The Atlanta Hawks wanted and got some financial flexibility after trading John Collins to the Utah Jazz for forward Rudy Gay and a conditional 2026 second-round pick from the Jazz.
The 2026 conditional second-round pick will be sent from Memphis to the Hawks if between 31 and 42.
According to the Hawks, the trade creates a $25.3 million trade exception for Atlanta, currently the largest in the NBA. The exception can be used to acquire a player(s) in subsequent trades and will expire in a year.
Collins has three years and $78 million left on his contract.
“Being able to create financial flexibility moving forward was a major priority for us. The added flexibility will give us greater optionality as we look at opportunities to improve our team,” said Hawks General Manager Landry Fields in a press release. “John was a key contributor our team over the past six seasons and played an instrumental role in helping us become a regular playoff contender.”
Gay, a 17-year veteran, has career averages of 15.8 points on .452 shooting, 5.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.1 steals in 30.9 minutes per game over 1,120 games (779 starts) with Memphis, San Antonio, Sacramento, Toronto, and Utah. Last season in Utah, the 36-year-old appeared in 56 games, averaging 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 14.6 minutes per game.
Collins, 25, was selected by the Hawks with the 19th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.
During the 2022-23 season, he averaged 13.1 points on .508 shooting, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 30.0 minutes in 71 games (all starts).
In six seasons in Atlanta, the forward from Wake Forest has career averages of 15.8 points on .551 shooting, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 block in 29.2 minutes per game in 364 games (313 starts).
On Tuesday night, Donovan Mitchell came back to Utah for the first time since the trade that sent him to Cleveland in the offseason.
In his return, Mitchell, who spent the first five seasons of his career with the Jazz, got a lot of cheers from the fans in Utah.
However, while he was special(46 points), the Cavs(26-16) would fall to the Jazz(20-22) 116-114 at Vivint Arena.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Jazz.
Donovan Mitchell returned to Utah and balled out. He scored 17 of his 46 points(14/27 FG, 7/18 3-PT FG) in the fourth to go along with five rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Mitchell brought the Cavs all the way back from a 13-point third-quarter deficit, but it wasn’t enough.
In the loss, Mitchell recorded his 500th career steal.
Darius Garland had 21 points, five rebounds, and six assists as the Cavs’ backcourt combined for 67 of the team’s 114 points.
First 10:37 of the Fourth Quarter: At one point in the fourth, Mitchell scored 10 straight for the Cavs and gave them a 101-94 lead with just over six minutes to go, which was their largest lead of the quarter. It appeared, at that point, that Cleveland was in control.
Not So Great:
The last 1:23 of the Fourth Quarter: The last 1:23 belonged to Jordan Clarkson, who scored 15 of his team-high 32 points in the fourth.
With the Cavs leading 107-102, Clarkson took over. He hit a step-back three, plus the foul, which was ruled a flagrant foul on Caris LeVert, and with the free throw, the score was 107-106.
Because of the flagrant foul, Utah would retain possession of the ball. Clarkson was again fouled by LeVert shooting a three, and he made all three free throws to give Utah a 109-107 lead.
With 40 seconds to go, and Utah leading 109-107, Clarkson would hit a floater to seal the deal.
Rebounding: The Jazz outrebounded the Cavs 54-37 in this contest and had 27-second chance points. The Cavs played most of the game without their starting center and leading rebounder Jarrett Allen, who left the game in the first quarter with an illness and did not return.
This was an emotional night, and again, it appeared Mitchell was going to have a happy homecoming, but as J.B.Bickertstaff had said about the Cavs in the past, they have to learn how to close out games on the road. This was a perfect example of not closing the deal.
The Cavs return to action on Thursday night in Portland against the Blazers.
Best of the Rest:
Lauri Markkanen had 25 points and 16 rebounds against his former team. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Malik Beasley, and Mike Conley each had 13 points.
For the Cavs, Evan Mobley had 12 points and seven rebounds; LeVert had 12 points, and Lamar Stevens added 11 off the bench.
Back to Mitchell, according to Elias Sports, his 46 points were the second-most in a player’s first road game versus a former team.
Donovan Mitchell went against his old team, the Utah Jazz(17-16) on Monday night, and fortunately for the Cavs(21-11), he and his team brought it as the Cavs routed the Jazz 122-99 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland led by 19 at halftime and led by as many as 25 points in this one.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Jazz.
Donovan Mitchell, who spent five seasons with Utah before being traded to the Cavs in the offseason, scored 23 points on 8/12 shooting, including 4/5 from downtown. He had 23 points and only 23 minutes. For now, he got revenge.
Jarrett Allen was a dunking machine on Monday night. Six of his seven field goals were dunks, and he finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks.
Cedi Osman was 8/10 from the field and 5/6 from deep, as he finished with 22 points off the bench.
Shooting: Cleveland shot a sizzling 61% from the field, including 57% from deep. The Cavs finished with 15 threes. It was just one of those nights where everything Cleveland threw up went in the basket. Part of the reason they shot it so well is they had 29 fast break points.
Not So Great:
Nothing here to see…
Cleveland had seven players in double figures and was in control from start to finish. The Cavs have won four straight, and they are taking advantage of this homestand. Again, this is a totally different team at home than on the road, and this is a dominating team when they play in their own building.
Cleveland is 15-2 at home. Interestingly enough, the 2016 championship team started 15-2 at home.
The next three games will be a test as they finish the homestand against the Bucks, Raptors, and Nets, which should be interesting.
Cleveland hosts the Bucks on Wednesday night.
Best of the Rest:
For the Cavs, Darius Garland had 17 points and eight assists; Caris LeVert had 13 points; Evan Mobley and Issac Okoro had 12 points apiece.
Lauri Markkanen led the Jazz with 24 points, and Jordan Clarkson had 23.
Last season, as a member of the Utah Jazz, Donovan Mitchell was eliminated from the playoffs by the Mavs in the first round.
In that series, where the Jazz lost in six, Mitchell struggled; he averaged 25. 5. points per contest in that series, but he shot only 40% from the field. After that loss, the Jazz felt they needed to do something with their roster. They traded three-time All-Star Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves in July, and a couple of months later, they dealt Mitchell to the Cavs.
Mitchell, who spent five seasons in Utah and had a lot of success, is off to a great start in Cleveland and is averaging 29.2 points on 50% shooting, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per contest.
Last night, Mitchell got some revenge. The three-time All-Star scored 27 of his game-high 34 points(13/20 FG, 6/9 3-pt FG) in the first half as the Cavs defeated the Mavs 105-90 at American Airlines Center.
“I think for me it’s just understanding that at the end of the day, they are kind of the reason I am in Cleveland,” Mitchell said about losing to the Mavericks in playoffs. “They did a great job in the playoff series, and I am thankful I am here, but it’s just recognition. I have played them a bunch of times in my career and played them six times in the playoffs with intense focus on different things. Obviously, different personnel here, so I am able to find gaps, and I was telling these guys how they are going to attack me and approach the second half.”
According to Mitchell, his extraordinary performance was not about trying to get revenge against the Mavs but about setting the tone after Cleveland’s tough loss to San Antonio.
“For me, it’s just trying to set the tone,” he said. “I think more of it was just trying to set the tone after the San Antonio loss, then coming in here worried about last year. Last year just made me a better player as a whole. You take those lessons, and you learn and implement them in the game.”
Only Mitchell knows if this game meant a little more to him, but in the end, the Cavs are happy that things did not work out for Mitchell against the Mavs and are delighted that he played at a high level on Wednesday night.
Joel Embiid had a monster game on Sunday night against the Jazz, and the 76ers needed all of it. Embiid scored a career-high 59 points (19-28 FG, 20-24 FT) to go with 11 rebounds, eight assists, and seven blocks as the 76ers defeated the Jazz 105-98 at Wells Fargo Center.
According to Stathead, Embiid’s 59-point outing is the fifth-highest-scoring game in team history. In addition, he became the first player to reach such totals in the same game since blocked shots became a statistic in 1973-74.
Embiid scored 26 of the team’s 27 fourth-quarter points and blocked five shots in the quarter. He did it all for Philadelphia.
The points were great, but the blocks and rebounds impressed 76ers head coach Doc Rivers.
I’ve seen guys score a lot of points. I haven’t seen guys score a lot of points, rebound, and then the block shots,” Rivers said after the in. “That was impressive. He was getting everything. I’ve never seen a more dominating performance when you look at both offense and defense.”
Embiid, who had 42 points against the Hawks on Saturday night, has scored 101 points in the last two games. According to the five-time All-Star, it’s all about winning.
“We still have a lot more to accomplish,” he said. “We can talk about whatever tonight, stats and all of that tonight, but that’s not what matters. It’s all about doing whatever it takes to win a championship. That would be the best thing ever. It doesn’t matter if I’m averaging 10 points, 30, or whatever; if we win a championship, that’s all that matters.”
Tyrese Maxey scored 18 points for the 76ers on Sunday night, and what impressed him was seeing Embiid score 59 points on the second half of a back-to-back.
“He’s [Joel Embiid] a soldier,” Maxey said. “He was coming in saying his shoulder was hurting and stuff like that. For him to go out there and play and give it his all is huge. It’s huge for this team and huge for this organization. Your best player, after a 42-point performance last night on a back-to-back, he comes out here and dominates again. Has 59-points and seven blocks and ten boards, and eight assists. Just his presence was really good tonight. He made shots. He made free throws. He’s just good at basketball. It’s that simple.”
This was an exceptional performance by Embiid, but again, most importantly, the 76ers got two big wins over the weekend to even their record at 7-7. It’s still early, but this would be a good time for Philly to start stringing together some wins.
The Minnesota Timberwolves made the playoffs for the first time in four years last season, but they lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the postseason.
On Friday, Minnesota reportedly made a big move that could help them make a deeper run in the playoffs and possibly be championship contenders.
According to ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves will send Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler(number 22nd pick in this year’s draft), and four first-round picks to the Jazz for three-time All-Star center Rudy Gobert.
Utah will acquire unprotected picks in 2023, 2025, and 2027 and a top-five-protected pick in 2029, according to the report.
The 30-year-old Gobert, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has been voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for six consecutive season.
Last season, in 66 games, the nine-year veteran averaged 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per contest. Obviously, with Gobert, you’re getting rim protection, which Minnesota needs. Last season, the Timberwolves were not very good on defense and were 24th in points allowed per game.
Gobert has four years left on his contract with a player option in 2025-26. He will make $38 million next season.
With the addition of Gobert, Karl Anthony-Towns, who reportedly signed a supermax contract with the team, will play the four spot and give Minnesota a big frontline. Also, they have Anthony Edwards, who appears to be special. This is a talented roster.
Clearly, the Timberwolves believe they have enough to compete for a title. Otherwise, you don’t make this move. Minnesota gave up a lot to get Gobert, and it should be interesting to see how he fits with this roster this season and beyond.
At the end of the season, Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson will be an unrestricted free agent, and Monday’s performance in Game 2 of the Mavs’ first-round series against the Utah Jazz could have earned him a few extra dollars.
Brunson had a career-high 41 points (6-10 3FG), eight rebounds, five assists, and zero turnovers as the Mavs defeated the Jazz 119-104 at American Airlines Center to tie the series at one.
This was Dallas first home win in the playoffs since 2015.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Utah.
Brunson became the first player in team history with 40 points and 0 turnovers in a playoff game, and he joined Luka Doncic and Rolando Blackman as the only Mavericks to record 40-8-5 in a postseason game.
Mavs head coach Jason Kidd believes Brunson has done enough to get paid this summer.
“I don’t know if he needs an agent, but I’ll put my name in the hat,” Kidd said. “It’s not just what he did tonight. It’s not what he’s going to do going forward. He’s already done the work this season. He’s showing that he deserves to be paid. He does his job at a very high level, and he’s a winner. Hopefully, he can pay me for what I just said.”
With Doncic missing his second straight game with a left calf injury, Brunson carried the load and then some.
“I was just playing how the defense was kind of giving me,” Brunson said. “Just seeing how they were defending certain things—just stepping in confidentially into certain shots. I think I started 5-for-5, maybe. Yeah, the 5-for-5 start is great, but I had the same mentality when I was 0-for-5 last game or something like that. The mentality stays the same. You can’t fluctuate whenever he’s in or out. You need guys to make plays. He has a lot on his shoulders. We need guys to get into the paint and make plays to take the extra pressure off of him.”
For now, Brunson and Maxi Kleber, who scored 25 points, including a career-high eight threes, saved the Mavs’ season.
This series would have probably been over if Dallas had gone down 0-2 heading to Utah for Games 3 and 4.
For now, Dallas celebrates the win and continues to hope they can get Doncic back at some point in this series.
With Luka Doncic out with a strained left calf, the Mavericks would need others to step up in his absence in Game 1 of the Mavs’ first-round series against the Utah Jazz.
Spencer Dinwiddie would get the start in place of Doncic, and he had post-season career highs with 24 points, four rebounds, and eight assists, and Jalen Brunson also had playoff career highs with 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. However, Donovan Mitchell scored 30 of his 32 points in the second half, and the Jazz defeated the Mavericks 99-93 at American Airlines Center to take a 1-0 series lead.
Despite the loss, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd was happy with what he got from Dinwiddie, Brunson, and the team’s defense.
“They were great this afternoon,” Kidd said after the game of his starting backcourt. “Offensively, they found guys [and] got shots, but our defense gave us the chance to win this game. A lot of good, not just from those two, but from the team.”
Kidd believes the way Dallas played against the Jazz without Doncic shows that the Mavs have a good team.
“I thought overall, we slowed the game down and gave ourselves a chance to win without Luka [Dončić], and that really just shows the sign of a good team,” Kidd said.
Dinwiddie added: “Personally, we lost by six; I missed six free throws right, so we are right there. If anything, this should be encouraging for the fan base, in my opinion. We are disappointed in the locker room. This isn’t a game that we felt like- obviously, give them credit-they went out there and won the game.”
Dallas defended well as they held the Jazz below 100 points and created 15 turnovers. Utah was in the top 10 in points per game(113.6 PPG) in the regular season, so holding them to 99 points is a win for the Mavs.
However, Dallas has to get more from their offense, and that could be difficult without Doncic, who, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, may miss Game 2 on Monday, so guys will have to step up. Going down 2-0 would be devastating.
We’ll see how the Mavs respond in Game 2.
Reggie Bullock tied a playoff career-best with 15 points and set a new playoff career-best with 6 rebounds.
Dorian Finney-Smith added 14 points (4-7 FG) and 5 rebounds for the Mavericks.
Bojan Bogdanović had 26 points (11-20 FG), 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Today was his fourth career postseason game scoring 25+ points.
History was made Friday night in the NBA. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reached 1,336 wins in his career to become the winningest head coach in NBA history as the Spurs defeated the Jazz 104-102 at AT&T Center.
Pop passed Don Nelson (1,335 wins), who had held the record since 2010. After starting his career with the Spurs as an assistant coach from 1988-92, Popovich went to the Golden State Warriors for two seasons as an assistant coach under Nelson.
“Something like this does not belong to one individual,” Popovich said postgame. “Basketball’s a team sport. You preach to your players that they have to do it together, and that’s certainly been the case in my life with all the wonderful players and coaches, the staff that I’ve been blessed with, the support of this wonderful city.”
After the win, the team tried to celebrate with Pop, but he wanted no parts. Actually, the players might have to pay for that celebration.
“Yes, they know how much I enjoy that sort of thing,” Popovich said playfully. “And I’m gonna bring them all in and have them run suicides before the game tomorrow.”
Popovich has led the Spurs to five NBA Championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014) and has the third-most playoff wins in league history (170) and the record for most consecutive winning regular seasons with 23 in a row from 1997-2019.
A three-time NBA Coach of the Year in 2003, 2012, and 2014, Popovich is in year 26 with the Spurs, and he’s the longest-tenured active coach in all four U.S. major sports leagues.
Internationally, Popovich served as head coach of the USA Basketball Senior Men’s National Team from 2017- 20 and led Team USA to a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics.
It was a great night for San Antonio and a great night for Popovich.
Watch below as Pop reacts to 1336 wins:
The Utah Jazz came into Wednesday’s game against the Cavs, a depleted team. The Jazz had six players out due to health and safety protocols, including Rudy Gobert, Rudy Gay, and Hassan Whiteside.
The Cavs took full advantage of it.
Cleveland had six players in double figures as they went into Utah and routed the Jazz 111-91 at Vivint Arena. The 20-point win was the largest victory by the Cavs in Utah in team history.
The Cavs(24-18) have won two straight and are 3-1 on their current six-game west coast trip.
Utah(28-14) has now lost four straight.
The Great for the Cavaliers:
-Darius Garland messed around and got his first career triple-double. The third-year guard had 11 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high 15 assists. Garland registered his triple-double after three quarters. The only player in Cavs history to have a triple-double after three quarters is LeBron James.
-Lamar Stevens had a career-high 23 points. Stevens went off as he scored 15 of the team’s 30 points in the third, including 11 straight for the Cavs. On Sunday, Stevens had a then career-high 17 points against Golden State, and he surpassed that Wednesday night.
“I got lost in the moment,” Stevens said about his big third quarter. “I was able to pick and choose my spots. I just felt really confident, and I was just riding that confidence and allowing my game to just take me to those 15 points.”
-Lauri Markkanen busted out for the Cavs. He scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Markkanen was 8/11 from the floor, including four threes. It was Markkanen’s first 20-point game since December 26.
-Evan Mobley had another Evan Mobley-type game. The rookie had a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and he added five assists. Mobley became the first Cavs’ rookie to have 15 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists since, guess who, LeBron James.
-Third Quarter: Cleveland broke the game open in the third after leading 58-52 at halftime. The Cavs outscored Utah 30-16 in the quarter, including an 21-0 run to take their largest lead of 25 points. Utah couldn’t make shots as they went 5/23 from the floor.
The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:
Nothing! Nothing at all!
Even though they beat a depleted Jazz team, this is still a quality win for Cleveland. This was the type of performance we saw from the Cavs when they were blowing teams out during their six-game win streak. It was a team effort during that streak, and we saw the Cavs have a team effort Wednesday night.
In addition, when Markkanen plays the way he did against the Jazz, Cleveland is tough to beat. He can make shots, and the Cavs will only get better if he gets a little more consistent with his shot-making. Cleveland is 5-2 when Markkanen scores 20-plus points.
“We didn’t start messing with the game,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We took all 48 minutes of it seriously.”
Cleveland travels to San Antonio to battle the Spurs Friday night.
Best of the Rest:
-Kevin Love added 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench; Jarrett Allen chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds.
– Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 22 points off the bench.
-Cleveland outrebounded the Jazz 50-32.
-Rajon Rondo(hamstring) missed Wednesday’s win over Utah.
Watch below as Stevens and Garland talk win over Utah: