Trae Young

Eastern Notes: Harrell, Thybulle, Irving, Reddish, Toppin, Young

Former Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell feels like the Lakers didn’t play him enough last season, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The Wizards big man is happy to get a fresh start. He averaged 4.2 fewer shot attempts per game with the Lakers than his final year with the Clippers.

“I’m trying to just get back to playing basketball freely and just get back to enjoying the game and just being able to help my team on both ends of the floor. I didn’t really get to be utilized how I wanted to be last year,” he said. “I damn near felt like I had a season off. So, I’m using this preseason to really ramp back up and knock off a lot of the rust on my own game, really.”

Playing more would help to boost his value. Harrell, who is making $9.72MM this season, will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Sixers swingman Matisse Thybulle has a sore right shoulder and will be out at least a week, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. He’ll undergo rehab for the injury and be reevaluated sometime next week. Thybulle was named to the All-Defensive Second Team last season.
  • Kyrie Irving is listed as ineligible to play for the Nets’ preseason home opener on Friday, according to The Associated Press. It’s an indication that Irving remains unvaccinated. He practiced with the Nets last week when they held training camp in San Diego, but he hasn’t been able to practice with the team under New York City restrictions.
  • Cam Reddish heard his name pop up in trade rumors this offseason but the Hawks forward puts a positive spin on it, Chris Kirchner of The Athletic writes. “It didn’t affect me at all,” Reddish said. “It’s really a compliment when you think about it. It’s all good. I just have to control what I can control. Clearly, I have some decent value, so that’s a compliment.”
  • Knicks second-year Obi Toppin is determined to establish himself after a spotty rookie campaign, Steve Popper of Newsday writes. He’s gotten in better shape and feels “a lot more comfortable” going into his sophomore campaign. “I feel like I’ve put in a lot of work this summer, not only me but everyone here,” he said. “We put in a lot of work and there is just the start. … I feel like I just have a little bit more knowledge of being here now. I feel like I’ve kind of put my foot in the water already, so I kind of have a feel of what it’s like playing out there.”
  • Hawks star guard Trae Young feels all the pieces are in place for a championship run, according to Michael Pina of Sports Illustrated“We have everything,” Young said. Pina takes an in-depth look at Young’s development and his supporting cast.

GM Believes Hawks Have Become Free Agent Destination

President of basketball operations Travis Schlenk believes the Hawks are now a destination for top free agents and All-Star level players seeking a trade, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes.

“I think last year kind of put us back on the NBA map as far as a destination,” he said. “Those who want to get traded, they want to go somewhere they think they can win. And I think now that perception of us is out there, because we do have a young core that did show success in the playoffs. So the hope would be when a star player does ask to be traded, we’ll be one of the destinations he’ll be open to coming to.”

Acquiring a second star to pair with Trae Young could be somewhat difficult, though Schlenk sees it as a possibility.

“I still think when you look at the depth of our roster and the young talent that we have, we don’t have draft assets like we have in the past anymore, but we now have guys under contract that you could match some of the bigger salaries,” he said.

The Hawks have one spot open on the 15-man roster, but Schlenk doesn’t plan to fill it right away. The team is close to the luxury tax, so when a 15th player is added, it will likely be on a non-guaranteed deal.

However, if Atlanta is in title contention again, owner Tony Ressler won’t mind paying the tax, according to Schlenk.

“Certainly, Tony is willing to pay the tax if we are going to be a contender,” Schlenk said. “I’m probably more conscious of it than Tony is, to be honest with you. It’s my job to manage his money. He’s got a lot more of it than I do, so I worry about it more than he does.”

Another order of business that the Hawks would like to take care of before the start of next season is reaching an extension agreement with Kevin Huerter, according to Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He’s one of the NBA players eligible for a rookie scale extension.

The talks should heat up next week, Spencer adds.

Eastern Contract Details: Lowry, Birch, Heat, Dinwiddie, Niang, More

Kyle Lowry‘s new three-year, $85MM contract with the Heat is a standard increasing deal, starting at about $26.98MM and rising annually by 5%, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac.

Based on Lowry’s 2021/22 salary, we now know the value of the traded player exception the Raptors created in their sign-and-trade deal with the Heat, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. That TPE will be worth $4,832,848, which is the difference between Lowry’s new salary and the combined cap hits of Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa.

Murphy also confirms that Khem Birch‘s three-year, $20MM deal with the Raptors is a standard increasing contract with no options or partial guarantees — it eats up about $6.35MM of Toronto’s mid-level exception, leaving $3.187MM on that MLE.

Here are more contract details from around the East, courtesy of Smith:

  • As expected, the new deals for Max Strus, Omer Yurtseven, and Gabe Vincent with the Heat are each two-year, minimum-salary contracts with one year guaranteed and the second year non-guaranteed (Twitter link). P.J. Tucker, meanwhile, got a two-year, $14.35MM contract that uses $7MM of Miami’s mid-level exception in year one. Tucker’s second year is a player option (Twitter link).
  • Spencer Dinwiddie‘s three-year contract with the Wizards only has a base value of $54MM, rather than the previously-reported total of $60MM+ (Twitter link). The deal, which features unlikely incentives that could push its value higher, has a partial guarantee worth $10MM (of $18.86MM) in year three.
  • Georges Niang‘s deal with the Sixers came in at $6.765MM over two years, both of which are fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Trae Young‘s five-year, maximum-salary extension with the Hawks includes a 15% trade kicker (Twitter link).
  • The numbers are also in for the finalized deals between Jarrett Allen and the Cavaliers (Twitter link), Bobby Portis and the Bucks (Twitter link), George Hill and the Bucks (Twitter link), and Danny Green and the Sixers (Twitter link), with no surprises among that group. As expected, Green’s second year is non-guaranteed and Portis has a second-year player option, while Allen and Hill have fully guaranteed salaries.

Hawks Officially Announce Trae Young’s Five-Year Extension

The Hawks have officially signed Trae Young to a contract extension, the team announced today in a press release. While the club didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, we know based on previous reports that it’s a five-year, maximum-salary contract that begins in 2022/23. The two sides agreed to terms earlier in the week.

Young’s deal includes Rose Rule language and will start at 30% of the ’22/23 cap and will be worth a projected $207MM if he earns an All-NBA spot next season. If he doesn’t make the All-NBA team, the extension will start at 25% of the cap and will be worth nearly $173MM.

“This is a great day for the Hawks franchise and the city of Atlanta,” Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “Trae is a special player and person who from Day One, embraced being a leader on the court and in our community. We are excited to have him as the cornerstone of our program long-term as we work toward our goal of bringing a championship to Atlanta.”

The move had been widely expected this offseason, as Young has emerged as the cornerstone of a Hawks team that made a surprising Eastern Conference Finals run this season.

He averaged 25.3 PPG, 9.4 APG, and 3.9 RPG in 63 regular season games (33.7 MPG) in 2020/21, then helped lead Atlanta past the Knicks and Sixers in the first two rounds of the playoffs before suffering a foot injury in the Eastern Finals vs. Milwaukee.

Young remains under his rookie contract for one more season and will earn $8.33MM in 2021/22 before his extension begins.

Young’s extension will include an early termination option after the fourth year, according to RealGM (Twitter link). An ETO is similar to a player option, so Young will have the ability to opt out and sign a new deal in 2026.

Hawks, Trae Young Agree To Five-Year Max Extension

AUGUST 3, 7:37am: Young’s extension will include an early termination option after the fourth year, according to RealGM (Twitter link). An ETO is similar to a player option, so Young will have the ability to opt out and sign a new deal in 2026.

AUGUST 2, 11:02pm: The Hawks and Young are in agreement on a five-year, maximum-salary extension, agent Omar Wilkes tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Wojnarowski pegs the projected value of Young’s deal at $207MM, which would mean a starting salary worth 30% of a $119MM cap in 2022/23. That suggests that Atlanta has indeed put Rose Rule language in the deal, but Young will still need to meet the criteria to earn that amount. If he fails to earn All-NBA honors next season, the extension would be worth a projected $172.55MM.

AUGUST 2, 3:59pm: The Hawks and star guard Trae Young are expected to finalize an agreement on a maximum-salary contract extension shortly after he becomes extension-eligible on Monday night, reports Jeff Schultz of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The move had been widely expected, as Young has emerged as the cornerstone of a Hawks team that made a surprising Eastern Conference Finals run this season.

He averaged 25.3 PPG, 9.4 APG, and 3.9 RPG in 63 regular season games (33.7 MPG) in 2020/21, then helped lead Atlanta past the Knicks and Sixers in the first two rounds of the playoffs before suffering a foot injury in the Eastern Finals vs. Milwaukee.

Young remains under his rookie contract for one more season and will earn $8.33MM in 2021/22. His extension would go into effect in ’22/23.

The exact value of that deal would depend on where the cap lands for the 2022/23 season. However, a conservative estimate would result in a five-year deal of approximately $168MM.

That number could increase to about $201.5MM if the Hawks include Rose Rule language that would bump Young’s starting salary to 30% of the cap instead of 25%. However, he’d have to earn an All-NBA spot this coming season to trigger that increase.

Young is one of a number of young stars entering the final year of their respective rookie contracts who could receive a maximum-salary extension shortly after the NBA’s new league year begins.

Luka Doncic, who has already qualified for the 30% max, is in line to get a five-year extension, though it likely won’t be finalized until after the Olympics. Multiple reports have indicated the Thunder will likely lock up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to a max-salary extension, and Marc Stein identified Deandre Ayton (Suns) and Michael Porter Jr. (Nuggets) as other strong candidates for max extensions.

Hawks Rumors: Collins, Huerter, Young, Reddish, Fields

There are still some people in the Hawks‘ front office who have concerns about John Collins‘ defensive abilities and may not be in favor of offering the restricted free agent a full maximum-salary contract this offseason, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

However, Collins – who never seriously considered Atlanta’s four-year, $90MM+ extension offer last year – played a key role in the Hawks’ deep playoff run and may ultimately force the club’s hand, Fischer says. Many league personnel expect Collins to re-sign with Atlanta, Fischer adds.

Collins isn’t the only Hawks starter eligible for a new long-term contract this summer. Kevin Huerter can receive a rookie scale extension starting in August, and there’s a belief around the league that the team will try to get something done with him, according to Fischer. Huerter’s strong season and postseason has solidified his place in the team’s plans — the Hawks shopped him in trade talks as recently as the 2020 offseason, Fischer notes.

Of course, Trae Young is also extension-eligible for the first time this offseason, and Fischer says there’s no doubt the team’s leading scorer will receive a maximum-salary offer. The only question is how much it will ultimately be worth — a standard max extension for Young projects to pay about $168MM over five years, but he and the Hawks will likely negotiate Rose Rule language that would increase the value to as much as $201MM+ if he earns an All-NBA spot next season.

Here’s more from Fischer on the Hawks:

  • Cam Reddish‘s impressive four-game run in the Eastern Conference Finals (12.8 PPG on .528/.643/.800 shooting) will give the Hawks a lot to think about this summer. According to Fischer, multiple rival front offices were hoping Reddish would be a buy-low option in trade talks, but that may no longer be the case.
  • Hawks assistant general manager Landry Fields continues to draw interest from rival teams, including the Celtics as a possible GM under new president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, Fischer reports. If the Hawks were to promote Fields to GM in their own front office, Celtics VP of player development Allison Feaster may be the leading candidate to become Boston’s general manager, per Fischer.
  • Nate McMillan‘s “gruffer, old-school approach” contributed to his exit in Indiana, but he has changed his tone with the Hawks, taking a patient approach with the club’s younger players, including Young, says Fischer. “He’s reinvented himself, which is rare,” one team scout said. “You give him a lot of credit.”

Hawks Notes: Young, McMillan, Reddish, Bogdanovic

Hawks guard Trae Young returned Saturday, but he was clearly limited by injuries that forced him to miss the previous two games, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Young played 40 minutes, but didn’t have his usual explosiveness as he shot 4 of 17 from the field and scored 14 points.

He was still feeling the effects of a bone bruise in his right foot and a sprained right ankle that happened during Game 3. Saturday marked the first time he had stepped onto a court since the injury, other than testing it before Games 4 and 5. Young told reporters the bruise was in his heel and it affected him when he tried to get to the rim for a floater or a layup.

“Not being able to be out there for my team for two games, and then tonight just wanting to battle and try to fight through it as much as I could and try to be out there for my team, it’s definitely frustrating not being healthy and not being able to give my full 100 percent,” Young said.

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • One of the first orders of business for the offseason will be to negotiate a long-term deal with coach Nate McMillan, Bontemps adds. McMillan took over the Hawks in March when they were stuck in 11th place in the East and led them to the brink of the NBA Finals. “I don’t see interim on his label here soon,” Young said. “In my mind, I don’t think that will be a case that much longer.” 
  • Cam Reddish had a star-making performance in Saturday’s loss, observes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Playing in just his third game since returning from Achilles soreness that had sidelined him since February, Reddish scored 21 points and hit six of his seven three-point attempts. Kirschner notes that Reddish didn’t have a good relationship with former coach Lloyd Pierce, and many in the organization think he has the potential to be the team’s best player. “I really took to Cam when I first got here,” McMillan said. “He was a kid that I talked to early and was really wanting to coach him. I see a lot of Paul George in Cam — his length, his ability to defend.”
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic, who was a restricted free agent last offseason, said the Kings told him they would match any offer and they saw his value as $15MM to $17MM a year, according to Kirschner. He wound up getting $18MM from Atlanta and said he had no desire to return to Sacramento, calling it disrespectful that the Kings worked out a sign-and-trade with the Bucks without telling him. “I remember talking with (coach) Luke (Walton) and (general manager) Monte (McNair), and they both told me how they wanted me,” Bogdanovic said. “I said, ‘OK, fine.’ They said they were going to wait for my offer because they couldn’t make a deal before going to the market. I’m talking with my guys from (Sacramento) and I wasn’t even looking at free agency. … I was in Serbia and no one reached out to me. No one talked with me. No one asked me anything. I woke up, I saw it and then I didn’t know what to do. I called my agent and he told me to calm down because there was nothing they could do because I was a restricted free agent and they couldn’t do anything like that.”

Trae Young To Play In Game 6

The Hawks will have Trae Young available for tonight’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The star guard missed the last two games with a bone bruise in his right foot.

Young has been outstanding in the series when he has been on the court, averaging 32.7 points and 6.0 assists while shooting 47.9% from the field. He suffered the injury in Game 3 when he accidentally stepped on an official’s foot.

Atlanta’s season will be on the line after dropping a 123-112 decision Thursday night in Milwaukee. The Bucks will be still without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been ruled out with a hyperextended left knee.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has been plagued by soreness in his right knee throughout the series, will also be available, Spencer adds (via Twitter).

Giannis Antetokounmpo Officially Out For Game 6

Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will officially miss Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Hawks tonight with a left knee hyperextension, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic.

Antetokounmpo first suffered the injury in the second half of Game 4, an eventual 110-88 Atlanta victory.

The Bucks initially listed Antetokounmpo as doubtful to suit up for tonight’s game, though there appears to be growing optimism that, should the series require a Game 7 (Milwaukee currently leads 3-2), the All-NBA First Teamer could become available.

The status of Hawks star point guard Trae Young, sidelined with a right foot bone bruise suffered in Game 3 of the series, is still up in the air.

Without Antetokounmpo for a second of Game 5 on Wednesday, the Bucks held off the Hawks sans Young, winning 123-112.

Milwaukee is on the cusp of its first NBA Finals appearance in 47 years, and a victory in either of the next two games will clinch a matchup against the Suns, who defeated the Clippers in six games on the other side of the playoff bracket.

Antetokounmpo Doubtful to Play In Game 6; Young Listed As Questionable

6:08pm: It’s believed the Bucks would give Antetokounmpo the green light to play in Game 7 if he sits out on Saturday and the Hawks win, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

4:33pm: Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is once again listed as doubtful to play as the team attempts to clinch the Eastern Conference Finals in Atlanta on Saturday, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Hawks star guard Trae Young is listed as questionable to play in Game 6 by his team with the season on the line, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

With both of the teams’ top players sitting out, Milwaukee took a 3-2 lead in the series with a 123-112 win on Thursday. Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextension of his left knee in Game 4, while Young sustained a right foot bone bruise in Game 3.

Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, who scored a team-high 28 points in Game 5, is listed as probable despite right knee soreness.