Vit Krejci

Eastern Notes: Krejci, Donovan, Brunson, Anunoby, Walker

The Hawks, who will face the Bulls in the play-in tournament on Tuesday, could have promoted two-way player Vit Krejci to a standard contract and made him eligible for the postseason. They chose not to do so, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Lauren Williams reports.

Williams says one of the reasons for the decision is the Hawks are weighing the fact that Krejci will be a restricted free agent in the offseason, which gives them the right of first refusal. They hope to retain him on a four-year deal, beginning next season, Williams adds (Twitter links).

Because this is Krejci’s third NBA season, he would have been eligible for restricted free agency this summer even if Atlanta had converted him to a standard deal, so it’s hard to believe that was the primary motivating factor.

Promoting Krejci would have required Atlanta to cut a player from its standard 15-man roster, and while there was no one obvious candidate to be waived, Krejci has played more minutes as of late than several Hawks reserves.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • As for the Bulls, coach Billy Donovan admits the season didn’t play out the way the organization hoped, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago relays. The Bulls finished with an offensive rating of 114, which ranked 20th, Johnson notes, while their top-five defense from last season dropped to No. 22, having allowed 115.7 points per 100 possessions. “Organizationally, is this where we want to be going forward? No, we want to be in a situation where you’re making deep playoff runs. We’re not that right now,” Donovan said. “But I give our guys a lot of credit for fighting and competing and giving ourselves an opportunity to advance.”
  • The combination of Jalen Brunson and OG Anunoby has been dazzling, Zach Braziller of the New York Post notes. The Knicks are 19-2 when both have played. Entering Sunday’s game, an overtime win over the Bulls, the team had a net rating of +24.7 and an offensive rating of 125.8 spanning 599 minutes when the duo shared the court. Brunson poured in 40 points on Sunday while Anunoby added 11. They also combined for 11 assists and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, who enter the postseason as a No. 2 seed.
  • Lonnie Walker is headed to unrestricted free agency again after playing on a one-year deal with the Nets. Walker is just looking to land on a team that will be give him steady playing time, Clutch Points’ Erik Slater tweets. “I’m just looking for a home… Just looking for a team that finds me valuable,” he said. Walker appeared in 57 games off the bench for Brooklyn.

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: Hawks, Bey, Ball, Clifford, Heat

The Hawks’ surprise comeback victory against the Celtics on Monday served as testament, in part, to the growth of Atlanta’s developing young backups, writes Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Hawks ultimately bested a top-seeded Boston team 120-118 after trailing by as many as 30 points. That marks the biggest rally in the league across the past 26 years. Williams notes that backups Vit Krejci and Bruno Fernando served as key pieces in the victory. The duo played big roles in part as a result of injuries to Bey, Jalen Johnson, Onyeka Okongwu and All-Star Trae Young.

“I mean, it’s a next-man mentality,” Krejci said. “We got a couple guys out. But we still believe that with the roster we have, right now, we can compete with anybody.”

The Hawks followed Monday’s victory up with a 120-106 win over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday and a 123-122 overtime victory over the Celtics tonight. Atlanta now finds itself in the midst of a four-game win streak. At 34-39, the team sits just one game behind the 35-38 Bulls for the East’s ninth seed.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks small forward Saddiq Bey‘s surgery on his torn left ACL on Thursday was a success, Atlanta has announced (Twitter link). The Hawks reveal that Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York conducted the procedure, and that Bey will stay in New York for an estimated 10 days.
  • Star Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball was ruled out for the season earlier today due to his lingering right ankle ailment, which is especially bittersweet given his impressive play prior to that injury, writes Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer. His 23.9 PPG and 1.8 SPG this year represented career highs, as did his 8.3 made field goals and 4.1 converted free throws. “I want to say the last nine games he played, he was top-five in scoring, top-five in assists and I think top two or three in crunch time scoring and crunch time assists,” head coach Steve Clifford said. “I think it was easy to get excited about and it’s also something he can build on… Look, injuries are a part of this league and, again, all I know is he’s been incredibly diligent. So, it’s not anybody’s fault. It’s just the way it’s worked out.” The injury-prone Ball, whose maximum rookie-scale salary extension kicks in next season, has only played more than 51 games in a season once, during his lone All-Star year in 2021/22.
  • Several key Heat contributors could be back on the floor for the team soon, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Starting shooting guard Tyler Herro put in a shooting workout after practice on Thursday as he continues to gradually recuperate from his right foot medial tendinitis. “We don’t have a timeline [for a comeback], but yeah it’s definitely encouraging that he’s able to get on the wood and start to get ready,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said of Herro, who has missed 16 straight games since February 23. Reserve floor-spacing center Kevin Love has seen his status for Friday’s matchup with the lottery-bound Trail Blazers improved to probable as he continues to work his way back from a bruised right heel. Star swingman Jimmy Butler is also considered probable to return after sitting out the team’s Tuesday loss to the Heat with an illness.

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.”

Hawks Sign Vit Krejci To Two-Way Deal, Waive Miles Norris

3:05pm: The Hawks have officially signed Krejci to a two-way contract, the team confirmed today in a press release. He’ll be eligible to appear in up to 33 NBA regular season games as part of the deal.

11:08am: The Hawks are making a change to one of their two-way contract slots, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived rookie forward Miles Norris. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Atlanta has agreed to sign G League guard Vit Krejci to fill that two-way opening.

Norris, who played his college ball at three different schools, spent the past three years at UC Santa Barbara before going undrafted this June. He had a strong super-senior season in 2022/23, averaging 14.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per game (35 games) with a .490/.391/.844 shooting line.

Norris quickly agreed to a two-way deal with Atlanta following the draft, but never ended up playing in a regular season NBA game for the team. Appearing in 16 Showcase Cup contests for the College Park Skyhawks – the Hawks’ G League affiliate – the 6’10” forward averaged 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 27.0 minutes per game, with a shooting line of .414/.305/.636.

A 2020 second-round pick, Krejci spent last season with the Hawks, playing a very limited role in 29 NBA appearances after seeing action in 30 games for the Thunder in 2021/22. Atlanta waived him this past offseason and he eventually joined Minnesota’s NBAGL team, the Iowa Wolves. The 6’8″ combo guard just made his Iowa debut on Wednesday after missing time with an injury this fall.

As Brad Rowland of Locked on Hawks notes (via Twitter), Krejci is more NBA-ready than Norris, which may be what Atlanta is prioritizing right now with a few players unavailable due to injuries or personal reasons. Norris will likely remain with College Park on a G League contract, assuming he doesn’t find another NBA opportunity, tweets Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Vit Krejci Waived By Timberwolves

The Timberwolves have waived guard/forward Vit Krejci, according to’s transactions log.

The 23-year-old signed with Minnesota last month after the Hawks released him in August. He appeared in just one of the team’s four preseason games, scoring four points and grabbing two rebounds in a little more than seven minutes of action.

The 37th pick in the 2020 draft, Krejci spent one season with Oklahoma City before being traded to Atlanta. He appeared in 59 combined games with the two teams, averaging 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per night.

Because he had an Exhibit 10 contract with the Wolves, Krejci is eligible for a bonus worth up to $75K if he spends at least 60 days with the team’s G League affiliate in Iowa. He has previous G League experience with Oklahoma City Blue and the College Park Skyhawks.

The move brings the Wolves’ roster down to 20 players.

Timberwolves Sign Vit Krejci To Training Camp Contract

2:35pm: Krejci’s training camp deal is official, Minnesota announced in a press release.

11:23am: The Timberwolves plan to sign free agent guard/forward Vit Krejci to a training camp contract, league sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Krejci was released by the Hawks last month. He cleared waivers a couple days later, making him an unrestricted free agent. His salary for 2023/24 was non-guaranteed, so Atlanta doesn’t owe him any money for the upcoming season.

The 37th overall pick of the 2020 draft, Krejci spent his first post-draft season rehabbing a torn ACL. He signed a multiyear contract with the Thunder prior to the 2021/22 season, playing 30 games for the club as a rookie.

Oklahoma City traded the Czech native to Atlanta last September in a move that was mostly about finances for the Hawks. Krejci, 23, appeared in 29 games for Atlanta in ’22/23, averaging a modest 5.3 MPG.

It’s probably safe to assume that Krejci’s camp deal will feature an Exhibit 10 clause. If that’s the case, he could earn a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived and spends at least 60 days with Minnesota’s G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves. Exhibit 10 deals can also be converted into two-way deals — the Timberwolves do have one two-way slot open, though they also have a qualifying offer out to restricted free agent Matt Ryan.

Once Krejci’s deal is complete, Minnesota will have 17 players signed to its roster, including 14 on guaranteed standard contracts.

Hawks Waive Vit Krejci

The Hawks have waived guard/forward Vit Krejci, the team confirmed in a press release. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link) first reported the move.

As Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets, Krejci was on a non-guaranteed contract worth $1.84MM (the veteran’s minimum) in 2023/24. The Hawks, meanwhile, have 15 players on guaranteed standard contracts, making Krejci the odd man out, notes John Hollinger of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Hollinger believes Krejci could be a solid choice for a two-way contract if he clears the waiver wire. Several teams have open two-way slots, as shown by our tracker.

Krejci, 23, was the 37th overall pick of the 2020 draft. The Czech native spent his first post-draft season rehabbing a torn ACL. He signed a multiyear contract with the Thunder prior to the 2021/22 season, playing 30 games for the club as a rookie.

Oklahoma City traded Krejci to Atlanta last September in a move that was mostly about finances for the Hawks. He appeared in 29 games this past season for Atlanta, averaging a modest 5.3 MPG.

The Hawks now have 17 players on their roster — the aforementioned 15 on standard deals, and a pair — Seth Lundy and Miles Norris — on two-way deals. They also have a two-way qualifying offer on the table for Trent Forrest, who remains a restricted free agent.

According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), the Hawks are approximately $9.7MM below the luxury tax line and still have access to their non-taxpayer mid-level exception as well as their bi-annual exception.

Southeast Notes: Robinson, Dedmon, Lowry, Clifford, Krejci

Two-way player Orlando Robinson may have passed Dewayne Dedmon on the depth chart as the Heat‘s backup center. Robinson finished Sunday’s one-point loss to Brooklyn with six points, nine rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes, while Dedmon didn’t play due to coach’s decision for the first time this season. The Heat outscored the Nets by 24 points with Robinson on the court, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald notes.

“I thought he just gave us great minutes,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Even when we had to take (Bam Adebayo) out in the fourth quarter, that could have been an emotional downer, like a real buzz kill. But O had been playing really well and when I turned to him, everybody else was like: ‘Yeah, let’s do this.’ He’s earned the minutes and I think the way he was really sprinting to the rim on some of the pick-and-rolls and creating a little bit of confusion, really helped us generate some clean looks.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat guard Kyle Lowry has been downgraded to out for Tuesday’s game against the Thunder, Chiang tweets. The Heat have a number of injury concerns. Rotation players Caleb Martin (left quadriceps strain) and Duncan Robinson (finger surgery) have also been ruled out, while Tyler Herro (left Achilles soreness) and Adebayo (right wrist contusion) are questionable.
  • Steve Clifford returned for a second stint as the Hornets’ head coach to take them to the next level. The way the season has played out, he now has the task of developing the young players during a rough season. Clifford spoke of trying to strike that balance in a Q&A with Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer in a subscriber-required story. “We need to win and develop these young guys. And definitely this is really a different roster than what we thought it would be, particularly when I first got here,” Clifford said. “But at the end of the day being adaptable as a coach is a big deal, and you want to be the right coach for the team that you are coaching.”
  • Vit Krejci had his contract for this season guaranteed by the Hawks over the weekend when he remained on the roster. Krejci is grateful the front office decided to keep him around, as he told Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Yeah, it’s a good feeling,” Krejci said. “You know, I worked really hard to be in this position. And I’m glad that the team trusts me and the coaches and the staff, everybody trusts me. So, I’m really happy for that.” Krejci has appeared in 17 games this season.

Hawks To Guarantee Salaries For Krejci, Martin

The Hawks will retain Vit Krejci and Tyrese Martin through the NBA’s salary guarantee deadline, tweets Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

All salaries throughout the league will become fully guaranteed on January 10. Players with non-guaranteed deals must be released by today so they can clear waivers ahead of that deadline.

Krejci, 22, signed with the Thunder during the offseason and was traded to Atlanta in late September. His contract carried a partial guarantee for this season at $781,759, with team options for the following two years. He will make $1,563,518 this year by remaining on the Hawks’ roster through the guarantee date. Krejci has appeared in 17 games this season, averaging 1.5 PPG in 6.3 minutes per night.

Martin, 23, was acquired from the Warriors on draft night and signed a two-year deal that carried a $450K guarantee for this season. He will make a little over $1MM with the full guarantee. Martin has gotten into 11 games with Atlanta, averaging 1.4 PPG in 3.8 minutes per night.