Tag: Atlanta Hawks

Josh Smith

Reports: Josh Smith to sign with Los Angeles Clippers


Depth along the front line was a serious issue for the Clippers last season. There was Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, then… Spencer Hawes.

Now the Clippers are going to have a couple very nice reserves, they are expected to bring back Ekpe Udoh.

Now come reports that the Clippers have landed Josh Smith. Michael Scotto of Sheridanhoops.com had it first, others have since confirmed.

The Clippers could only sign him for the league minimum (all they had left) but Smith was good with it since the Pistons still will pay him $5.4 million as part of their waiving and stretch of his contract. (What the Clippers will pay him will be offset from the money Detroit owes him.)

At that price, Smith is a steal.

Smith has his flaws, starting with his love of the three ball — he’s a career 28 percent shooter from three who last season knocked down a barely passable 33 percent with Houston. But coming off the bench, Smith is a massive upgrade for the Clippers — he provides physicality and defense, plus he can still get points and rebounds and defend at a quality level. He brings some legit depth and versatility to the Clippers front line, plus he has stepped up in the playoffs.

Doc Rivers the GM has really helped out Doc Rivers the coach this summer. The formerly anemic Clipper bench will now have Jamal Crawford, Lance Stephenson, Udoh (probably) and Smith (plus guys like Austin Rivers that will get some run).

When you talk serious NBA title contenders next season, do not leave the Clippers off the list.

Raptors sign Norman Powell

Toronto Raptors v Houston Rockets

Norman Powell had one heck of a summer-league dunk:

Now, the No. 46 pick in the 2015 NBA draft has something even better – a contract with the Raptors.

Raptors release:

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed guard Norman Powell.


The Raptors would have done well by dipping into their cap room to give Powell a three-year, partially guaranteed contract. Doing so would ensure Toronto can have full Bird Rights (plus matching rights) on Powell in three years if he pans out. (The minimum-salary exception is for up to two years.)

I don’t think Toronto was signing someone better with that space at this point, anyway. So why not get that potential advantage down the road with Powell?

Powell has looked good in summer league – getting to the basket, defending on the perimeter and generally just showing off his athleticism. But he hasn’t dispelled doubts about the shaky outside shot he showed over four years at UCLA. Really, summer league isn’t enough to confirm his perceived strengths. But it’s at least better to play well than play poorly.

With DeMar DeRozan, Terrance Ross and DeMarre Carroll, there’s no clear path to Powell earning regular-season minutes immediately. Hopefully for their sake, the Raptors gave themselves a few years to find a role for him.

He might earn one eventually.

NBA max contract values for 2015-16


The NBA salary cap and luxury-tax lines came in higher than expected, which means max contracts will be worth more than expected.

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Max contracts are determined by experience level with players split into three tiers (0-6 years, 7-9 years, 10+ years). Here’s how much players signing max deals this offseason will earn based on experience and length of the contract:

0-6 years experience (players such as Greg Monroe, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard)

Re-sign Sign elsewhere
One-year $16,407,000 $16,407,000
Two-year $34,044,525 $33,552,315
Three-year $52,912,575 $51,435,945
Four-year $73,011,150 $70,057,890
Five-year $94,340,250

7-9 years experience (LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, Paul Millsap)

Re-sign Sign elsewhere
One-year $19,689,000 $19,689,000
Two-year $40,854,675 $40,264,005
Three-year $63,497,025 $61,725,015
Four-year $87,616,050 $84,072,030
Five-year $113,211,750

10+ years experience (LeBron James)

Re-sign Sign elsewhere
One-year $22,970,000 $22,970,000
Two-year $47,662,750 $46,973,650
Three-year $74,078,250 $72,010,950
Four-year $102,216,500 $98,081,900
Five-year $132,077,500

Anthony Davis agreed to a max contract extension, and Damian Lillard will likely follow suit. Those begin with with the 2016-17 season, so their values won’t be known for another year. But with the salary cap rising under the new national TV contracts, Davis and Lillard stand to make a lot more than free agents this summer.

DeMarre Carroll says Hawks told him they were choosing between keeping him and Paul Millsap

DeMarre Carroll

One of the biggest free agents to change teams this summer was DeMarre Carroll, who left the 60-win Hawks to sign a four-year, $60 million deal with the Raptors. Atlanta made a trade on July 1 for Spurs center Tiago Splitter and then gave Paul Millsap a three-year max deal to stay, which made it difficult for them to retain Carroll, arguably their most important defender, at market rate. Carroll talked about the process in an interview on Bleacher Report Radio on Sunday:

Losing Carroll is a huge blow for the Hawks — he was their best perimeter defender. He adds a lot of versatility to a Raptors team that has lost Amir Johnson and is still deciding on bringing back Lou Williams. He can play both forward positions and guard the other team’s best player.

Spurs reset franchise for post Tim Duncan life in one impressive week


This coming season, the San Antonio Spurs are going to be a force to be reckoned with: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Patty Mills and the core that was a legitimate title contender last season, and now they’ve added the 20-and-10 talents of LaMarcus Aldridge. Plus the Spurs are not done, they are in the mix for David West and other quality role players. They will be as good as anyone, serious contenders to win another Larry O’Brien trophy.

That’s not even the most impressive part of what the Spurs did this summer.

In one week, San Antonio has ensured that when Tim Duncan walks away — very possibly after next season — the Spurs will remain at the top of the West for at least the next four years.

The Spurs will keep being the Spurs.

Of course, it didn’t all happen in just one week. This started June 23, 2011, the night of the NBA Draft when the Spurs shipped out George Hill — a good point guard and a player Gregg Popovich was very fond of — for the rights to Kawhi Leonard. It was a gamble, but the Spurs saw the potential in the long, athletic, big-handed Leonard to bring them defense and scoring from the wing they had not been getting.

This week the Spurs secured that promise — they locked Leonard up to a five-year, $90 million max contract extension. Leonard is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA and a former Finals MVP, plus he brought 16.5 points and 7.2 rebounds a game last season, with an efficient true shooting percentage of 56.2 percent. He is a franchise cornerstone piece on the wings.

Aldridge gives them that in the paint for the next four years — when Duncan steps away Aldridge slides right into that slot.

Like Duncan, Aldridge has good footwork and moves in the post, but he will kill you from the midrange. (Yes the midrange jumper is going out of fashion in the NBA, but like the stolen base in baseball it’s a good strategy if you hit a high-enough percentage and Aldridge shot an excellent 44 percent from 16 feet out to the arc last season).

Like Duncan, Aldridge is a good defender (not as good as peak Duncan, but good). And like Duncan, he is underrated for his toughness — he was supposed to have surgery on his thumb last season but came back to play out the season because he thought the Trail Blazers could contend.

Just as happened in 2011 with the Leonard trade, credit Popovich for knowing what needed to be done. Popovich is no recruiter by choice, but when Aldrige was on the fence, he came back out to Los Angeles for a second lunch to talk specifics with the big man. Aldridge had more questions, pressed for details, and liked what he heard, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Aldridge and Leonard are the core for the next four years, but as always the Spurs will have quality talent at below-market prices around them.

Danny Green is as good a “3&D” guy as there is in the NBA right now and when you look at what the others in that class got — DeMarre Carroll was given $60 million from Toronto — the Spurs this week re-signed Green at a steal of four years, $45 million.

Then there is Tony Parker, who could have made more than the $13.4 million he will make this year but is locked in now for three more seasons at a price that will be a bargain as the salary cap spikes. Boris Diaw will make $22 million over the next three years, but the next two years of his deal are not fully guaranteed if the Spurs want to make a move. Patty Mills is going to make just a little over $7 million total the next two seasons.

Plus, Popovich plans to stick around for a little while.

All of which is to say, the Spurs didn’t just reload this week to make one more run at a sixth ring for Tim Duncan.

This week the Spurs set themselves up to contend for titles long after Duncan has retired to spend more time at his custom auto shop.

The Spurs are going to just keep going on, being the San Antonio Spurs