If Ball was the pick for the Hawks, the roster construction around him and Young would have to be close to perfect. “It would be tough to guard,” Clark said. “If I had LaMelo Ball and Trae Young, I know what they can do. That’s in the bag. Teams are not going to be able to guard those guys. What do my next three players look like? Well, I know that I would want my wings to be bulldog defenders, and I need them to be shot-makers who don’t need the ball. I’d say 3-and-D guys, but you need someone who has the ability to put the ball on the floor, but he’s OK not touching the ball and being the creator. He needs to be a finisher above the rim and is just a dog defender who can make open shots. That would be my ideal guy.
Finally, there is one other outside-the-box option — going much bigger and making a play for Toronto’s Fred VanVleet. He is the best free-agent point guard by a mile. The Hawks would have to be comfortable starting VanVleet next to Young and then sliding him over to the point when Young checks out. VanVleet is generously listed at 6-1, so that leaves the Hawks very small in the backcourt. But he is built like a bowling ball and handles bigger players well. This would be expensive. VanVleet will have multiple suitors, likely including Detroit, New York and his own Toronto Raptors, and his price tag is going to be in the $20 million-per-year range for three or four years. But he definitely would solve the problem.
Rick Carlisle: “On the heels of George Floyd’s death on May 25, the head coaches got together on a Zoom call which was put together very quickly. We talked about the things that are going on in the world. Lloyd Pierce, who is the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, made a very passionate speech to the entire group about his feelings about everything. He was immediately appointed the chair of the NBA coaches committee on racial injustice and reform. That committee met on Zoom calls probably five times and filtered through a lot of different things to the point where now on a national level we’re under the Obama Foundation …”
The NBA is closing in on signing off on a second “bubble” in Chicago for the eight teams that were not invited to play in Florida, enabling them to participate in a mini-training camp and subsequent games against other clubs with a target date of September, sources told ESPN on Thursday. The details are still being hammered out, and teams continue to push for an alternative plan that would enable them to hold mini-camps within their local markets and to explore the idea of establishing regional sites where teams could scrimmage against each other.
Storyline: Chicago Bubble
More Than A Vote, the James organization dedicated to maximizing Black turnout in November, shared its plans with The Associated Press on Wednesday after the Detroit Pistons became the second NBA franchise to announce plans to use its arena for voting later this year. In Georgia, Fulton County elections officials this week approved the Atlanta Hawks’ proposal to use State Farm Arena as a polling site. Plans call for the arena to serve as a countywide early voting site ahead of Election Day.
Lloyd Pierce, head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, said the arrangement in his city ensures “high turnout” in a safe environment. Benson, Pierce and David Fizdale, former New York Knicks head coach, will advise NBA franchises and arena management entities around the country on how to replicate the existing deals. The Milwaukee Bucks also confirmed they are willing to use their home arena as a voting site in the most populous city in the key battleground of Wisconsin.
“I would ask those fans who are fans of Trae or Atlanta fans to just look at his history. He knows this is a team effort, but he wants to have that statue next to Dominique (Wilkins) one day, man. I’ve told you this before, my son is 6-foot-1, but he thinks he’s the best player on the court no matter if LeBron is on the floor with him. Hopefully, it never backfires on him, but he’s got big balls and is very confident. He just knows what he wants to accomplish. I never think my son is going to join a super team unless they all come to Atlanta. He’s just got too much pride to do that. Maybe that pride will backfire, but who knows. My son has seen it happen here in Oklahoma City with (Kevin Durant). He wasn’t one of those who called him a cupcake, but he’s seen the backlash of something like that happen.” Young’s contract with Klutch is expected to become official Tuesday afternoon. On Monday, Young was on a conference call with Adidas, one of his main sponsors, brainstorming how he and the company can help black-owned businesses in Atlanta.
“Most definitely because at the end of the day, Trae needs to focus on basketball,” Rayford said. “Trae needs to focus on helping the team win and helping them get to the playoffs. He’s got to have someone he knows when he needs to call the front office, if it’s positive or negative. He needs to have a voice representing him who he could trust. I hate to put it this way; it can’t be someone who just has a long history of being an agent. It has to be someone who he feels good with. It can’t be someone who just because they rep one of the top five players or top 10 players of the league. Trae didn’t go to Klutch just because of A.D. or LeBron. He went there because he believes guys like Rich and Omar can make some calls for him. You have to go with who you’re comfortable with. That’s on the court and off the court. Hopefully, Trae is in the position one day to play with who he’s comfortable with. That’s just the opportunities he’s building for himself now.”
Storyline: Agent Changes

Storyline: Vince Carter Retirement
That’s a byproduct of a super long stay in the league that spanned four different decades and him changing teams way more often than your typical big-name player. The All-Star swingman shared the floor with 261 different teammates through 21 seasons, which puts him way ahead of Juwan Howard and, for now, also Tyson Chandler and Trevor Ariza.
Darren Wolfson: Told the #Timberwolves are interested in hosting. Atlanta, Detroit, probably more too. Asked two non-Wolves officials involved the likelihood something actually happens. One: “It’s very fluid!! Wouldn’t bet on it.” Other: “I’m optimistic. But obviously nothing is certain.”

Once the Orlando operation is up and running, the league and the NBPA will decide what to do about the eight teams that aren’t taking part (Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Minnesota, Cleveland, Golden State). All those players face the prospect of going nearly six months without facing NBA opponents, and sources say there is significant support from most of those teams for the possibility of a secondary campus site where they would train, compete and even play televised games in much the same way they plan to in Orlando.
Those ideas have been shared openly on the league’s weekly general manager’s call, sources say, with the latest iteration on Thursday including optimism that a solution would be found and a continued focus on building an environment that’s on par with the Walt Disney World campus when it comes to the extensive precautions taken. Sources say the Cavs, Pistons and Hawks have been among the most vocal organizations and several teams (including the Timberwolves) are expressing interest in possibly serving as the hosts. Sources say Las Vegas and Houston were among the cities mentioned by league officials as possible locations on the Thursday call.
Jason Kidd: “His bowling skills are incredible. You’d always want to be on his team for bowling. He could bowl with both hands. He’s very talented. He can shoot with both hands and he can bowl with both hands. He’s a competitor when it comes to any sport. I [bowled] with him in Jersey when I was with him. I think he joined a league and I went with him a couple times. Everything comes extremely easy [to him] from looking at it, but I know he puts in a lot of time. He’s just so talented.”​
2 weeks ago via TSN
Dwight Howard: “He was in New Jersey [at the time]. It was like my first year in the league, or second year. He was standing backdoor and then he just went to the rim. Jason Kidd threw him a lob and he caught it, dunked it, went down and just threw it in – didn’t even look at the basketball. And I forgot he was not on my team, so I was like ‘Oooooooo.’ And then I was like, ‘Oh, s***, you’re on the other team.’ It was something that I always remembered, that crazy dunk he had. Then I had to remember I was playing against him. Me and Vince together was just two guys that love to have fun. We had a couple dunk contests in practice [when we were in Orlando together]. I’m not going to tell you who won because he might get mad. We had a lot of fun together, man. He’s a great guy. I loved being around him.”
2 weeks ago via TSN
Storyline: Vince Carter Retirement
Mike Conley: “Every practice we would do a shooting drill where we had to shoot five threes from five spots and whoever made the most out of 25 won the day. I never could beat him. It got to the point where I’m like, ‘Man, I’m done trying to shoot against you, teach me some stuff, teach me a move, teach me this and that.’ So he taught me a few of his vet moves that he does in the paint when he’s trying to get shot off, or finish, or he’s posting somebody up. For me, I was like a kid in a candy store, man. I look up to him, and we were just newly teammates. That experience itself was a kid’s dream, to learn from somebody that is a Hall of Famer.”
2 weeks ago via TSN
In addition to Silver, Tatum, Stuart, Roberts, Paul and Iguodala, attendees for yesterday’s meeting included NBA President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President of Player Development Greg Taylor, NBA Senior Vice President of Content Business Operations Kori Davis Porter, NBPA Foundation Executive Director Sherrie Deans, Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers, CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. In addition to Silver, Tatum, Stuart, Roberts, Paul and Iguodala, attendees for yesterday’s meeting included NBA President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President of Player Development Greg Taylor, NBA Senior Vice President of Content Business Operations Kori Davis Porter, NBPA Foundation Executive Director Sherrie Deans, Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers, CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
J. Michael Falgoust: NBA coaches just completed conference call, a league source tells @IndyStarSports, & they’ll pursue what’s being called Racial Justice Reform led by Lloyd Pierce (Hawks). Includes Popovich (Spurs), Snyder (Jazz), Kerr (GSW). They’ll seek to connect w/grassroots groups in communities, I’m told, such as meeting with mayors, police, etc. The goal: Be a bridge to create better communication, link up with groups that are about action and ultimately create change.
The Julius Jones Coalition, a group established in 2019 composed of family, friends and community organizers pursuing Jones’ innocence, has gathered support in recent months as NBA stars Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Trae Young and Buddy Hield and NFL quarterback Baker Mayfield authored and sent letters to the governor’s office. Each letter hit a key issue that led to Jones’ conviction — racial bias, a flawed investigation, an ill-equipped defense — and points to the wrong person sitting on death row.
“[Jones’] conviction was tainted by a deeply flawed process,” Westbrook, the longtime face of the Oklahoma City Thunder who is now with the Houston Rockets, wrote in his letter. “As more details come to light regarding his situation, I join with many voices to express sadness and profound concern regarding his conviction and death sentence.” The name recognition of the athletes — all of whom have strong ties to Oklahoma — is something organizers hope will resonate, especially in the present moment. As protests against police brutality across the United States persist, Oklahoma City’s Black Lives Matter chapter has included a commutation for Jones in a list of demands presented to Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.