Trent Forrest

Hawks’ Bogdanovic Makes Season Debut Friday; Young Out

Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic made his 2022/23 season debut Friday against Denver, and received a standing ovation from the home crowd when he entered the game off the bench (Twitter video link via Caleb Johnson of 92.9 The Game). He had been recovering for several months after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

Bogdanovic has been a key member of Atlanta’s rotation over the past two seasons, averaging 15.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals on .448/.398/.862 shooting in 107 total games (54 starts, 29.5 minutes per contest). His long-distance shooting and complementary play-making will definitely be helpful for the 12-10 Hawks, since they currently rank 29th in the league in three-point attempts, 27th in three-point percentage (32.5%), and 21st in assists per game.

The 30-year-old holds an $18MM player option for ’23/24. He’s extension-eligible and could hit free agency next summer if he declines his option.

Unfortunately, star point guard Trae Young was ruled out with right shoulder soreness prior to the game, tweets Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Third-year guard Trent Forrest (concussion evaluation), who’s on a two-way contract with Atlanta, was also ruled out.

With Young and forwards De’Andre Hunter and John Collins sidelined, the Hawks started rookie AJ Griffin, former lottery pick and current two-way player Jarrett Culver, and second-year forward Jalen Johnson. It’s a huge opportunity for all three players to possibly earn bigger roles going forward.

Contract Details: Muscala, Harden, Blazers, More

The new contract that veteran forward/center Mike Muscala signed with the Thunder is essentially identical to the one he signed with the team in 2021, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Muscala’s new deal covers two years and has matching $3.5MM cap hits in each of those two seasons for a total of $7MM. The first year is guaranteed, while the second year is a team option. All of those details also applied to the two-year, $7MM contract he signed in ’21.

The Thunder chose to decline Muscala’s $3.5MM team option for 2022/23 back in June, but will now pay him that exact salary next season, with another $3.5MM team option for ’23/24. Since Oklahoma City had Muscala’s Bird rights, the club didn’t have to dip into its mid-level exception to complete the signing.

Here are a few more details on recently signed contracts from around the NBA:

  • James Harden‘s new two-year contract with the Sixers will pay him exactly $33MM in 2022/23 and includes a 2023/24 player option worth $35.64MM. The two-year, $68.64MM pact includes a 15% trade kicker.
  • The training camp contracts that Norvel Pelle and Isaiah Miller signed with the Trail Blazers include Exhibit 10 language. That gives Portland the option of converting either contract into a two-way deal before the regular season begins.
  • The new two-way contracts signed by Duane Washington (Suns) and Trent Forrest (Hawks) are each just for one season.

Hawks Sign Trent Forrest To Two-Way Deal

The Hawks have filled their open two-way slot by signing free agent guard Trent Forrest to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.

[RELATED: 2022/23 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Forrest, 24, signed a two-way deal with the Jazz in 2020 after going undrafted out of Florida State. He spent most of the next two seasons on two-way contracts in Utah, eventually earning a promotion to the standard roster on the last day of the 2021/22 campaign in order to make him playoff-eligible.

Forrest has appeared in 90 regular season games at the NBA level in his first two professional seasons, including 60 in 2021/22. He averaged 3.3 PPG and 1.8 APG in ’21/22, making 49.0% of his shots from the floor in 12.8 minutes per contest. He even earned six starts in the backcourt over the course of the season.

The Jazz had the opportunity to give Forrest a qualifying offer in June to make him a restricted free agent, but chose not to, so he hit the market as an unrestricted free agent.

Having officially signed Forrest, Atlanta now has 16 players under contract. Of those 16 players, 13 have fully guaranteed standard contracts, while Tyrese Martin has a partially guaranteed deal and Forrest and Chaundee Brown are on two-way pacts.

Jazz Notes: Mitchell, Gobert, Free Agents, Kessler

Jazz general manager Justin Zanik didn’t label Donovan Mitchell as “untouchable,” but he made it clear that moving Mitchell isn’t part of the team’s current plans, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. In the wake of the Rudy Gobert trade, there has been speculation that Utah might seek to unload Mitchell and launch a full-scale rebuild, but Zanik said the organization still considers Mitchell to be a vital part of its future.

“Change is inevitable in the NBA,” Zanik responded when asked about Mitchell. “I’m not trying to be cryptic or anything else, but Donovan is on our roster and he’s a very, very important part of what we’re trying to do. Things evolve in the NBA, so I couldn’t sit here and say anybody is (untouchable). We’re trying to build a championship team, but there’s no intent there (to trade Mitchell), at all.”

Zanik added that management has been in touch with Mitchell and he “has been supportive” of the team’s offseason moves, according to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). Mitchell may see more time as the primary ball-handler during the upcoming season, and CEO Danny Ainge believes he’s capable of becoming a full-time point guard (Twitter link).

There’s more on the Jazz:

  • Zanik also said the team is “in the middle of” reforming its roster and indicated that more moves are coming, Walden tweets. Addressing the Gobert trade, Zanik said the Jazz loved having Gobert to anchor their defense, but decided the offer from Minnesota was “in the best interest of the organization.”
  • The team is still considering re-signing free agents Eric Paschall, Trent Forrest and Juancho Hernangomez, Walden adds (Twitter link). “By no means have we closed the book on any of those guys,” Zanik said.
  • First-round pick Walker Kessler is dealing with a minor toe injury that he suffered during pre-draft workouts and won’t play any more in Summer League, Walden tweets. Kessler has received clearance from the team’s medical staff, but will focus on conditioning.
  • Jared Butler and Bruno Caboclo were Jazz “standouts” at the Salt Lake City Summer League, per Trent Wood of The Deseret News.

Northwest Notes: Forrest, Jazz Offseason, A-Rod, Wolves

Sarah Todd of The Deseret News wonders what’s next for Jazz guard Trent Forrest. The 23-year-old spent the past two seasons on a two-way deal with Utah after going undrafted out of Florida State, but his contract was converted to a standard deal on the last day of the regular season.

Although that technically made him eligible for the playoffs, Forrest was dealing with a left midfoot sprain, so the conversion was mostly ceremonial. The front office deferred to coach Quin Snyder‘s preference for the 15th roster spot, and Forrest was rewarded after earning the trust of Snyder, sources tell Todd.

As of last week, Forrest was still experiencing pain while rehabbing the injury and had yet to resume on-court work, but it’s not a long-term concern, Todd writes. Forrest will be a restricted free agent this summer if the team tenders him a qualifying offer worth just over $2MM.

Although he’s considered a strong defender, he knows he needs to work on his shot to have lasting success in the NBA.

This summer is going to be a lot of the same thing,” Forrest said. “I don’t need much pick-and-roll or things like that. A lot of (my work) is just gonna be a lot of left hand finishing and working on my shot.”

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • In a mailbag column about how the Jazz should approach their offseason, Tony Jones of The Athletic says he believes Utah should keep both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and surround them with “bigger, longer, more athletic” players who are significantly better defensively. Juancho Hernangomez and Danuel House — two players who were on the verge of being out of the league — both made a big impact on the club due to their length, athleticism and competitive defense, and Jones thinks the Jazz need several more players in that mold. If he were part of the front office, he says he’d try to trade for a second-round pick in the draft and use the taxpayer mid-level exception (projected to be $6.4MM) to acquire players who meet that criteria. Utah does not own a pick at the moment.
  • After recent rumors that Timberwolves minority owner Alex Rodriguez might be interested in purchasing the Miami Marlins, his PR representative denied the claim. “Alex Rodriguez is 100 percent focused on owning the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. Any report of him having interest in also buying the Miami Marlins or any other MLB team is entirely false,” said Ron Berkowitz of Berk Communications (via Twitter). A-Rod and co-owner Marc Lore are set to become majority shareholders of the Wolves in 2023/24.
  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News reports that the Timberwolves worked out several draft prospects on Thursday and Friday, including UCLA’s Johnny Juzang, Maryland’s Fatts Russell, Alabama’s Keon Ellis, North Carolina’s Kerwin Walton, and Richmond’s Jacob Gilyard (all Twitter links here).

Contract Details: Gabriel, K. Edwards, Cannady, More

During the final three days of the regular season, five NBA players who had been on two-way contracts were promoted to their respective teams’ 15-man rosters.

[RELATED: 2021/22 NBA Two-Way Contract Conversions]

Three of those five players – Jazz guard Trent Forrest, Suns forward Ish Wainright, and Cavaliers Moses Brown – received straight conversions, having their contracts turned into one-year, minimum-salary contracts, Hoops Rumors has learned. Forrest, Wainright, and Brown will be eligible to play in the postseason with their respective teams, but won’t be under contract beyond the 2021/22 season.

The other two – Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel and Nets forward Kessler Edwards – signed two-year, minimum-salary deals that include team options for the 2022/23 season. Their clubs will have the opportunity to bring them back for another year if they pick up those options before the June 29 deadline. Gabriel’s salary will remain non-guaranteed even if his option is exercised.

Here are a few more details on contracts signed in recent days:

  • The Magic used a portion of their mid-level exception to give Devin Cannady a three-year deal and a $100K rest-of-season salary on Sunday, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. A minimum-salary contract would’ve been limited to two years and would’ve resulted in a rest-of-season salary of just $8,558. Smith adds that Cannady’s second- and third-year salaries (worth the minimum) are non-guaranteed, with a team option on the 2023/24 season.
  • The Bucks dipped into their mid-level exception in order to give Rayjon Tucker a three-year, minimum-salary deal, according to Smith (Twitter link). The contract is non-guaranteed beyond this season.
  • Juwan Morgan‘s new two-year deal with the Celtics includes a minimum-salary team option for 2022/23, tweets Smith. Morgan’s salary will remain non-guaranteed even if the option is exercised.
  • Chaundee Brown‘s new two-way contract with the Hawks is a two-year deal, while the two-ways signed in recent days by Mac McClung (Lakers) and RJ Nembhard (Cavaliers) were just rest-of-season agreements, Hoops Rumors has learned. The majority of the players on two-way deals will be free agents this summer, but Brown is one of 13 who is also under contract for 2022/23, as our tracker shows.

Jazz Convert Trent Forrest’s Two-Way Contract To Standard Deal

1:24pm: The transaction is official, according to a team press release.

10:25am: Two-way player Trent Forrest will receive a standard contract from the Jazz, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The move will make him eligible to participate in the playoffs, which two-way players cannot do.

The 23-year-old point guard is in his second season as a two-way player with Utah. He has appeared in 60 games so far in 2021/22, making six starts, and is averaging 3.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 12.8 minutes per night.

Undrafted out of Florida State in 2020, Forrest reached a two-way agreement with the Jazz in November of that year and appeared in 30 games as a rookie. He signed another two-way deal before the start of this season’s training camp.

Once the move is official, Utah will have a full 15-man roster heading into the postseason. The Jazz are currently tied for fifth in the West at 48-33 and hold a tiebreaker advantage over the Nuggets.

Northwest Notes: Gordon, Murray, Forrest, Gobert, Mitchell, Presti

Aaron Gordon doesn’t want Jamal Murray to play until the Nuggets’ star guard is completely healthy, the forward told Mike Singer of the Denver Post. Murray has been rehabbing all season from the ACL injury he suffered last spring. “I told him to take his time,” Gordon said. “You don’t want to rush this. This isn’t something to rush coming off of injury, especially coming back in such a high-level game, as a playoffs.”

We’ve got more from the Northwest Division:

  • Jazz guard Trent Forrest has been diagnosed with a left mid-foot ligament sprain after undergoing an MRI on Thursday, according to Eric Walden of the Salt Lake City Tribune (Twitter link). Forrest, who played 12 minutes against Oklahoma City on Wednesday, will be reevaluated in a week. He’s appeared in 60 games this season, averaging 3.3 PPG in 12.8 MPG.
  • While many people consider the Defensive Player of the Year race to be wide open, former winner Rudy Gobert believes he should be a lock. In an interview with ESPN’s Malika Andrews on NBA Today, the Jazz center said, “If anybody else not named Rudy Gobert was doing what I do this year and having the impact that I have this year, they would be the frontrunner and it would be clear. … Why should I be penalized for being consistent year after year?”
  • The Jazz are headed for a roster shakeup, with a breakup of the Gobert-Donovan Mitchell duo almost an inevitability, John Wilmes of RealGM opines. Though the Jazz could win 50 games, there remains a lot of acrimony between the stars of the team.
  • The stash of draft picks Thunder GM Sam Presti has accumulated is more quantity than quality, according to Keith Smith in a Spotrac story. Packaging those picks in trades won’t be as easy as it sounds, unless Presti is willing to move some of the young players they’ve already drafted and developed, says Smith.

Jazz Notes: Slump, Mitchell, Gobert, Forrest, Hernangomez

Last Wednesday night, following a blowout loss to the Celtics, Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert attempted to diagnose the team’s issues and consider how to fix them, with Gobert stressing the need to “sacrifice for each other,” while Mitchell called out the Utah’s execution and energy level. As Sarah Todd of The Deseret News relayed at the time, Gobert expressed confidence that enduring some adversity would make the team better.

One week later, it seems as though the Jazz have yet to apply those lessons and turn their adversity into something positive. Defeats at the hands of the Hornets, Mavericks, and Clippers have extended their losing streak to five games, and Tuesday’s outcome in Los Angeles was especially dispiriting. In a repeat of Game 6 of last year’s Western Conference Semifinals, Utah blew a 25-point lead en route to an improbable loss.

Asked by Todd about the similarities between last year’s game and last night’s, Mitchell expressed exasperation: “I don’t know, Sarah. I don’t know. It’s the same s–t. I mean, it feels the same way. It’s the same thing. This is literally the same thing.”

Gobert offered more specific critiques of the Jazz, suggesting to reporters that the team’s ball movement, defense, and lack of physicality are among the problems he has noticed.

“Nobody hits nobody,” Gobert said, per Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. “We don’t get our hands dirty. We never get our hands dirty. We’re a very good basketball team, but I get f— up every night, and guys are literally beating me up every night, as they should. It’s basketball, it’s a physical game. But we have to get to the point where we do that to the other team too. But teams don’t really expect that from us.

“We’re a really good basketball team, I think we have great basketball players on both ends. We just, need to figure out a way to get that mindset, to do things for each other more and do it for 48 minutes, and do it even more. And when it gets hard, we need to do it even more.”

Utah will have a good opportunity to right the ship on Thursday when the reeling Lakers – likely missing both LeBron James and Anthony Davis – come to town.

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • The good vibes that used to float around the Jazz are gone, Todd writes in an opinion piece for The Deseret News, noting that the team’s body language has been “just awful.”
  • Jazz guard Trent Forrest, who left Tuesday’s game with concussion-like symptoms, has indeed been diagnosed with a concussion, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. The Jazz were determining late Tuesday night whether Forrest would be able to fly home with the team or if he’d require an overnight hospital stay. There was a bit of added concern because it’s Forrest’s second concussion, Jones explains.
  • Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune explores the odds of Rudy Gobert winning his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award this season.
  • Juan Hernangomez has been traded four times in the last year and hasn’t played much this season, but he has gotten the opportunity to start for the Jazz recently with Bojan Bogdanovic sidelined and has responded well, including on Tuesday when he scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. “It’s just the business,” Hernangomez said following the loss in Charlotte last Friday, according to Walden. “As a player, you’ve got to be ready, keep working on your game. I’ve been through a lot of changes — emotionally, changing all the teams, changing all my teammates, coaches, but you’re still the same player. You’ve got to keep working on your game because if you can stay ready, the NBA’s about opportunity. And when the opportunity comes, just enjoy it and do your best.”

Injury Notes: Lakers, Jazz, Bulls, Heat

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Anthony Davis is progressing each day as he inches closer to a return to action, as Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet tweets.

Anthony has had a good week … He’s had a productive week,” Vogel said.

Davis continues to do spot shooting, which began on Monday. Davis originally suffered a right foot strain on February 16, so he’s a little more than four weeks into his four-to-six week recovery timetable.

Lakers reserves Carmelo Anthony and Wayne Ellington were both unable to play on Friday at Toronto due to non-COVID illnesses, Trudell relays (via Twitter).

Talen Horton-Tucker missed the game as well, per Blake Murphy of Sportsnet (Twitter link). Horton-Tucker has been battling a Grade 2 ankle sprain.

Here are more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • The Jazz are dealing with a plethora of maladies at the moment. Six players were listed as out for Friday’s game against the Clippers, the team announced (Twitter link): Donovan Mitchell (right calf contusion), Bojan Bogdanovic (left calf strain), Danuel House (left knee bone bruise), Hassan Whiteside (non-COVID illness), Trent Forrest (right wrist sprain), and Udoka Azubuike (right ankle sprain).
  • Bulls coach Billy Donovan says Lonzo Ball has been experiencing discomfort in his rehab, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “He has not responded,” Donovan said. “There’s no setbacks. It’s still the same thing. He has not been able to do anything full speed. And anytime we get him close to that, there’s discomfort. So I think they’re going to probably at least look at, you know, ‘Do you back off and let him rest for a little bit and see if that helps?’” Johnson notes that Friday marked seven weeks since Ball underwent surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his left knee, and given his lack of progress, it seems highly unlikely he’ll return in the six-to-eight week recovery timetable Chicago originally provided. Donovan said there’s been no talk of Ball missing the remainder of the season, but the team is still determining the next steps in his recovery process.
  • On a more positive note, Donovan said Patrick Williams has been a full participant in G League practices with the Windy City Bulls, with no setbacks. He also said there was a “very real” possibility that Williams could return to action versus Toronto on Monday or Milwaukee on Tuesday, Johnson tweets. Williams has been targeting a return next week; he’s been out since October due to wrist surgery.
  • Jimmy Butler (sprained right ankle) and Victor Oladipo (back spasms) both missed the Heat‘s 120-108 win over the Thunder on Friday, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes. It’s the third time Butler has sprained his right ankle this season, Chiang notes, which is definitely a concerning trend. However, the injury isn’t considered serious. On the bright side, Caleb Martin (hyperextended left knee) and P.J. Tucker (left knee irritation) were both able to play after being listed as questionable. Martin had missed the past three games for the 47-24 Heat, who hold the No. 1 seed in the East.