Hawks guard Trae Young returned Saturday, but he was clearly limited by injuries that forced him to miss the previous two games, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Young played 40 minutes, but didn’t have his usual explosiveness as he shot 4 of 17 from the field and scored 14 points.
He was still feeling the effects of a bone bruise in his right foot and a sprained right ankle that happened during Game 3. Saturday marked the first time he had stepped onto a court since the injury, other than testing it before Games 4 and 5. Young told reporters the bruise was in his heel and it affected him when he tried to get to the rim for a floater or a layup.
“Not being able to be out there for my team for two games, and then tonight just wanting to battle and try to fight through it as much as I could and try to be out there for my team, it’s definitely frustrating not being healthy and not being able to give my full 100 percent,” Young said.
There’s more from Atlanta:
- One of the first orders of business for the offseason will be to negotiate a long-term deal with coach Nate McMillan, Bontemps adds. McMillan took over the Hawks in March when they were stuck in 11th place in the East and led them to the brink of the NBA Finals. “I don’t see interim on his label here soon,” Young said. “In my mind, I don’t think that will be a case that much longer.”
- Cam Reddish had a star-making performance in Saturday’s loss, observes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Playing in just his third game since returning from Achilles soreness that had sidelined him since February, Reddish scored 21 points and hit six of his seven three-point attempts. Kirschner notes that Reddish didn’t have a good relationship with former coach Lloyd Pierce, and many in the organization think he has the potential to be the team’s best player. “I really took to Cam when I first got here,” McMillan said. “He was a kid that I talked to early and was really wanting to coach him. I see a lot of Paul George in Cam — his length, his ability to defend.”
- Bogdan Bogdanovic, who was a restricted free agent last offseason, said the Kings told him they would match any offer and they saw his value as $15MM to $17MM a year, according to Kirschner. He wound up getting $18MM from Atlanta and said he had no desire to return to Sacramento, calling it disrespectful that the Kings worked out a sign-and-trade with the Bucks without telling him. “I remember talking with (coach) Luke (Walton) and (general manager) Monte (McNair), and they both told me how they wanted me,” Bogdanovic said. “I said, ‘OK, fine.’ They said they were going to wait for my offer because they couldn’t make a deal before going to the market. I’m talking with my guys from (Sacramento) and I wasn’t even looking at free agency. … I was in Serbia and no one reached out to me. No one talked with me. No one asked me anything. I woke up, I saw it and then I didn’t know what to do. I called my agent and he told me to calm down because there was nothing they could do because I was a restricted free agent and they couldn’t do anything like that.”