reevaluated in two or three weeks. In other Hawks health news, Trae Young has been ruled out for Friday’s game in Miami due to an illness, according to Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter links).
  • Spurs big man Zach Collins is on track to return from his ankle sprain on Friday in Charlotte, says Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). The club has a back-to-back set tonight and tomorrow, so McDonald anticipates Collins will play on Friday and sit on Saturday, while Victor Wembanyama will be out tonight and play tomorrow.
  • The Nets announced on Thursday that rookie Dariq Whitehead has been diagnosed with a left shin stress reaction, adding that possible treatment options are still being considered, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link).

Hawks Announce Several Injury Updates

Hawks forward Jalen Johnson has been cleared to resume practicing in full, the team announced today in a press release, adding that Johnson’s status will be updated “as appropriate.”

Johnson was in the midst of a breakout season before suffering a left distal radius fracture on November 25. In his 14 healthy games this year, the 22-year-old averaged 14.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 31.4 minutes per night, with a .590/.421/.774 shooting line.

The Hawks have gone 3-8 without Johnson and have a +4.6 net rating when he’s on the court this season, which is the highest mark for any player on the roster. The fact that he seems to be nearing a return is great news for the slumping club.

Here are a few more injury updates announced today by the Hawks:

  • Hawks rookie guard Kobe Bufkin, who fractured his left thumb on November 2, has also been cleared to practice in full. His recovery timeline was said to be eight-to-10 weeks from the date of his injury, which occurred approximately seven weeks ago, so it sounds like his return isn’t far off.
  • Another rookie, forward Mouhamed Gueye, underwent a CT scan on his right low back stress fracture on Monday and has been given the go-ahead to begin light on-court individual work. Gueye isn’t close to returning, however, with Atlanta announcing he’ll be reevaluated four weeks from now.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has missed the past two games due to right ankle inflammation, received treatment on Tuesday and is questionable to play in Wednesday’s game vs. Houston.
  • Reserve forward AJ Griffin remains unavailable for personal reasons and will miss a fifth consecutive game on Wednesday. The 2022 first-rounder hasn’t been a part of the Hawks’ regular rotation this season, averaging just 9.2 minutes per game in 12 appearances.

Hawks’ Bufkin, Gueye Will Miss Extended Time

The Hawks will be without two of their rookies for an extended period, according to a team press release.

Guard Kobe Bufkin underwent an X-ray and medical review on his fractured left thumb on Saturday. His return to play timeline is eight-to-10 weeks from the date of injury, which occurred on Nov. 2.

Bufkin was injured during a practice with the team’s G League club, the College Park Skyhawks.

Bufkin, a guard out of Michigan, was the first player taken outside the lottery this June. The 15th overall pick has made two cameo appearances with the Hawks.

Forward Mouhamed Gueye, who has missed the last two games with a right lower back strain, underwent an MRI on Saturday that revealed a right low back stress fracture. He will be reevaluated in four weeks.

Like Bufkin, Gueye made two brief NBA appearances prior to the injury.

Gueye was the 39th overall pick, which the Hawks acquired in a draft-night trade with the Celtics. Gueye signed a four-year, $7.64MM deal in July.

Scotto’s Latest: Suns, Pacers, Knicks, Wright, Hornets, More

The Suns, Pacers and Knicks recently had exploratory trade talks on a deal that would have sent Cameron Payne to New York, T.J. McConnell to Phoenix, and Evan Fournier and draft picks to Indiana, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Other iterations of the deal included Jordan Nwora, according to Scotto, though it’s unclear where the Pacers forward would have ended up in that framework.

However, the talks on the three-team trade have stalled, Scotto reports. Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports was first to report the Suns and Pacers discussed a deal involving Payne and McConnell, and suggested the Knicks may have been involved as well.

Here’s more from Scotto’s latest article for HoopsHype:

  • League sources tell Scotto that the Hornets are on the hunt for a backup point guard after Dennis Smith Jr. signed with the Nets in free agency. As Scotto previously reported, Charlotte had interest in Aaron Holiday, but he wound up signing with the Rockets. According to Scotto, one player on Charlotte’s radar is Wizards guard Delon Wright, who will make $8.2MM next season in the final year of his contract. The Wizards traded for Tyus Jones and Jordan Poole, and Wright was signed by the previous front office regime. The 31-year-old has already seen his name pop up in a few other trade rumors this offseason.
  • Scotto recently spoke to a handful of second-round picks at Summer League about their goals entering their rookie seasons. Those players are Nuggets guard Jalen Pickett, Celtics forward Jordan Walsh, and Mouhamed Gueye and Seth Lundy of the Hawks. Walsh, the No. 38 pick of the 2023 draft, has high expectations for himself, he told Scotto. “If I get a chance to play with these guys and help the team, I want to be on the All-Defensive First or Second Team or Defensive Player of the Year,” Walsh said. “My goals are defensively oriented and winning a championship, which is No. 1. If I’m able to accomplish any of those things, I’d feel my rookie year went pretty well.”
  • In case you missed it, we passed along some Raptors rumors and free agent rumors from Scotto as well.

Hawks Sign Rookie Mouhamed Gueye To Four-Year Deal

The Hawks have officially signed second-round draft pick Mouhamed Gueye, the team’s PR department tweets. Gueye agreed to a four-year, $7.64MM deal, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets

Gueye was the 39th overall pick, which the Hawks acquired in a draft-night trade with the Celtics. The Hawks sent their 2027 second-round pick to Boston in exchange for the rights to Gueye. The No. 39 pick was originally held by Charlotte.

A 6’11” power forward out of Washington State, Gueye was an All-Pac-12 First Team selection during his second and final NCAA season. Across 33 contests in 2022/23, he averaged 14.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.8 SPG and 0.8 BPG for the Cougars.

Gueye is a developmental player. He led the Pac-12 in double-doubles, even though he’s played the sport for just three-and-a-half years. He grew up as a soccer player, Scotto notes.

Though terms of the four-year deal weren’t disclosed, it won’t be fully guaranteed. As Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirms (Twitter link), the Hawks completed the signing using the new cap exception for second-round picks, which requires that the final season be a team option. The guarantee details on the first three years aren’t yet known.