As it stands, the Hawks currently have 13 guaranteed roster spots issued for the 2015-16 season. Keep in mind that given Mike Muscala’s expanding role, it is all but certain that he will be on the final roster despite his contract being non-guaranteed. This leaves the Hawks with four men competing for the final 15th roster spot. The candidates? Earl Barron, Dequan Jones, Terran Petteway and Lamar Patterson.
Earl Barron is a 7-footer who is notorious for earning 10-day contracts. The Hawks are Barron’s eighth NBA team, and the most games he has ever appeared in in a given NBA season is 46. Given that the team already has Al Horford, Tiago Splitter, Mike Muscala and Edy Tavares available to play minutes at the 5, I think it’s highly unlikely he makes the final roster. He is merely a training camp body.
Dequan Jones is a local product who attended Wheeler High School in Marietta. He played his college ball at the University of Miami. While he was a Lega Basket Serie A All-Star last season, at the end of the day he has never been able to average over 10 points per game at any level, even college. Jones would be a nice story, but I don’t see it happening.
This competition really comes down to Lamar Patterson and Terran Petteway. There is no question that the Hawks are trying to find the missing pieces of the puzzle to try to emulate Demarre Carroll’s production on the wing. The Hawks selected Patterson out of Pitt in the second round of the 2014 Draft, and he spent last season in Turkey. Petteway went undrafted in this year’s draft, but he impressed for the Hawks’ Summer League team.
I like Petteway, but I think this job has to go to Lamar Patterson. He was a baller at Pitt, and I loved his game in college. I was very pleased to hear the Hawks had selected him last season. He and Edy Tavares will look to continue the trend of Danny Ferry second round picks becoming great role players. Not only do I think he has more upside than Petteway, he is much more versatile and the team is much more heavily invested in him. This spot is Patterson’s to lose, but it would not be shocking to see the team give Petteway the spot and let Patterson spend one more season overseas. However, I do not think that is the team’s best option. Patterson is talented and he needs to be in Atlanta working with the player development staff. He can contribute as soon as this season, and wing minutes are up for grabs.