The Atlanta Hawks had a pair of deadlines to decide on the future of two players today. Both Garrison Mathews and Bruno Fernando had unguaranteed salaries for the 2023-24 season with an obligation for the team to either guarantee the full annual amount or waive the players.
A report from Lauren Williams of the AJC came down this afternoon on Garrison Mathews, who has been retained for the upcoming season.
The Hawks are guaranteeing Garrison Mathews’ $2 million contract for 2023-24, per league source.— Lauren L. Williams (@WilliamsLaurenL) June 29, 2023
Later, the Hawks and Fernando mutually agreed to push back his own guarantee date until July 10, this time per Jeff Schultz of The Athletic.
The deadline for Bruno Fernando's contract option has been extended to July 10. Both sides agreed to this, which is not abnormal, until some sort of agreement is worked out. https://t.co/gtAWhpGfRz— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) June 29, 2023
As John Hollinger also of The Athletic notes, this does not change a situation that looks to be an unlikely return to the Hawks for the big man.
As noted with other cases like this - near-zero chance he's a Hawk next year, but keeps chance alive of using contract $ in trade https://t.co/Ve7SkZQZcO— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) June 29, 2023
The pair of players were acquired from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade for Justin Holiday, Frank Kaminsky, and two second-round picks at the trade deadline this past February. Mathews averaged 4.8 points and 1.2 rebounds in nine games for the Hawks. In his second stint in Atlanta, Bruno Fernando only saw action in eight games, averaging 3.4 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest.
With the trading of John Collins, the Hawks now find themselves below the luxury tax threshold. That, in part, has given them the ability to retain Mathews and possibly Fernando for next season, as there reportedly remains a mandate to stay below the tax line.