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Atlanta Hawks fill up their training camp roster

The Atlanta Hawks today announced their 2013 training camp roster, which tips off Monday with Media Day activities at 3 p.m. on the Philips Arena practice court. With the additions of Eric Dawson, Royal Ivey, James Johnson, David Lighty, Adonis Thomas and Damien Wilkins, the team currently has a 20-man camp roster.

Dawson played this past season with the Meralco Bolts of the Philippine Basketball Association after seeing action in four games with the San Antonio Spurs in 2011-12. He has also played with the Austin Toros (2007-12) of the NBA Development League. Dawson was a member of the Hawks’ 2013 summer league team, appearing in four games.

Ivey owns averages of 3.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 12.6 minutes (.407 FG%, .362 3FG%, .706 FT%) in 490 games (114 starting assignments) over his nine-year career with Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City. He was originally selected by the Hawks in the second round (37th overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft and spent his first three seasons (2004-07) with Atlanta.

A four-year NBA veteran after being a first round draft pick (16th overall) by Chicago in 2009, Johnson has averaged 6.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 blocks in 18.3 minutes (.443 FG%, .678 FT%) in 219 career games (87 starting assignments) with the Bulls, Toronto and Sacramento. Johnson also saw time with the NBA D-League’s Iowa Energy in 2011-12.

Lighty played with JSF Nanterre in France in 2012-13, helping the club to the French Pro A LNB championship, after spending his first professional campaign in Italy (2011-12) with Bennet Cantù and Vanoli Cremona. He averaged 14.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 31.9 minutes in 35 games (.494 FG%, .425 3FG%, .776 FT%) last year.

Thomas, a rookie, played collegiately at Memphis for two seasons, and in 2012-13, averaged 11.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 29.3 minutes (.405 FG%, .752 FT%). In 55 career games (44 starts) as a collegian, he tallied 10.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 27.5 minutes (.426 FG%, .325 3FG%, .745 FT%). The forward most recently played in three games for the Hawks during the 2013 Las Vegas NBA Summer League.

Through nine NBA seasons with Seattle/Oklahoma City, Minnesota, Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia, Wilkins has averaged 6.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 19.3 minutes (.427 FG%, .330 3FG%, .783 FT%) in 563 career games (149 starting assignments). The son of former NBA player Gerald Wilkins and nephew of Hawks Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins, he saw action in 52 contests off the bench for the Hawks in 2010-11, recording 3.5 points and 1.7 rebounds in 13.0 minutes (.504 FG%, .714 FT%).

Atlanta Hawks

The entire Atlanta Hawks roster and coaching staff will be tipping-off the 2013-14 season with an open practice on October 5, 2013 at Philips Arena. The event is free to the general public with doors at the CNN entrance opening at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm tip-off.

Open practice will consist of two teams of current Hawks players scrimmaging during three, 12-minute quarters. In-game elements for the day include a Q&A with Coach Budenholzer, play-by-play from the voice of the Hawks, Steve Holman, appearances by Atlanta Hawks cheerleaders and Harry the Hawk, and a 50/50 jackpot raffle benefitting the Atlanta Hawks Foundation.

The Hawks’ open Practice will also be streamed live on Hawks.com.

Atlanta Hawks invite James Johnson to training camp

The Hawks have extended a non-roster training camp invitation to forward James Johnson.

The agency Priority Sports tweeted the news of a contract earlier this week, but I have confirmed with the Hawks that Johnson received a camp invitation and not a guaranteed deal. He also reportedly had work outs with the Spurs and Jazz.

Johnson (6-foot-9, 248) played last season for the Kings. He averaged 5.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 16.3 minutes in 54 games.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hawks guard Lou Williams still recovering from injury

Hawks training camp begins in 11 days – on Oct. 1 – and the team has no timeline on the return of Lou Williams from a torn ACL. According to team officials, Williams is progressing well with his right knee injury. However, he has not yet been given medical clearance by doctors to participate in training camp.

While Williams still could be cleared in time for camp, he most likely will not be ready to immediately assume the role he had last season. It could take a month for him to be at full strength. Williams’ season ended after just 39 games last season when he tore the ACL Jan. 18 against Brooklyn. Such an injury typically takes about nine months to heal.

The shooting guard minutes will be split between Kyle Korver, John Jenkins and DeMarre Carroll but there is room for a fourth player in the rotation.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Blog)

Damien Wilkins gets Hawks training camp invite

Add Damien Wilkins to the list of former Hawks who will be in training camp.

Wilkins, who played 52 games for the team during the 2010-11 season, will be a non-roster invite when camp begins Oct. 1.

Wilkins joins former Hawks player Royal Ivey, who agreed to an invitation Wednesday, in camp. Like Ivey, Wilkins played last season with the 76ers. The 6-foot-6 guard/small forward averaged 6.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 18.0 minutes in 61 games, including 21 starts.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks will begin training camp for the 2013-14 season in October. The first preseason game is Oct. 7 at the Heat.

Lighty, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, played collegiately at Ohio State from 2006-11. He most recently played professionally for JSF Nanterre in France’s LNB Pro A League.

Dawson, a 6-9 power forward/center, played collegiately at Midwestern State from 2003-07. He has played professionally with the Spurs on two 10-day contracts in 2012.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Blog)

Ivan Johnson signs to play in China

Ivan Johnson signs to play in China

Ivan Johnson has agreed to a deal to play in China next season, according to his agent.

Johnson, who played the past two seasons with the Hawks, will play for Zhejiang China next season said agent Jeremiah Haylett. It is the same team Eddy Curry played for last season.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Blog)

Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has apologized for his arrest on a driving under the influence of alcohol charge.

According to a report from the Georgia State Patrol, Budenholzer was pulled over at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in Atlanta for not having working taillights. Trooper J. Nelms said Budenholzer had bloodshot and watery eyes ”and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath.”

Budenholzer refused a breath test but agreed to a field sobriety test, according to the report. He told Nelms he had only one glass of wine and that he finished the glass about 15 minutes before being pulled over. Nelms said in the report that Budenholzer was ”polite” and that his speech patterns were mumbled, slow and slurred…

Budenholzer, who was released from jail on $1,524 bond, entered a not guilty plea at Atlanta Municipal Court on Thursday, according to Hawkins.

Reported by the Associated Press

The Bakersfield (Calif.) Jam, the Hawks’ NBA Development League affiliate, will hold open tryouts at the Suwanee Sports Academy Oct. 5-6.

The tryout is one of five being held by the Jam nationwide. There will also be camps in Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Salt Lake City in September and October.

There is a $150 pre-registration fee (arriving at Bakersfield Jam offices by Oct. 2; $200 for after the pre-registration deadline and day-of registration).

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Blog)

DeMarre Carroll joins the Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward DeMarre (de-MAR-ay) Carroll, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Carroll agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract on July 5th, the same day the team agreed to a deal with his Jazz teammate Paul Millsap. The delay in signing was for salary cap reasons as the Hawks rebuilt much of their roster this offseason.”

Prior to signing Carroll, the Hawks requested waivers on DeShawn Stevenson.

“DeMarre is a great fit for our program,” Ferry said. “He is an unselfish, highly competitive player. His versatility in defending multiple positions will make him a valuable contributor to our basketball team.”

According to HawksBasketBlog, “Carroll is a more than capable offensive player, as shown by his 15.5 PER and 53.5 True Shooting percentage last season. He is most effective attacking the basket on off-ball cuts, running in transition, and scoring after offensive rebounds. In transition, Carroll was excellent last season shooting 64.6% from the field on 65 transition field goal attempts, per Synergy Sports. He will look to become a more proficient spot-up shooter this season, as he shot just 34.7% on 118 spot-up attempts last season. However, being surrounded by other shooters such as Korver, John Jenkins, Lou Williams, and others, Carroll’s spot up shooting will likely not be a prominent spot-up shooter. On offense, Carroll’s role will likely be small and he will be asked to attack the basket and bring pace and energy to the offense. The main focus for Carroll will be on the defensive end where he will look to come in and be a key defender for the Hawks on the wing.”

Carroll, 27, posted career highs last season with the Utah Jazz in nearly every statistical category including points (6.0), rebounds (2.8), assists (0.9), steals (0.9), minutes (16.8) and starts (12). He played in 66 games, scoring 10 or more points 15 times (the Jazz were 11-4 in those games) and playing at least 20 minutes on 27 occasions. The Jazz were 16-11 in those games and his averages jumped to 9.3 points on .514 shooting, including .429 from three-point range, and 4.1 rebounds in 24.0 minutes per game. His +/- average of +1.8 led the Jazz.

Before joining the Jazz on Feb. 8, 2012, the four-year veteran spent time with the Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets. The 6-foot-8, 204-pound forward attended Missouri and is from Birmingham, Alabama.

Atlanta Hawks expected to add DeMarre Carroll

The Hawks waived DeShawn Stevenson Friday, according to a league source, in a move that clears the way for the team to announce the signing DeMarre Carroll. The forward agreed to terms with the nearly almost a month ago. The official signing of Carroll could come within the next day or two.

Carroll agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract on July 5th, the same day the team agreed to a deal with his Jazz teammate Paul Millsap. The delay in signing was for salary cap reasons as the Hawks rebuilt much of their roster this offseason. The Hawks were retaining Bird rights for several of their unrestricted free agents. However, Anthony Tolliver remains the only player that has not signed elsewhere or had his rights renounced.

Carroll, 6-foot-8, was selected in the first round (No. 27 overall) by the Grizzlies in the 2009 NBA draft out of Missouri.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Blog)

The Atlanta Hawks have named Jim Thomas as an assistant coach, Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer announced today.

Most recently a college scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder for the last four years, Thomas was previously with the New York Knicks (scout, 2005-07), Indiana University (assistant coach, 2001-04), and Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach (1996-99) and scout (1994-96).

“We’re pleased to add Jim to our coaching staff,” Budenholzer said. “He’s been a part of a number of successful programs, and his coaching and playing experience will blend well with our group.”

Selected in the second round (40th overall) of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Pacers, the 52-year-old Thomas appeared in 161 games over four seasons with Indiana, the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota, averaging 8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 20.9 minutes (.471 FG%, .763 FT%). He also spent time playing in the Continental Basketball Association, World Basketball League and with Baloncesto Murcia in Spain.

Thomas played collegiately at Indiana from 1979-83, where he was the starting shooting guard on the Hoosiers’ 1981 National Championship team. He was also a 10th round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 1983 NFL Draft as a defensive back. He grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Atlanta Hawks sign Gustavo Ayon off waivers

The Atlanta Hawks have been awarded forward/center Gustavo Ayon on a waiver claim, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today.

Ayon, 28, spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic during the 2012-13 season and averaged 3.7 points on .551 shooting, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 13.4 minutes in 55 games (three starts). The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder started the season with the Orlando Magic, posting averages of 3.6 points on .536 shooting and 3.3 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game (43 games, three starts) before being traded on Feb. 21st to Milwaukee as part of a six-player trade. He increased his averages to 4.3 points on .595 shooting and 4.9 rebounds in 13.6 minutes in 12 games with the Bucks.

“Gustavo has a high basketball IQ and is a hard-nosed player,” Ferry said. “He gives us quality depth at the power forward and center positions.”

As a rookie in 2011-12, Gustavo Ayon (goo-STAH-voh eye-OWN) played in 54 games (24 starts) with the New Orleans Hornets and averaged 5.9 points on .536 shooting, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 blocks and 1.0 steal in 20.1 minutes per game. He ranked in the top 10 among all NBA rookies in field goal percentage (second), rebounding (fifth), blocked shots (fifth) and steals (seventh).

“I am very excited to join the Atlanta Hawks,” Ayon said. “I had a great conversation with Coach Budenholzer and can’t wait to get to the city, meet my teammates and get to work. Vamos Hawks!”

Ayon is just the third Mexican-born player in NBA history, following Horacio Llamas and Eduardo Najera. Prior to playing in the NBA, he played professionally overseas in Mexico, Venezuela and Spain.

Atlanta Hawks are getting Gustavo Ayon

Atlanta Hawks are getting Gustavo Ayon

The Atlanta Hawks have claimed center Gustavo Ayon off waivers, sources told ESPN.com.

The Milwaukee Bucks waived Ayon last week before his $1.5 million salary became guaranteed. The Hawks will pick up the 6-foot-10 Mexican’s salary, which now becomes guaranteed.

The Hawks and Bucks have been involved in a series of transactions involving each other this summer. The Bucks signed Hawks’ restricted free agent point guard Jeff Teague to an $8 million per season offer sheet, which the Hawks matched.

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

Atlanta Hawks sign Pero Antic

atlanta hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward/center Pero Antić, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today.

Antić, a 6-foot-11, 260-pound big man, has played with Olympiacos in the Greek Basketball League and the Euroleague the last two seasons, helping the club to back-to-back Euroleague championships. Last year, he averaged 6.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.2 minutes in 30 games (.432 FG%, .321 3FG%, .714 FT%).

“Pero is a skilled and versatile big man who will add depth to our frontcourt,” Ferry said. “He will fit in well with what we’re building and we’re excited to add him to the team.”

A native of the Republic of Macedonia, Antić has played professionally since 1999, beginning with Rabotnički in his home country. He has also played with AEK Athens (Greece), Red Star Belgrade (Serbia), Academic Sofia (Bulgaria), Lokomotiv Kuban (Russia) and Spartak St. Petersburg (Russia).

Additionally, the 30-year-old Antić is the captain of the Macedonian National Team, helping the team to the semifinals of EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania. He averaged 11.5 points and 8.8 rebounds over 11 games in the tournament, while collecting three double-doubles.

Atlanta Hawks will sign Pero Antic

According to the agent for Pero Antic, the European power forward/center has agreed to a two-year contract with the Hawks. Misko Raznatovic stated the news Wednesday on Twitter.

The Hawks have not announced the signing as there likely are details that must be finalized. According to Raznatovic, the second year of the deal is an option.

Antic, 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, played in the Greek League the past two seasons. He helped Olympiacos to consecutive Euroleague championships.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Hawks sign Elton Brand

Atlanta Hawks sign Elton Brand

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward/center Elton Brand, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today. According to USA Today, it is a one-year deal for $4 million.

“Elton brings a veteran presence both on and off the court and is a welcomed addition to our locker room,” Ferry said.  “His ability to play center or power forward will give our frontcourt a great deal of versatility and we think he will be an outstanding fit to our program.”

Brand, 34, tallied 7.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 assists in 21.2 minutes per game (.473 FG%, .710 FT%) in 72 games (18 starting assignments) last season with the Dallas Mavericks.

The 6-foot-9, 254-pound big man has played in 932 career games (848 starts) over his 14-year career with Chicago, L.A. Clippers, Philadelphia and Dallas, putting up 17.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.8 blocks in 35.2 minutes (.500 FG%, .738 FT%).  He ranks second among active NBA players in offensive rebounds (3,170), fifth in blocks (1,707), seventh in total rebounds (8,516), 14th in field goals made (6,347) and 17th in points (16,242).

A two-time NBA All-Star (2002 and 2006), Brand owns 404 career double-doubles and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2005-06.  Additionally, he won the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2006 and is a two-time divisional winner (2004 and 2007).

Brand has also seen action in 30 career playoff games, averaging 16.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.9 blocks in 35.3 minutes (.528 FG%, .719 FT%).

The No. 1 overall pick by Chicago in the 1999 NBA Draft as an early entry candidate following a decorated two-year career at Duke, Brand shared the Rookie of the Year Award with Steve Francis while being named to the league’s All-Rookie First Team.  He declared for the draft after being the consensus National Player of the Year and leading the Blue Devils to the NCAA Championship Game.

Atlanta Hawks match Milwaukee Bucks offer sheet for Jeff Teague

The Atlanta Hawks have matched the offer sheet extended by the Milwaukee Bucks to Jeff Teague, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today.

According to multiple reports, the offer sheet was for four years and $32 million.

“We are happy to bring Jeff back to our team. He has improved each year of his career and continues to get better,” Ferry said. “At 25, he’s already been a key contributor on a playoff team and we look forward to seeing him develop into even more of a leader on our team.”

Teague increased his scoring and assist averages for the third consecutive year, posting career highs with 14.6 points and 7.2 assists in 32.9 minutes per game in 80 games (78 starts) during the 2012-13 season. His 7.2 assists per game ranked 12th in the NBA last season and he shot .881 from the free throw line, the eighth-highest percentage in the league. He is one of just 10 players in the NBA to increase their scoring average in each of the past three seasons.

The four-year veteran from Wake Forest posted 10 games with at least 20 points and 10 assists, tied for the fourth-most in the league last season with Stephen Curry (Golden State) and behind only LeBron James (Miami, 13), Tony Parker (San Antonio, 12), Chris Paul (LA Clippers, 11) and Deron Williams (Brooklyn, 11) . The Hawks posted an 8-2 record in those games.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to coach Jeff. He has a high level of talent. Keeping him with our group allows us to continue to build and improve going forward,” Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said.

The 19th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Hawks, Teague has career averages of 9.0 points on .451 shooting and 4.0 assists in 22.6 minutes per game in 287 games (154 starts). He has also played in 29 postseason games (18 starts) and has averages of 9.4 points on .409 shooting and 3.0 assists in 25.3 minutes per game.

Atlanta Hawks re-sign Kyle Korver

Atlanta Hawks re-sign Kyle Korver

The Atlanta Hawks have signed veteran guard/forward Kyle Korver to a new contract, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

“Kyle was a key contributor for us last season, and we’re thrilled to retain him,” Ferry said. “He is a tremendous competitor and an important presence for our team both on and off the court.”

Last season, Korver appeared in 74 contests (60 starts), averaging 10.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.5 minutes (.461 FG%, .457 3FG%, .859 FT%). He finished second in the NBA in three-point percentage and fourth in three-pointers made (189). His 189 triples were the fourth-best single-season total in franchise history.

Korver made at least one three-pointer in his final 73 games of the regular season, the longest active streak in the NBA and the fourth-longest streak in league history (Dana Barros 89, Michael Adams 79, Dennis Scott 78). He scored in double-figures 42 times, including four 20-point outings. He scored 10-plus points in 13 straight games (1/16-2/11), the longest streak of his career.

Through 10 seasons, he has played in 738 games (170 starting assignments) with Philadelphia, Utah, Chicago and the Hawks, and holds career averages of 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 24.8 minutes (.434 FG%, .419 3FG%, .875 FT%). Korver ranks sixth among active players in 3FG% and 17th (29th in NBA/ABA history) with 1,323 3FGM. He’s also appeared in 60 playoff contests.

The Atlanta Hawks have named Taylor Jenkins as an assistant coach, Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer announced today. Jenkins most recently served as the head coach of the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.

Jenkins led the Toros to a 27-23 (.540) record during the 2012-13 season and a first round playoff victory over the Bakersfield Jam before falling to the Santa Cruz Warriors in the semifinals. Prior to serving as head coach, Jenkins had served as an assistant coach with the Toros the previous four seasons, including their championship season in 2012 and back-to-back playoff appearances in 2009 and 2010. He was selected as an assistant coach with the NBA D-League Select Team during the 2010 Las Vegas Summer League and was part of the 2009 and 2012 NBA D-League Western Conference All-Star coaching staff. Last summer, he served as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs summer league team.

“Taylor is a talented, hard-working coach who has a great grasp of the system that we are going to implement,” Budenholzer said. “He gained valuable experience working in the NBA Development League the past five seasons and with his attention to detail and energy, he will be an asset to my staff.”

Prior to joining the Toros, Jenkins interned with the San Antonio Spurs basketball operations department during the 2007-08 season. He attended The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics, while concentrating in Management and minoring in Psychology.

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