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Hawksquawk last won the day on February 8 2012

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  1. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty ImagesKevin Chouinard of Hawks.com and Glen Willis of Peachtree Hoops get together to discuss the injury news that came out from Travis Schlenk’s Friday media availability. Other topics include the role that lies ahead for Jalen Johnson, plus how the TLC/Jahlil Okafor roster battle shapes out. Appended to the end of the clip is the full audio from Schlenk’s session. ‘ATL and 29: A Peachtree Hoops Podcast’ is hosted on Megaphone and you can subscribe via a number of platforms. Please do us a solid and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, PlayerFM, or Stitcher, as well as any podcast player you might prefer. Tell your friends about the show and be sure to bookmark our dedicated section. View the full article
  2. Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta siblings seemingly enjoy success of one another more than success of themselves. The Los Angeles Sparks’ season came to an end on Sept. 19 with an 87-84 loss to the Dallas Wings. Second-year guard Te’a Cooper put up a team-leading 24 points, 6 assists and a rebound in the effort. Now, as she heads back to her metro Atlanta residence, the area where she went to high school, her attention shifts to support her little brother Sharife Cooper in his NBA rookie season with the Atlanta Hawks. “I’m super excited,” Te’a said in her Sparks exit interview Friday. “When we played in Atlanta, I had gotten the chance to get in the gym with him and we were working out. Just to see him playing and being out there with them is- it’s so heartwarming.” Te’a began to smile when the topic of her brother came up in the Zoom availability, similar to the supportive energy she brought to Sharife’s NBA Draft night party at Lifestyle Sports Bistro in Marietta. “I’m so excited, I can’t wait, you already know I got my whole (out)‘fit planned out for the first game,” Te’a said. “Sitting courtside, yeah. I’m super excited.” Te’a and Sharife are one of six notable, if not the sixth-ever, brother sister NBA-WNBA pairs. Candace and Anthony Parker, Amir and Nia Coffey, Javale McGee and Imani McGee-Stafford, Rudy and Marta Fernandez, and Ime and Mfon Udoka. “It’s crazy to even think about,” Sharife told Bally Sports’ Autumn Johnson at the Sparks-Dream game. “Growing up with her, always playing basketball, playing against her team in high school, finally getting to see her live out her dream, it’s special to see.” Sharife will spend time in the same Gateway Center Arena Te’a played in less than two weeks ago this year, as the 6’1 guard signed a two-way contract with the organization this past summer. “‘(I’m looking forward to) just the experience,” Sharife said. “Getting in, learning new guys, just getting my feet wet in the NBA. Really just the experience to get used to (the NBA).” Through four games in the Las Vegas NBA Summer League, Sharife averaged 14.8 points and 7.2 assists per game. Sharife’s signature moment of the exhibitions was the game-winning corner three-pointer he made against the Indiana Pacers as time expired on Aug. 10. Cooper fell to pick No. 48 in the draft this summer after being projected as high as a lottery prospect before draft night. What made Sharife’s game winner sweeter is two of the critiques on the former Auburn guard were his 6’1, 180-pound frame and his inability to shoot three pointers. It appears the professional journey of Te’a has foreshadowed Sharife’s to this point, as she also fell to the second round of the 2020 WNBA Draft to the Phoenix Mercury before getting cut and signing with the Sparks before her rookie season. Te’a was widely regarded as a top five prospect in the draft class, but her shooting ability and maturity were both in question after she played for three programs in college (Tennessee, South Carolina and Baylor). This past season, Te’a found herself playing a larger role for the Sparks after point guard Chelsea Gray signed with the Las Vegas Aces. Te’a responded well throughout the season, and averaged 19 points and 3.3 assists over three games in the final week of the season. As for Sharife, he’s recently been in the Hawks’ practice facility working ahead of the team’s preseason slate, which begins on Oct. 4 in Miami. View the full article
  3. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty ImagesCan the former Nets Forward find his way into the Hawks rotation this season? Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (aka TLC) may not be a household name for most Atlanta Hawks fans, but his addition to the roster on a non-guaranteed one-year contract is a wily pick up by Travis Schlenk and gives some clues about team needs and depth. There’s no doubt that the 26-year old French national will have to work very hard to make it on the opening day roster, and even harder after that to find steady minutes in this rotation, but there is upside to this signing. Luwawu-Cabarrot was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 24 pick in 2016. He’s bounced around the league a bit since then, and most recently was in Brooklyn for two seasons. He competed with the French national team during the Olympic tournament this summer, where he won a silver medal for his country while averaging 20 minutes, nine points, and 1.3 steals a game. Both internationally and in the NBA, TLC has found a way to minutes with high-energy defense and athleticism, but he lacks a few other critical tools that would take his game to the next level. Now entering his late 20’s, some may wonder if time is running out on showing those tools. Luwawi-Cabarrot’s best season was the 2019-20 season with Brooklyn where he boasted a 55.0% eFG, 38.8% from three point territory, and a stout 112 DRTG, which is impressive for someone who played with the 2nd unit for limited minutes. However, with the on-court additions of Kevin Durant and James Harden in the 2020-21 season, TLC found it harder to make an impact and saw regression by almost all the metrics. It makes sense that he didn’t return to the Nets roster with that team’s aspirations, but he could be a good fit Atlanta. First off, with Atlanta’s injury problems at the wing, it will be important to have someone like Luwawu-Cabarrot who can defend the point of attack and guard multiple positions in a switching scheme. In games where the Hawks may be missing Hunter, Reddish, Bogdanovic, or Huerter, his 6’7” frame and his quickness will be exactly the type of depth skills that could turn tough mid-season games into potential positives. Luwawu-Cabarrot’s defense will be why he sees the floor, but if he can show the kind of shooting he showed two years ago, he may find himself playing higher leverage minutes. However, if he can’t hit open shots and doesn’t show the strength to defend multiple positions, he’ll find himself out of the lineup very quickly should he make the final roster. While it is obvious that turning into a viable 3&D option is the best case scenario for Luwawu-Cabarrot, it’s not completely out of the cards if he has the opportunity to blend with this roster. The star power in Brooklyn kept him on the fringes, and it will be interesting to see how TLC gels with this group in Atlanta. It’s quite possible that he doesn’t make the opening day roster at all (as with Jahlil Okafor) and he will not be high on the list of development priorities for the Hawks front office, but there is still some potential for the Cannes-born player that the Hawks may find very valuable if certain things (namely: injuries) don’t go their way this year. View the full article
  4. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks are set to open training camp early next week, and a few players will be limited to start out. Atlanta Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Travis Schlenk spoke with media Friday morning, touching on an array of topics ahead of training camp, which is set to open early next week. Perhaps most notably, Schlenk provided insight into the health status of a few key Hawks contributors. Schlenk noted that De’Andre Hunter (knee surgery) will not be a full go at the start of camp, but has progressed to playing 1-on-1 and should be ready for the start of the season. Additionally, the GM added that Bogdan Bogdanovic (PRP injection in knee), Clint Capela (PRP injection in Achilles) and Kevin Huerter (ankle procedure) will all also be limited to start camp. Schlenk did note that he expects all four players to be ready to go by opening night, which is Oct. 21 when Atlanta hosts the Dallas Mavericks. Schlenk also said that Onyeka Okongwu (shoulder surgery) is hoping to be back by late December as a personal goal, but the team remains on the original timeline that tracked him to be back some time in January. The GM added that the Hawks will be 100% vaccinated for COVID-19 before the regular season. He notes that the entire staff and all players are already vaccinated, other than one player who is receiving his second shot next week. Stay tuned as training camp and the NBA preseason are days away. View the full article
  5. Set Number: X163680 TK1Media day (Sept. 27) and training camp are quickly approaching, as the NBA is almost back. So, here is another Xs and Os breakdown from the Atlanta Hawks postseason. This features a few examples of how Trae Young started embrace the space just right of the lane in the offensive half court, especially so in the playoffs. Volume Up. View the full article
  6. Set Number: X163680 TK1The 2021-22 NBA season is now less than a month away, so it’s that time of the year where ESPN and other national outlets dole out their respective top-100 lists of players. ESPN has released nearly all of their top 100, which includes six Atlanta Hawks players. Let’s take a look at which Hawks cracked the top 100. No. 99, Danilo Gallinari, F Danilo Gallinari isn’t in his prime anymore, but he can still light it up when he’s rolling. He is capable of record-setting type single-game shooting performances (his 10 threes made vs. the Boston Celtics in a game last season is a Hawks record), and was rather efficient over the course of the whole season also (shot over 40% from three yet again). He feels the game at an elite level offensively and remains savvy on defense despite his lack of mobility. No. 95, Kevin Huerter, G Kevin Huerter put himself on the map for good last season, capping off what was a solid third year in the league with an outstanding postseason run. The peak of his career to this point was the 27-point Game 7 in Philadelphia that seems to have effectively crumbled the Ben Simmons era with the 76ers. A high-level offensive guard, Huerter has shown enough on defense to warrant being considered one of the 100 best. No. 64, Bogdan Bogdanovic, G/F Bogdan Bogdanovic ironically ranked No. 64 on SI’s list as well. If he played a full season last year, he’d probably be a bit higher. Still, he was a top-5 (at worst) shooter in the game after March 1, and the backcourt of he and Trae Young has the potential to be downright explosive any given night. No. 55, Clint Capela, C Clint Capela was the main reason the Hawks were able to go from one of the worst defensive teams in 2019-20 to pretty competent in 2020-21. His durability, prowess on the glass (led NBA in rebound rate) and quaterbacking of the Hawks’ defense was crucial to the leap they made as a team. No. 54, John Collins, F John Collins is probably a top 45ish player in the league, and he is now paid accordingly. Big men who don’t dominate on the block can be underrated when they do as many other things at such a high level like Collins does. He’s an elite finisher, great shooter at his position and has shown to be an improved and more versatile defender. No. 17, Trae Young, G Young also came in at No. 17 on SI’s list. The fourth-year guard has signed his max-extension, seemingly locking him into Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The star will have All-NBA on his mind this season as it has significant financial implications in regard to converting his newly inked contract into super-max territory. Oh, and he probably won’t get left off All-Star again. One interesting omission from the list is De’Andre Hunter, who came in at No. 56 for SI. ESPN may have decided not to include him just because of how much time he missed last season due to injury, but nonetheless it feels safe that Hunter will be a top-100 guy if he’s anything close to what he was for the first 20 games or so last season for Atlanta. Training camp opens Sept. 28, and the Hawks play their first preseason game in Miami vs. the Heat on Oct. 4. Stay tuned. View the full article
  7. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks and the rest of the NBA are now days away from the opening of training camp (Sept. 28). The Hawks released their training camp roster Wednesday afternoon. Atlanta Hawks The Hawks also announced the signings of C Johnny Hamilton, G A.J. Lawson, G/F Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and C Jahlil Okafor on Wednesday. The four players will essentially be competing for the final roster spot, and the logical guess would be that the final spot goes to either Okafor or Luwawu-Cabarrot. Both Okafor and ‘TLC’ have expanded NBA experience and should be able to provide adequate depth as the ‘15th man’. Okafor would obviously be the favorite for the final spot if there’s any sort of frontcourt injury, while Luwawu-Cabarrot would probably man the final spot in the event De’Andre Hunter is not ready to return or another wing faces an injury during camp. The preseason kicks off for the Hawks on Oct. 4 when Atlanta will host the Miami Heat. The Hawks are entering the season as a potential contender in the Eastern Conference, with Las Vegas projected them around 47 wins for the 2021-22 season coming off of their Eastern Conference Finals berth during the 2021 playoffs. Stay tuned. View the full article
  8. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesIt is that time of the year, when media outlets begin to release their top-100 NBA player lists ahead of a new season. In Sports Illustrated’s Top 100, the Atlanta Hawks had five players featured ahead of the 2021-22 season. SI also released a ‘snub’ list, and Kevin Huerter made that cut, but not the Top 100. Here’s a look at the guys who made it: No. 64, Bogdan Bogdanovic, G/F Bogdanovic is coming off of the hottest shooting stretch of his career, shooting 45.5 from three on high volume after Mar. 1. No. 56, De’Andre Hunter, F Hunter cracks SI’s Top 100 despite only playing a small portion of last season. Despite the small sample, the high-level two-way play he provided during that stretch was nearly enough for him to make the top-50. No. 54, John Collins, F Collins posted another strong season in 2020-21, earning a lucrative extension in the process. An improved defender, he finally earned the respect he deserves around the league with a very solid postseason. No. 48, Clint Capela, C One of the best defensive centers in the NBA, Capela was the key cog in transforming the Hawks’ defense from a bad to above average. He led the NBA in rebounding to boot, and battled with the likes of Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez while remaining durable throughout a grueling postseason run. No. 17, Trae Young, G No surprise here that Young cracks the top-20. SI had him at 29 last season, and he proved he was a winner on top of being a superstar in the 2021 postseason. The Hawks wound up with five of the top 64 players overall, and four of the top 56. That is a solid foundation considering Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter are also guys who have an argument for the top-100, and Cam Reddish wouldn’t be far off either if he put things together as a 6’9 three-and-D stopper in his third season. Look for more lists to keep pouring out, as ESPN has already began unfurling their top-100 players as well. Stay tuned. View the full article
  9. Photo by Seth Wenig - Pool/Getty ImagesCan the No. 4 pick in the 2019 Draft build on the promise he showed in his second year? Peachtree Hoops is breaking down each player on the Atlanta Hawks roster ahead of the 2021-22 season with an eye on what they may contribute. Today, we set our sights on third-year wing De’Andre Hunter. After De’Andre Hunter’s rookie season, many questioned the Atlanta Hawks’ decision to give up substantial capital to move up in the 2019 NBA Draft for the Virginia forward. When the dust settled, the Hawks had received Hunter (No. 4) from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Jaxson Hayes (8), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (17), and Didi Louzada Silva (35). A hefty price, without question, and Hunter did not establish his will and identity in his rookie campaign, leaving some onlookers underwhelmed. In his second year, Hunter showed just how valuable he can be when he featured as the Hawks “x-factor” in the first third of the season. The advanced stats, as well as the eye-test, supported the investment that the Hawks front office made in the 2019 Draft. Unfortunately for Hunter and the Hawks, he has struggled with health, and a procedure to remove damaged tissue from his meniscus kept Hunter out for the rest of the 2020-21 regular season. Hunter was able to return for five games in the first round series against the Knicks, but after difficulty with his knee again, MRIs revealed a fully torn meniscus. Hunter underwent another surgical procedure on his knee in June. Considering the timeline, it’s possible that Hunter will return to basketball shape over the next month and possibly in time for the start of the season, but without the benefit of a full off-season it may be difficult for him to immediately build upon the potential he showed last year. In the 23 games Hunter played in 2020-21, he showed some very interesting shot creation and dribble penetration talent, along with demonstrating true switchability defensively. He averaged 15 points a game on 48% shooting from the field, including 3.2 made free throws a game. All of this, along with Hunter’s mid-range shot creation was key in helping take the offensive pressure off of Trae Young. When Hunter returns, the most critical element will be if he still has the same first step quickness to get into the lane, and then the necessary explosiveness to get to the rim or rise above defenders in the mid-range. The knee stability will be even more important on defense, as the switching scheme Hunter normally plays requires lateral quickness to recover on perimeter picks and slips. Fans should expect his catch & shoot scoring not to be severely impacted by the injury, as well as his rotational and off-ball defense, he had established those skills as a rookie. However, if he’s going to take another step this year, it’s in the other areas of his game that he will need to continue to grow, despite his health. The question of Hunter’s development, particularly in relation to whatever progress Cam Reddish (and possibly even Jalen Johnson) makes this season, will be central to the future of the Hawks. If Hunter can actually turn the flashes of brilliance he showed in his sophomore season into consistent creation and production, it will completely change the ceiling of this young roster and could vault the Hawks into championship contention. This question is probably one of the most interesting storylines for the upcoming Hawks season. View the full article
  10. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesAhead of the 2021-22 season, Peachtree Hoops is previewing each potential member of the Atlanta Hawks’ roster. Today, we look at Jahlil Okafor, a recently signed backup center who may or may not make the team out of camp. In the most recent move by Atlanta Hawks, they signed Jahlil Okafor to a non-guaranteed contract. The No. 3 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft played in 27 games last season with the Detroit Pistons and averaged 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Okafor was set to be the backup center for the Pistons, but the emergence of Isaiah Stewart and a knee injury he suffered in January kept him out of action for 31 games. When he returned, he took over the backup center duties and averaged 6.3 points and 2.6 rebounds. On Sept. 4, Okafor was traded along with Sekou Doumbouya to the Brooklyn Nets for DeAndre Jordan. Okafor was later waived by the Nets, making him a free agent. Before signing with the Pistons, Okafor had stints with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans for the past three seasons, but was never able to find his footing, as his playstyle didn't fit with many teams. With the Hawks trying to complete their training camp roster, adding a young center like Okafor could end up being a low-risk, high-reward move for the team. Onyeka Okongwu’s injury helps this signing make more sense as well, as it deepens the depth at the center position. As the league continues to evolve and the traditional center drifts away, players like Okafor are hard to come around. The Hawks offense doesn't compliment him as much, especially since they love spreading the floor with perimeter shooters. Like Clint Capela, if he can run the floor, rebound, and catch lobs, his chances of making the team could increase. Okafor will most likely be competing with Timothé Luwawu-Cabarot, who the Hawks just recently signed as well, for the final roster spot. The Hawks already have a good amount of wing players on the team, but the demand of defensive wings is a priority in the league nowadays. If Okafor does make the team, he’ll be the third center behind Clint Capela and Gorgui Dieng on the roster until Okongwu returns. He’ll most likely serve as the emergency center and see time on the floor if games are already decided. We’ll see how things go for him during training camp. View the full article
  11. Photo by Ryan Stetz/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe sports agency and United Talent Agency will share offices in Atlanta. Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents three Atlanta Hawks players, is reportedly opening an Atlanta area office alongside sister company United Talent Agency. UTA represents Atlanta hip-hop artist 21 Savage as well as Offset of Migos. The Hollywood Reporter states that Klutch CEO Rich Paul will head up the new office that will also house former Georgia Tech and NFL WR Damarius Bilbo, the head of Klutch football. Trae Young, Cam Reddish and 2021 No. 20 overall pick Jalen Johnson are all represented by Klutch, and will now have the luxury and convenience of a hometown office from their super-agency. “Atlanta is an epicenter of sports, music, art, business and culture,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer in a press release. “There is a huge and growing opportunity to connect talent with new possibilities that help them build their careers, where they live and on their terms,” the CEO added. Perhaps the expansion of Klutch into the Hawks’ market will make them a more appealing destination for future NBA free agents and disgruntled stars seeking trades to greener pastures. The presence of Young, John Collins and the rest of Atlanta’s core on the basketball court is an appealing sell in itself, on top of whatever growing off the court endeavors that may be enticing to players. View the full article
  12. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty ImagesHuerter now heads into his fourth season with the Hawks. Swingman Kevin Huerter heads into his fourth NBA season on the high of a strong playoff run as the Hawks advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. While he was in and out of the starting lineup during the playoffs, Huerter enjoyed a particularly strong series against the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers, including a Hawks-high 27 points in the Game 7 victory on the road. In the regular season, Huerter produced a similar season production wise as he had done the season before, averaging 11.9 points per game on 43% shooting from the field on 10.6 attempts, 36.3% from three on just under six attempts per game to go along with 3.5 assists per game. Some of his numbers were down slightly from the season prior but what Huerter offered that the other wings such as De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish could not was availability. Huerter played in 69 of the Hawks’ 72 regular season games as well as all 18 in the Hawks’ deep playoff run. In a season where the Hawks constantly dealt with injuries at almost every turn in the season, Huerter’s consistency in his availability was extremely valuable for the Hawks and also marks a turnaround in some of the labels attached to Huerter in the 2019-20 season. Huerter dealt with a shoulder injury in the 2019-20 season and various other knocks early in the season led to some labelling Huerter as slightly injury prone. Huerter ended up playing 56 games in the shortened 2019-20 season and that as well as all but three games last season should put to bed the notion of Huerter being injury prone. Huerter now heads into his fourth season and unlike fellow 2018 draft selection Trae Young, Huerter hasn’t been signed to an extension as of yet and whether he will be signed to one or allowed to hit restricted free agency remains to be seen. The context of Huerter’s season obviously differs somewhat if he signs an extension or if he heads towards restricted free agency but there’s a number of things that Huerter will be looking to improve upon heading into his fourth season regardless. Huerter’s three-point percentage regressed a bit from 38% in 2019-20 on six attempts to 36.3% in 2020-21 on 5.6 attempts. 36% is still a solid percentage but I believe Huerter is capable of more of achieving the 38% (and beyond) he averaged in his first two seasons in the league. Inside the arc, Huerter could stand to improve his finishing around the rim, shooting below league average: Add to that his ability to finish through contact and draw free throws, attempting 0.9 free throws last season — this is something that has been discussed regularly when it comes to Huerter so far in his career. If there isn’t a noticeable improvement in this area I think this might just be a part of Huerter’s game that just might not get to what the league would consider ideal. Huerter has always been more than just a shooter, so even if his ability to draw more fouls or finish more efficiently at the rim doesn’t materialize, Huerter contributes in very meaningful ways with both his shooting and his playmaking ability and that will continue to be the case this season too. Huerter was part of a 5-man lineup that the Hawks fared very well with (also their starting lineup for a duration of the playoffs), a lineup of Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Huerter, John Collins and Clint Capela. That lineup posted an offensive rating of 123 and a net rating of 21.8 but only in 112 minutes. In the playoffs, that lineup played 156 minutes and posted a net rating of minus three. In the Bucks series, that lineup actually posted a positive net rating. Should the Hawks feel that inserting Hunter immediately into starting lineup to begin the season might be a little too quick — given the nature of the injury and the layoff — I would imagine that same lineup will be the starting lineup to start the season, at least until the Hawks are satisfied that Hunter can return to the starting lineup. When that eventually happens, Huerter’s role may change again when Hunter does return to the action and he’ll likely be coming off the bench again. His production was down slightly when he was coming off of the bench compared to when he started but still averaged 25 minutes in his 20 games off of the bench last season, but no matter what role he finds himself in Huerter has a lot to offer to the Hawks and there’s a lot they need him to do too. An important season lies ahead for Huerter as restricted free agency appears could loom if he and the Hawks fail to agree to an extension ahead of the season. View the full article
  13. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty ImagesAhead of the 2021-22 NBA season, Peachtree Hoops is previewing each member of the Atlanta Hawks’ roster with a look at what they might provide to the team. Today, we glance at newly acquired veteran guard Delon Wright. Throughout Trae Young’s career with the Atlanta Hawks, there has been at least one constant: the Hawks have typically not been very good when they take him off the floor and let someone else run the show. The acquisition of Delon Wright is another attempt to remedy that after the one-year Kris Dunn experiment never got off the ground due to injury. While Lou Williams was better for the Hawks than Rajon Rondo was last season following the trade, and Kevin Huerter was able to offer some creation and scoring punch off the bench, Atlanta has still lacked a consistent, two-way backup point guard option throughout Young’s career. Last season, the Hawks were forced to stagger Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic during the second half of the season, and it’s something that worked out fairly well. Bogdanovic was part of three of the four most frequent lineups Atlanta deployed with Young off the floor last season despite only playing 44 of the team’s 72 games. Cleaning the Glass Due to all of the injuries last season, both Lloyd Pierce and Nate McMillan used a ton of different lineups in an effort to improve on the -13.2 net rating Atlanta posted when Young was on the bench in 2019-20. The Hawks did manage to do that, posting a -4.6 net figure across 2439 possessions without their star for the 2020-21 season, and the number was even better than that post Mar. 1 (after Bogdanovic returned). The addition of Wright will hopefully allow the Hawks to keep their head above water without Young the way they did in the second half of last season without having to overwork the likes of Huerter and Bogdanovic over the course of a grueling 82 game schedule. Obviously Atlanta will still be a better team with Young (+6.1 per 100 when Young was on the floor last season) and other starters on the court, but Wright brings a lot to the table and should be a capable second unit producer. Wright split last season between Detroit and Sacramento, and was as steady as ever in both stops. He made 39 starts (63 games played), played nearly 28 minutes per game and maintained a low turnover rate, something he’s made a habit of throughout his career. Wright had 278 assists compared to just 83 turnovers in 2020-21. He shot 80.2% from the free throw line and 37.2% from three, while the volume wasn’t great at just 4.8 three-point attempts per 100 possessions. Defensively, he’s a quality option on the perimeter and a luxury for a team like the Hawks to have coming off the bench. At 6’5, he’s more than capable of sliding to the shooting guard spot to play alongside Young if needed. He’s one of the more perfect options Atlanta could have found to share backup point minutes with Lou Williams, a 17-year veteran who will turn 35 next month. Williams is far more aggressive offensively than Wright and far less capable defensively. Second-unit lineups that feature four of Wright, Williams, Huerter, Cam Reddish and Danilo Gallinari with either Gorgui Dieng or Onyeka Okongwu (when he returns) at center should represent some of the best depth in the NBA. Wright started 31 of his 36 games with the Pistons before being traded last season. With Detroit, the veteran posted a +3.3 on/off rating. While on/off stats are not everything, posting a positive rating across a sample that size with the Pistons is nothing to sneeze at. He’s a quality distributor and if you put even somewhat quality talent around him, the offense seems to run somewhat smoothly and at the very least feature low turnover rates when he’s featured as the lead ball-handler. He ranked in the 75th percentile per CTG in ‘Assists to Usage ratio’ which measures assist rate compared to usage rate. The idea of Wright playing with the quality of players the Hawks already have on their second unit is frankly rather exciting. He’s been a quality starting point guard with Detroit, solid while not spectacular. Putting him in a lower usage role against opposing teams’ second units feels like a recipe for a more efficient version of Wright in a per minute basis, especially when considering the quality of shooting the Hawks have on their second unit in Huerter and Gallinari. View the full article
  14. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty ImagesAhead of the 2021-22 NBA season, Peachtree Hoops is previewing each member of the Atlanta Hawks’ roster with a look at what they might provide to the team. Today, we glance at newly acquired veteran guard Delon Wright. Throughout Trae Young’s career with the Atlanta Hawks, there has been at least one constant: the Hawks have typically not been very good when they take him off the floor and let someone else run the show. The acquisition of Delon Wright is another attempt to remedy that after the one-year Kris Dunn experiment never got off the ground due to injury. While Lou Williams was better for the Hawks than Rajon Rondo was last season following the trade, and Kevin Huerter was able to offer some creation and scoring punch off the bench, Atlanta has still lacked a consistent, two-way backup point guard option throughout Young’s career. Last season, the Hawks were forced to stagger Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic during the second half of the season, and it’s something that worked out fairly well. Bogdanovic was part of three of the four most frequent lineups Atlanta deployed with Young off the floor last season despite only playing 44 of the team’s 72 games. Cleaning the Glass Due to all of the injuries last season, both Lloyd Pierce and Nate McMillan used a ton of different lineups in an effort to improve on the -13.2 net rating Atlanta posted when Young was on the bench in 2019-20. The Hawks did manage to do that, posting a -4.6 net figure across 2439 possessions without their star for the 2020-21 season, and the number was even better than that post Mar. 1 (after Bogdanovic returned). The addition of Wright will hopefully allow the Hawks to keep their head above water without Young the way they did in the second half of last season without having to overwork the likes of Huerter and Bogdanovic over the course of a grueling 82 game schedule. Obviously Atlanta will still be a better team with Young (+6.1 per 100 when Young was on the floor last season) and other starters on the court, but Wright brings a lot to the table and should be a capable second unit producer. Wright split last season between Detroit and Sacramento, and was as steady as ever in both stops. He made 39 starts (63 games played), played nearly 28 minutes per game and maintained a low turnover rate, something he’s made a habit of throughout his career. Wright had 278 assists compared to just 83 turnovers in 2020-21. He shot 80.2% from the free throw line and 37.2% from three, while the volume wasn’t great at just 4.8 three-point attempts per 100 possessions. Defensively, he’s a quality option on the perimeter and a luxury for a team like the Hawks to have coming off the bench. At 6’5, he’s more than capable of sliding to the shooting guard spot to play alongside Young if needed. He’s one of the more perfect options Atlanta could have found to share backup point minutes with Lou Williams, a 17-year veteran who will turn 35 next month. Williams is far more aggressive offensively than Wright and far less capable defensively. Second-unit lineups that feature four of Wright, Williams, Huerter, Cam Reddish and Danilo Gallinari with either Gorgui Dieng or Onyeka Okongwu (when he returns) at center should represent some of the best depth in the NBA. Wright started 31 of his 36 games with the Pistons before being traded last season. With Detroit, the veteran posted a +3.3 on/off rating. While on/off stats are not everything, posting a positive rating across a sample that size with the Pistons is nothing to sneeze at. He’s a quality distributor and if you put even somewhat quality talent around him, the offense seems to run somewhat smoothly and at the very least feature low turnover rates when he’s featured as the lead ball-handler. He ranked in the 75th percentile per CTG in ‘Assists to Usage ratio’ which measures assist rate compared to usage rate. The idea of Wright playing with the quality of players the Hawks already have on their second unit is frankly rather exciting. He’s been a quality starting point guard with Detroit, solid while not spectacular. Putting him in a lower usage role against opposing teams’ second units feels like a recipe for a more efficient version of Wright in a per minute basis, especially when considering the quality of shooting the Hawks have on their second unit in Huerter and Gallinari. View the full article
  15. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks continue to round out their training camp roster, as they have reportedly signed big man Jahlil Okafor to a non-guaranteed deal per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Okafor averages 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds across six NBA seasons, with the bulk of that time spent between stints with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans. Philadelphia drafted Okafor out of a Duke with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Okafor will presumably be competing for the Hawks’ final roster spot with the likes of Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot during training camp, which is set to open later this month ahead of the NBA preseason, which for the Hawks opens Oct. 4 when they face the Miami Heat. Okafor would represent an additional center on the roster if he were to make it, and would presumably just be depth in the event of an injury. He is most effective as an old-school back to the basket post player, something the Hawks obviously don’t do a ton of with Trae Young at the helm offensively. We are inching closer to the regular season, which is now barely over a month away. Roster crunches and battles for rotation spots are set to play out around the league, and Okafor represents another potential candidate for Atlanta’s final open roster spot. Stay tuned. View the full article