With Jason Richardson announcing his retirement, the Hawks lost their most qualified option to fulfill their last roster spot. With Coach Budenholzer hinting that the time will decide to utilize that one spot, the team has made some last minute additions to the training camp roster to provide more competition for that spot.
Journeyman big Earl Barron was signed last week, but he has been nothing more than a 10-day contract guy throughout his career in the NBA. It’s clear that the Hawks’ most glaring need is on the wing anyways. I find it unlikely that Barron cracks the opening day roster.
Another addition, which was announced yesterday, is Arsalan Kazemi. The Iranian was initatially drafted by the Sixers as a draft and stash prospect, but never got his shot at the NBA. The Sixers rescinded their rights to Kazemi, enabling him to negotiate with Atlanta. The 6’8″ small forward played collegiate ball for Rice and Oregon, and his specialty is rebounding, especially given his size. However, Kazemi cannot shoot. He never logged a 3-point shot in his four years of college nor during his time in China. I find it unlikely he ends up being a fit for the Hawks, but more bodies, more competition, better results.
I think ultimately the final roster spot will go to Lamar Patterson. The team is simply more invested in the Pitt product, and he had a nice showing in the summer league. I loved his game in college and he had a nice year in Turkey. I think he has the potential to carve out a nice career for himself in the NBA, and I believe our player development staff can do great things with him. He also seems to be the most versatile of the group of players we have invited to training camp.