“It’s always good to come back (to Atlanta),” RJ Hunter said. “Even during a season that I’ve been in the United States and I get to come back home, it’s always good. I’m going to live here for a long time so, I call it home.” Hunter, a two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year at Georgia State, returned to Atlanta last month and signed with the College Park Skyhawks, the G League affiliate of the Hawks, on Feb. 7.
“The NBA is always the goal. At this point, I’m just trying to maximize my talent,” Hunter said. “There’s elite players worldwide that are living great lives, making great money and making a great name for themselves. As much as the NBA has grown, the global game is also crazy. There’s a lot of really really good players overseas. Wherever (basketball) takes me it takes me. I’ve been in the playoffs in the NBA, I’ve started NBA games, I’ve had really good games in the NBA. I have an idea of what that is and if that doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. But there’s a lot of other opportunities out there.”
In other Red Claws news, former Celtics two-way player R.J. Hunter agreed to a one-year deal with Turk Telekom on Friday. The 25-year-old, a first-round pick by the Celtics in 2015, scored 17 points in his lone appearance with the Celtics last season and after several years in the G League. He still has an eye toward returning to the NBA after a year in the EuroCup.
Marc D'Amico: Brad Stevens on the signing of RJ Hunter, who returned to the team today with a two-way contract: “That’s a neat story ... I think we’re all really excited to have him back.”
Mark Murphy: Agent Mark Bartelstein on R.J. Hunter's return to the Celtics: "R.J. wants to show the people of Boston they made the right decision when the Celtics drafted him. He turned down all kinds of offers from overseas to make his way back to the NBA. I have so much respect for him."
Priority Sports: A huge congrats to RJ Hunter for signing with the @celtics! Can't wait to see you back in green!
Jared Weiss: Former Celtics first-rounder RJ Hunter signed a camp deal with the Hawks today, hoping to snag a two-way deal.
Adam Johnson: The RGV Vipers and Erie BayHawks have agreed to a trade according to league sources: Erie receives: player rights to RJ Hunter. RGV receives: player rights to Jonathan Gibson, 4th rd draft pick. Feeling is Atlanta will offer exhibit 10 deal to Hunter.
Shams Charania: Sources: The Houston Rockets have waived former Celtics first-round pick R.J. Hunter, who was on a two-way deal.
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets announced the two-way deal with R.J. Hunter who said as much as he might have improved since Boston, the system the Rockets/Vipers play suits him. "The system has been great. It allows me to play free. That's so helpful."
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets to sign Vipers guard R.J. Hunter to a two-way contract tomorrow, per source.
Jason Quick: Blazers will sign guard RJ Hunter to Summer League contract. He will run point. He was a first round pick by Boston in 2015.
Chris Mannix: Former Celtics first round pick R.J. Hunter has been acquired by the D-League's Long Island Nets, per team.
The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has requested waivers on guard R.J. Hunter. During his time with the Bulls, Hunter (6-5, 185) appeared in three games and grabbed one rebound in nine total minutes.
Bobby Marks: Cap hit for R.J. Hunter is $425k. The full $864k would have been guaranteed if not waived by Jan. 7. twitter.com/chrismannixys/…
The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team signed guard R.J. Hunter. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.
Jeff Goodman: The Chicago Bulls have agreed to deal with former Celtics guard R.J. Hunter, source told ESPN.
Adam Himmelsbach: R.J. Hunter now scheduled to have a physical with the Bulls tomorrow, source says. Wild that the Celtics play the Bulls tomorrow.
In the end, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge decided to waive Hunter, the rangy, sweet-shooting guard whose statistics ultimately did not match his elegant shooting form. “He loved that community and loved being around that team,” Hunter’s father, Ron, said in a telephone interview. “I think they got rid of a good basketball player but they also got rid of a better person. But that’s not what this is about. You don’t take it personally and you just move on. And that’s what he’s doing. He’s still a young kid. He’s hurt right now, but when he wakes up tomorrow, he’s going to be fine.”
Jay King: Amir Johnson begins his press conference, "Happy birthday, RJ. That's my guy." All the sads.
December 7, 2021 | 1:04 pm EST Update
Multiple sources said that the Pacers are receptive in trade dialogue with rival teams centered on potentially moving guard Caris LeVert and either two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis or center Myles Turner. All three players have frequently garnered significant interest from rival teams. Pacers officials have received frequent calls on both of their big men over the past several seasons, but new head coach Rick Carlisle wanted an opportunity to spend time with Sabonis and Turner and grow with the roster.
In need of a new direction amid a 10-16 start to the season, the Indiana Pacers are moving toward a substantial rebuild and are expected to open up trade conversations around some of their veteran stalwarts, sources tell The Athletic.
Ryan Wolstat: Dalano Banton says he doesn’t know Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Lu Dort at all. Haven’t crossed paths. Doesn’t specifically try to borrow anything from Shai’s game as a big point guard. “He’s good though.”
December 7, 2021 | 12:38 pm EST Update
A bit of important reporting we will try not to bury in a recap — a source familiar with the situation spoke to PhillyVoice on Monday evening and said the Sixers have had no recent discussions with Portland regarding a CJ McCollum trade, and a package centered around the Blazers’ guard is not currently of interest to the Sixers.