Tony Snell

Free Agent Stock Watch: Southeast Division

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Southeast Division:

Malik Monk, Hornets, 23, SG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $15.7MM deal in 2017

Monk has forced his way back into Charlotte’s rotation — 36-point explosions will do that for you. Monk’s scoring outburst led the Hornets to an overtime victory against Miami on Monday. That was sandwiched by an 18-point game against Milwaukee and a 13-point output against Philadelphia. A 2017 lottery pick, Monk has never shot better than 34.2% from deep in his first three seasons and bottomed out at 28.4% last season. He’s made 52.5% of his long-range shots this season. Charlotte would have to extend Monk a $7MM+ qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent this summer. The Hornets might opt to deal him this winter but Monk will continue to pump up his value if he keeps shooting like this.

Tony Snell, Hawks, 29, SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $46MM deal in 2017

Snell had a player option that was much too lucrative to turn down last offseason. When he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, he’ll be looking at substantially smaller offers that the one he received from Milwaukee in 2017. Snell started regularly for Detroit last season but he hasn’t gotten much floor time with Atlanta despite several injuries to wing players. He played a season-high 24 minutes against Utah on Thursday but once De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic return to action, Snell will reside at the end of the bench once again.

Kendrick Nunn, Heat, 25, SG (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3.1MM deal in 2018

Nunn was one of the league’s feel-good stories last season, an undrafted rookie who graduated from the G League to become a starter with the Heat, then finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting after averaging 15.3 PPG and 3.3 APG in 67 regular-season games. However, he lost his starting job in the Orlando bubble following a bout with COVID-19 and hasn’t regained it this season. Nunn was playing regularly when Jimmy Butler battled the virus last month but he has fallen completely out of the rotation the last three games. Avery Bradley‘s latest injury should allow him to regain his spot. Nunn’s qualifying offer is a meager $2.1MM if he doesn’t meet the starter criteria, so he’ll likely become a restricted free agent. Still, it’ll be harder to land a big offer sheet from another club if his playing time continues to wildly fluctuate.

Ish Smith, Wizards, 32, PG (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $12MM deal in 2019

Smith has carved out a nice career as a second-unit sparkplug. He’s always been capable of tossing in a 20-point night with his quickness and driving ability. Those outings haven’t occurred this season. He’s only reached double digits once despite averaging a steady 20.7 MPG. He’s still making a positive contributor with his passing – he’s averaged 7.0 assists the last five games – but he’s 1-for-12 from the field in his last two games despite playing 54 minutes. At 32, Smith will find it increasingly difficult to get offers ahead of younger players. That reality could strike as early as this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury/Coronavirus Updates: Craig, Butler, Okongwu, Snell, Caruso, Anthony

Bucks swingman Torrey Craig suffered a nasal fracture on Sunday against the Knicks and won’t play against the Heat on Tuesday, the team’s PR department tweets. Craig signed with Milwaukee last month after the Nuggets failed to extend a qualifying offer.

We have more injury and COVID-19 news:

  • Heat star Jimmy Butler is doubtful to play against the Bucks on Tuesday, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. Butler sprained an ankle during the team’s game on Friday.
  • Hawks rookie big man Onyeka Okongwu (left foot inflammation) and guard Tony Snell (right foot inflammation) have been cleared to progress to live contact workouts, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweets.
  • Alex Caruso became the first Lakers player to miss a game due to COVID-19 protocols. Caruso sat out against Portland on Monday. Coach Frank Vogel said no other players or staff members were held out due to contact tracing, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony wasn’t with his team due to the same reason, as Casey Holdahl tweets.

Eastern Notes: Harden, Cavs, Embiid, Burke, Snell

James Harden has reportedly added the Bucks to the teams he’d be willing to play for but acquiring the perennial All-Star guard would be very complicated even if Milwaukee wants him, as Eric Nehm of The Athletic points out.

Milwaukee can’t move nearly half of its players on guaranteed contracts since the club added six players via trades or free agent signings. Most of those players aren’t eligible to be dealt until late February. The Bucks’ proximity to the hard cap also makes it nearly impossible to trade multiple players for Harden unless a third party is involved or Houston tosses in some minimum salary players.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • While the league has trended toward smaller lineups in recent seasons, the Cavaliers could go with a jumbo lineup at times, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. Coach J. B. Bickerstaff plans to utilize Larry Nance Jr., Kevin Love and Andre Drummond in certain situations. “We expect there are going to be times where we throw that big lineup out there,” Bickerstaff said.
  • Sixers center Joel Embiid has bonded with assistant coach Dan Burke, who ripped him as a Pacers assistant last season. Burke claimed then that Embiid “gets away with a bunch of (stuff).” Embiid doesn’t harbor any grudges, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I think he’s a great guy,” Embiid said. “We’ve actually been very close since we got here. I think him and the whole coaching staff is going to kind of look at me to kind of be the driving force of the defense.”
  • Tony Snell is currently not with the Hawks, since he’s self-isolating, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweets. He hasn’t tested positive for COVID-19 but was deemed a close contact to someone who did. Snell was acquired from the Pistons this offseason.

Kings Notes: Bogdanovic, Hield, GRIII, Kaminsky, Whiteside

After reporting earlier today that the Kings passed on a Hawks sign-and-trade offer for Bogdan Bogdanovic that would have allowed Sacramento to acquire either a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick or two future second-rounders in exchange for the restricted free agent, Sam Amick of The Athletic has updated his story with some new intel.

As Amick explains, that Hawks offer came with caveats. Atlanta wanted Sacramento to accept Tony Snell‘s expiring $12MM+ salary and asked for an answer within an hour. Additionally, the Kings didn’t know at that point what sort of contract the Hawks were offering Bogdanovic, so they were reluctant to agree to a sign-and-trade if Atlanta’s offer was one they were comfortable matching.

The Kings asked for some of the Hawks’ young talent in a deal, but didn’t have any luck, and Atlanta ultimately took its chances by signing Bogdanovic to an offer sheet. Sacramento didn’t match it.

While The Athletic’s new information lets the Kings off the hook to some extent, Amick says there’s “strong reason” to believe that Atlanta would have done a sign-and-trade for Bogdanovic that included a draft pick even if the Kings hadn’t been willing to take on Snell’s contract. However, sources tell Amick that scenario wasn’t discussed.

Here’s more out of Sacramento:

  • In talks with teams about a possible Buddy Hield trade this offseason, the Kings were asking for draft compensation, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. There’s nothing imminent on the Hield front though, Begley adds. At this point, it would be a surprise if Sacramento doesn’t open the season with Hield on its roster.
  • Glenn Robinson III and Frank Kaminsky each received modest guarantees on their new one-year contracts with the Kings. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets that Robinson got a $100K partial guarantee, while James Ham of NBC Sports California tweets that Kaminsky’s partial guarantee is worth $50K.
  • Hassan Whiteside‘s first stint with the Kings a decade ago saw him play just 19 games in two seasons for the team before he spent two years out of the NBA. He’s counting on having more success this time around, as Ham writes for NBC Sports California. “My first (time) around, I had a couple of injuries that kept me from being the player that I wanted to be,” Whiteside said. “But I think this is a great opportunity to come back and revamp that.”
  • The Kings confirmed today that they won’t have any fans in attendance at Golden 1 Center to start the 2020/21 season (Twitter link via Ham). Given the COVID-19 restrictions in place in California, that was a given.

Southeast Notes: Aminu, Bamba, Collins, Hawks, Hornets

Magic head coach Steve Clifford told reporters today that Jonathan Isaac, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Mohamed Bamba haven’t been cleared for contact work when training camp begins, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Isaac is recovering from a torn ACL and is expected to miss the entire 2020/21 season, so his absence is unsurprising. Aminu and Bamba were unavailable for the Magic at the end of last season due to knee surgery recovery and coronavirus complications, respectively. It’s not clear if those same issues are keeping them sidelined this fall, but Clifford said today that both players are still “a ways away” from being 100%, per Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links).

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Hawks big man John Collins is still hoping to sign a rookie scale extension before the regular season begins, admitting today that his contract situation is at the forefront of his mind (Twitter links via Chris Kirschner of The Athletic and Sarah Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
  • The Hawks issued a press release announcing injury updates on Kris Dunn (cartilage disruption in right knee), Onyeka Okongwu (inflammation of sesamoid bone in left foot), and Tony Snell (inflammation of cuboid bone in right foot). Dunn is participating in “modified” individual workouts, while Okongwu and Snell are currently limited to shooting and conditioning. Atlanta will provide another update on all three players on December 11.
  • The Hornets will open the 2020/21 season without any fans in attendance at Spectrum Center, the team announced this week in a press release. The Hornets indicated they’ll continue to work with state and local health officials – and the NBA – to develop a plan to get fans back in the building, ideally before the end of the season.
  • In the wake of the Hornets‘ acquisition of Gordon Hayward and release of Nicolas Batum, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer examines the salary cap impact of the two transactions. As Bonnell writes, despite the significant cap charges for Hayward and Batum, the club could still open up a sizeable chunk of cap room in 2021.

Pistons Expected To Waive-And-Stretch Dedmon

NOVEMBER 21: The Pistons likely won’t use the stretch provision on McGruder after all, according to Edwards (Twitter link). The team will save some money in its trade for Delon Wright and no longer needs the extra space that waiving and stretching McGruder would provide.


NOVEMBER 20: The Pistons have made a flurry of reported free agent moves and they’ll apparently clear cap space by using the waive-and-stretch provision on two recent acquisitions.

They’ll waive center Dewayne Dedmon and use the stretch provision to ease the cap hit, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). They’re likely to do the same with Rodney McGruder, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets.

Detroit officially acquired Dedmon from the Hawks on Friday in exchange for Tony Snell and Khyri Thomas. Dedmon was slated to make $13.33MM in the upcoming season with an identical contract number that was only guaranteed for $1MM for the 2021/22 season.

The Pistons acquired McGruder from the Clippers in a three-team trade that became official on Thursday. McGruder had a guaranteed $5.2MM contract for the upcoming season with a non-guaranteed salary of $5MM for 2021/22.

Those non-guaranteed years are significant because they allow Detroit’s front office use the stretch provision for five years instead of three, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report notes (Twitter links). Since only the guaranteed money counts, Dedmon would only count $2.9MM against the Pistons’ cap over the next five seasons, while the cap hit on McGruder would be just over $1MM in those years.

The Pistons made the trade with Atlanta because it allowed them stretch Dedmon’s contract over five years, rather than stretching Snell’s $12.2MM expiring contract for three years, Edwards tweets.

Those moves will allow Detroit to ink free agents Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee, as well as completing a sign-and-trade with Houston involving Christian Wood.

Hawks Trade Dewayne Dedmon To Pistons For Tony Snell

NOVEMBER 20: The Hawks and Pistons have officially completed their swap, as detailed below, per a press release from Atlanta. As expected, the Hawks have already waived Thomas.


NOVEMBER 19: The Hawks and Pistons have agreed to a trade that will send center Dewayne Dedmon to Detroit, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Wings Tony Snell and Khyri Thomas will head to Atlanta in the swap, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The move essentially sees both teams trade from areas of depth. Dedmon, acquired at last season’s deadline from Sacramento, became expendable in Atlanta with the Hawks expecting Clint Capela back from injury this year and also preparing to incorporate lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu into their frontcourt.

Meanwhile, trading Snell and Thomas will open up more minutes on the wing in Detroit for the likes of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Sekou Doumbouya, and Saddiq Bey, observes James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Dedmon will earn $13.3MM in 2020/21 and also has a $13.3MM cap hit for ’21/22, though that second year is only partially guaranteed for $1MM, per Basketball Insiders. Snell is on a $12.2MM expiring contract, while Thomas’ minimum-salary contract for ’20/21 only includes a partial guarantee. In other words, the deal is close to salary-neutral.

It remains to be seen how many of these players will be part of their new teams’ plans for next season. Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press suggests (via Twitter) that the Pistons aren’t done dealing and he wouldn’t assume Dedmon will stick around.

Pistons’ Tony Snell To Pick Up 2020/21 Option

Pistons swingman Tony Snell is exercising his player option for the 2020/21 season, sources tell James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link). The move comes as no surprise, since Snell was extremely unlikely to match his $12.2MM option salary on the open market.

Snell, who turned 29 last Tuesday, appeared in 59 games for the Pistons in 2019/20, averaging 8.0 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.9 RPG in 57 starts (27.8 MPG). He also made over 40% of his three-point attempts for the third time in four seasons, finishing with a .402 3PT%.

The move will keep Snell under contract with the Pistons for the time being, though the team may consider shopping his expiring deal in trade talks this fall. Assuming he plays out the season on his current contract, he’ll reach the unrestricted free agent market in 2021.

Since Snell had always been expected to opt in, his decision doesn’t affect the Pistons’ cap projections. The team should have at least $25-30MM available to work with this offseason.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Bulls, Rozier, Knox

The Pistons began their in-market training camp on Wednesday with several players from their G League affiliate participating, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News (Twitter link). Tre’Shawn Thurman, Tra-Deon Hollins, Adam Woodbury, Khalil Iverson, and Craig Sword all played with the Grand Rapids Drive this season.

Beard also reports (via Twitter) that Pistons center Justin Patton had surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured right pinky finger. Additionally, Tony Snell returned home for personal reasons, and Jordan McRae will not be participating in the team portion of the in-market camp.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Bulls have reportedly hired Vanja Cernivec as an international scout, per Daniel Greenberg (Twitter link; h/t Real GM). Cernivec spent the last five years working in the NBA’s office in Spain as manager of basketball operations. He also played professional basketball in Slovenia.
  • After wrapping up his first season with the Hornets, Terry Rozier is ready to take on a larger role, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “I’ve had a lot of time over six months to figure out how I can be a better leader: Get to the guys, talk to them how they like it,” Rozier said. The combo guard averaged 18.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 4.1 APG this season, after inking a three-year free-agent deal last summer with Charlotte. Rozier also spoke about how hard its been not being able to play in an organized game in six months. “I’m not going to sugar-coat and say, ‘Ah, six months is nothing.’ It’s been tough on all of us.”
  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is hoping that assistant coach Kenny Payne can help unlock Kevin Knox‘s potential, writes Marc Berman of the New Post. Knox has struggled to find his footing since being selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. This season, he averaged a modest 6.4 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 17.9 MPG, but Thibodeau has been impressed with the 21-year-old in the team’s in-market training camp. “Kevin’s come in and he’s done quite a bit of work,’’ Thibodeau said. “I’m getting to know him and he’s getting to know me and it will take some time. But I like what he’s done so far.”

Batum, DeRozan Among Players With Earlier Option Decision Deadlines

Most veterans who have player options in their contracts for the 2020/21 season will have an October 17 deadline to either exercise or decline that option. That Saturday represents the second-last day of the 2019/20 league year under the NBA’s new calendar, meaning it would coincide in a normal year with June 29, the usual player option decision deadline.

However, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, some of the players who have to make option decisions for 2020/21 have slightly earlier deadlines. For instance, if the Spurs don’t make the postseason, DeMar DeRozan will be required to make his decision within seven days of the team’s last game, per Marks.

The full list of player options for ’20/21 can be found on our free agents page, but here are the options which must be exercised or declined before October 17, according to Marks:

The rest of this season’s player option decisions must be made by October 17, a deadline that applies to nearly every team option for 2020/21 as well. The only team options with earlier decision dates are minimum-salary ones for Deonte Burton (Thunder) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Pistons), which are due by October 15, per Marks.