Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill Returning To Hawks On One-Year Deal

Free agent forward Solomon Hill has agreed to re-sign with the Hawks on a one-year deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

In his eight-year career, Hill has played for five teams. In part due to frontcourt injuries, Hill saw action in 71 regular-season games, including 16 starts.

He was the fifth option offensively, averaging just 4.2 shot attempts and 4.5 PPG in 21.3 MPG. He also appeared in 14 playoff games during the team’s run to the conference finals, though his playing time dropped. He only appeared in four games against the Bucks during the Eastern Conference Finals.

However, the front office valued Hill enough to bring him back on a short team deal, likely the veteran’s minimum or something close to it.

LeBron James Out Indefinitely With High Ankle Sprain

7:08pm: James has issued a tweet about the injury, vowing to return as soon as he can. Nothing angers and saddens me more than not being available to and for my teammates! I’m hurt inside and out right now,” he wrote. “The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left.”


6:29pm: James’ injury is a high ankle sprain, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. He will be out indefinitely, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter). The Lakers have confirmed the injury, according to Mark Medina of USA Today (Twitter link).

The severity of the sprain will determine how much time James will miss, notes Bill Oram of The Athletic (Twitter link). He could return within about two weeks if it’s a Grade 1 sprain, but a Grade 3 sprain could keep him out for six weeks, which is near the beginning of the playoffs.


5:38pm: X-rays were negative for Lakers star LeBron James, who left today’s game after hurting his right ankle, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The team is still awaiting MRI results to determine the extent of the injury, Woj adds.

James was pulled from the game in the second quarter after a collision with the Hawks’ Solomon Hill and limped to the sidelines, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). He re-laced his shoes and briefly returned, but had to check out again and threw a chair in frustration as he headed to the locker room (Twitter link).

Some of the Lakers were angry about what happened, claiming that Hill was out of line when he dove onto the floor and through James’ legs on a steal attempt, tweets Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register.

“We don’t feel like it was one of those basketball-type plays,” said Montrezl Harrell. “… He had to go through his leg to get the ball.”

Harrell added that he doesn’t think Hill was trying to hurt James, but said the league should review what happened. Dennis Schröder called it an “unnecessary play,” tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

Hill responded to the criticism on social media, tweeting, “Would never disrespect the game and take a player out purposely… he knows that. that’s all that matters to me. praying for a speedy recovery.”

Eastern Notes: Smith Jr., Hill, Hornets, Heat

Pistons guard Dennis Smith Jr. has looked reborn during his time with the team so far, proving to be reasonably effective in his first nine games, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes.

Smith, who was traded to Detroit from New York earlier this month, has averaged 7.9 points and 3.2 assists in 18.6 minutes per contest since the move. The two teams are set to meet on Sunday night from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

“Truth be told, you never want to get too comfortable because you end up being complacent,” Smith said. “But you can definitely tell when the feel for the game starts to comes back, especially from the situation I was coming from. I can feel my feel coming back for me.”

There’s more from the Eastern Conference today:

  • Hawks forward Solomon Hill said the Heat never made an offer to retain him in free agency, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Hill, who wound up signing a one-year deal with Atlanta, has averaged 4.5 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 18.9 MPG in 33 games this season.
  • The Hornets are set to be without several players for their game against the Kings on Sunday night, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. Gordon Hayward (right hand contusion) and Cody Zeller (left hip contusion) have both been downgraded to doubtful. Their absences would leave the club with just nine available players for the contest due to various injuries, Bonnell notes.
  • One of the Heat‘s top “bubble lineups” is finally back in place, Barry Jackson writes for The Miami Herald. The team has won five straight contests and is working to bounce back from a COVID- and injury-riddled start to the season, playing the 14-19 Hawks on Sunday night.

Solomon Hill Receives Salary Guarantee From Hawks

The Hawks are guaranteeing Solomon Hill‘s $2.17MM salary for the remainder of the season, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. The move will lock in Hill’s $1.62MM cap charge.

Atlanta had until February 24 to decide whether to make the guarantee but opted to give the veteran forward peace of mind for his steady contributions. Hill has appeared in all 14 games for the injury-riddled Hawks, averaging 5.0 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 20.1 MPG.

Atlanta is Hill’s fifth team since he entered the league during the 2013/14 season. He played for Miami and Memphis last season.

The Hawks signed Hill on a one-year veteran’s minimum deal to add a veteran presence and defensive-minded wing to their mix. Hill was the only members of the 15-man Atlanta roster who was playing on a non-guaranteed deal.

Southeast Notes: Dragic, Bamba, Hawks, Rondo

If the Heat opt to insert center Meyers Leonard back into their starting lineup – where he spent most of last season – alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, it would leave just two slots in the starting five available for Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, and Avery Bradley, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Dragic did well coming off the bench last season before joining the starters in the playoffs. However, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said he hasn’t talked to the veteran point guard yet about whether or not he’ll start. Spoelstra, who pointed out that the opening night lineup wouldn’t necessarily be permanent, is confident that Dragic would be willing to accept any role.

“We’ve been in this a long time together,” the Heat coach said. “It’s great to have guys who are all about winning.”

For his part, Dragic recently said that if Spoelstra asks himself to come off the bench again, it’ll be easier to adjust to this time around, since he now has a year of experience as a Heat reserve under his belt.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

Hawks Sign Solomon Hill To One-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 25: The Hawks have officially signed Hill, per a team press release. The deal is non-guaranteed, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.

“Solomon is a player who has been on four playoff teams and has competed on the highest level,” president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “We are fortunate to add his veteran presence to our group.”


NOVEMBER 23: The Hawks and free agent forward Solomon Hill have reached an agreement on a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowsi (Twitter link).

Hill, 29, was very briefly a member of the Hawks last summer when the team acquired him from New Orleans in a draft-night trade, but Atlanta flipped him to the Grizzlies in a subsequent deal. After appearing in 48 games for Memphis, Hill was once again traded at the 2020 deadline and finished the season with the Heat, appearing in a total of 18 regular season and playoff games for Miami.

For the 2019/20 season, Hill averaged 5.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 1.8 APG in a total of 59 games (18.4 MPG) for the Grizzlies and Heat. While he’s not much of a scorer, the former first-round pick has the size to match up with most wings on defense.

The Hawks have made it a priority this offseason to add some solid defenders to their roster, having already struck deals with Kris Dunn and Rajon Rondo. The team is also signing Danilo Gallinari and is waiting to see if Sacramento will match its offer sheet for Bogdan Bogdanovic.

With Hill coming aboard, the Hawks project to have at least 15 players on guaranteed contracts if the Kings decline to match on Bogdanovic, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, who notes (via Twitter) that second-round pick Skylar Mays could end up on a two-way deal if there’s no room on the standard roster for him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Heat Notes: Adebayo, Herro, Dragic, Hill

Heat center Bam Adebayo has made a noticeable impact during the team’s first-round series against the Pacers, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald details.

Adebayo, 23, has averaged 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and five assists in three games, shooting 53% from the floor in 33.7 minutes of work. The Heat have won each of the three contests, and it’s largely due to Adebayo’s production and energy on both ends of the floor.

“His biggest moments came down the stretch on both ends [in Game 3], those rebounds were big time,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We needed those extra relief opportunities, because they jammed us up a couple of times and forced us into a couple of turnovers. Those relief points and those free throws were key.”

Adebayo grabbed multiple key offensive rebounds on Saturday, finishing the contest with 22 points and 11 boards. His improvement since being drafted 14th by the team in 2017 is well-documented. The Heat will desperately need his production if the team advances to the second round, with either Milwaukee or Orlando waiting as an opponent.

“I feel like the player that I am, it’s hard to [game plan] me out,” Adebayo said. “That’s because I do a lot of things so well. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back. But just because I screen well, I get guys open. It doesn’t always have to be about scoring with me. In Game 2, I had seven points but everybody said I had the biggest impact on the game. It’s little stuff like that. … When my shot isn’t falling, when my offense is not going, I always bank on my defense and my effort.”

There’s more out of Miami today:

  • Tyler Herro has no plans of backing down from the Pacers’ isolation attacks throughout the rest of the series, as relayed by Anthony Chiang (Twitter link). “It’s no secret who they’re going at. They’re going at me and Duncan,” Herro said. “There’s no secret about it. I think everybody sees it. But that’s something that I’m not going to run from it.” Herro finished with 20 points in Game 3 but was targeted frequently on defense, allowing multiple baskets throughout the fourth quarter. Herro has been working with Miami’s development coaches on studying film and improving his defense this season, a process that will likely continue in the coming years.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel explores how the Heat nearly shipped Goran Dragic to Dallas in the trade that brought Jimmy Butler to Miami last year. Dragic has been essential for the Heat in the first round, averaging 22.7 points, 5.7 assists and 34 minutes as the team’s starting point guard.
  • The Heat are in the midst of another player transformation, this time working to incorporate Solomon Hill into the team’s hard-working culture, Winderman examines in a separate story for the Miami Herald. Hill, who was acquired along with Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala from Memphis in February, has yet to see concrete minutes for Miami in his seventh NBA campaign. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

Kris Dunn Meets Starter Criteria, Increases Value Of QO

Bulls guard Kris Dunn has been deemed to have met the starter criteria as a result of the shortened season, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). As a result, Dunn will receive a qualifying offer of $7,091,457 instead of $4,642,800 this offseason if Chicago wants to make him a restricted free agent.

We broke down Dunn’s situation in greater depth earlier this month, but the abridged version is this: A player eligible for restricted free agency receives a more lucrative qualifying offer if he starts 41 games or plays 2,000 minutes in the season before he reaches free agency, or if he averages 41 starts or 2,000 minutes in the two seasons before his free agency.

Dunn, who started 32 games this season and 76 in total over the last two years, fell slightly short of the 41-game-per-season requirement, but the criteria became prorated due to the Bulls only playing 65 of their 82 games this season. As a result, the former No. 5 overall pick was considered to have met the starter criteria, increasing the value of his qualifying offer.

As we’ve previously pointed out, the $2.5MM difference could have a real impact on Dunn’s free agency. It’s possible the Bulls will be less inclined to tender a qualifying offer now that it’s worth $7.1MM instead of $4.6MM. If they do move ahead with the QO, it’s possible Dunn will be more inclined to accept it.

If Chicago doesn’t tender a qualifying offer to Dunn, he’d become an unrestricted free agent.

As Marks and ESPN have previously reported, the NBA and NBPA also agreed to prorate the criteria for bonuses and incentives available to players in 2019/20, based on the shortened season. As a result, the following players have now achieved bonuses, according to Marks (Twitter link):

  • Rudy Gobert (Jazz): $250K for a rate of one rebound per 2.52 minutes in 62 games played.
    • Original criteria: A rate of one rebound per <3.2 minutes in 67 games.
  • Solomon Hill (Heat): $532K for 992 minutes played.
    • Original criteria: 1,000 minutes.
  • Jrue Holiday (Pelicans): $255K for 1,922 minutes played; $255K for 55 games played; $255K for 4.9 RPG in 55 games.
    • Original criteria: 2,075 minutes played; 66 games played; 3.15 RPG in 67 games.
  • Tyus Jones (Grizzlies): $858K for 32 wins.
    • Original criteria: 33 wins.
  • Kyle Lowry (Raptors): $200K for All-Star berth and 52 games played.
    • Original criteria: All-Star berth and 65 games played.
  • Patty Mills (Spurs): $250K for 149 three-pointers made.
    • Original criteria: 185 3PM.
  • T.J. Warren (Pacers): $250K for 184 three-pointers made and .375 3PT%.
    • Original criteria: 185 3PM; .370 3PT%.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Kulboka, Magic, Gordon, Heat

Lithuanian forward Arnoldas Kulboka is remaining with Spanish club Bilbao Basket for next season after receiving interest from Zalgiris Kaunas in his home country, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 22-year-old was selected by the Hornets with the No. 55 overall pick in the 2018 draft, but has yet to sign an NBA contract.

According to Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link), Kulboka’s agent Tadas Bulotas said that if not for the coronavirus pandemic, his client was planning to join the Hornets this year. As leagues take different approaches to COVID-19, the NBA offseason will no longer necessarily line up with the offseason for European leagues, complicating decisions for players looking to make the jump one way or the other.

Kulboka could potentially revisit the possibility of joining the Hornets in 2021.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • NBA scouts believe Magic forward Aaron Gordon is best suited to play power forward and also feel as if he tries to do more than he should in Orlando, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “I think the thing for him is he just has to realize that he has to accept that he is going to be a high-level role player — a borderline All-Star if he plays his role really well,” one scout told The Athletic. “I think in his mind there are times when he sees himself in the same vein as some of the superstars, and I think sometimes that can get in his way.”
  • In a separate mailbag article for The Athletic, Robbins examines the Magic‘s free agency outlook and discusses whether it would make sense for the team to experiment with playing Nikola Vucevic and Mohamed Bamba alongside one another.
  • After spending most of the NBA’s hiatus in California, Heat forward Andre Iguodala has returned to South Florida, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. In Miami, Iguodala will be able to take advantage of the team’s reopened practice facility for individual workouts. Jimmy Butler and Solomon Hill are now the club’s only players not in town, Winderman notes.

Pat Riley: Heat Are “Close” To Being Title Contenders

Heat president Pat Riley is delighted with the progress his team made this season and believes the organization is “close” to being at a championship level again, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Riley made the comments in a video released today, saying he hopes the league will find a way to salvage the playoffs so he can see the results of moves the team made at the trade deadline.

“I think we were (41-24) or something along those lines and headed to home-court advantage in the playoffs. It was a great year,” Riley said. “I’m really disappointed that we haven’t seen the finish, especially after we made the trade when we brought in Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder. I thought that was going to give us a little bit of an edge going into the playoffs.”

Riley pinpointed the addition of Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade last summer for creating a lot of optimism for the new season. Another boost came from unexpected production by rookie guards Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn, along with second-year forward Duncan Robinson.

“I’m so happy that we turned a lot of things around and we found the right players,” Riley said, “the right mix of pick-and-roll players, guys that can post up and really found a couple of guys that can shoot the ball — really shoot the ball — so we’re happy for that and we’re really optimistic about moving forward into the future with these players.”

Riley touched on a few more topics during the video:

  • The Heat are running through scenarios for free agency, but everything is “up in the air” because of uncertainty over whether the season will resume. Miami has several important decisions to make, with new acquisitions Crowder and Hill both headed for free agency, along with Goran Dragic, Meyers Leonard, Derrick Jones Jr. and Udonis Haslem. In addition, Kelly Olynyk has a $13.2MM player option. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald suggests Riley’s comments are a sign that he will try to keep the team together instead of renouncing the free agents and operating under the salary cap (Twitter link).
  • There’s strong support around the league for finding a way to complete the season, Riley added. He said all 30 teams have been participating in conference calls with the commissioner’s office and players union to discuss strategies. “I think that’s a very important thing for all of the franchises, complete the season even if it moves on later,” Riley said. “I think we’re all right behind Adam Silver and him waiting until he launches us back into action.”
  • Riley was “stunned” when he learned that the season was being suspended in the wake of a positive coronavirus test by Jazz center Rudy Gobert, but ultimately believes it was the right decision. “We heard that a player from the Utah Jazz had tested positive,” Riley said. “But I didn’t think it was going to last that long or turn out to be what it is today for not only the Heat, but for everybody to have to shut it down. Shut the country down, shut the world down and try to fight this thing. So it was pretty innocent that night only from the standpoint that, ‘OK, we can take care of this and then we’ll be back.’ But I think Adam Silver made an incredible move, and that just sort of cascaded into a lot of other decisions by other teams and other sports and industries.”