Hawks: Sharife Cooper promoted to NBA squad

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The Hawks G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, were eliminated from the playoffs on Tuesday night. Despite the season-ending loss, there’s a lot to like about their starting point guard, Sharife Cooper. The young star has made his case to play on Atlanta’s NBA team, and they listened. Following the loss, Cooper was promoted to the NBA squad. 

The 20-year-old out of Auburn ended the G League season on a tear, averaging 30.5 points over his last two regular season games for the Skyhawks. Over the whole season, he averaged 16.3 points and 6.7 assists per game. College Park finished the season scalding hot with 11 straight wins, thanks in large part to Cooper. 

Cooper isn’t going to crack the starting lineup with Trae Young in Atlanta, but he adds additional depth at guard. The 6-1 point guard brings elite ball handling, slick passing, and consistent shooting to the table. The talent is apparent; however, his fit on the roster is a difficult situation. In a lot of ways, Cooper is similar to Trae Young. He’s not super tall and lacks an intimidating defensive presence, but sometimes, the offense is too good to ignore. That just might be the case with Cooper.

Unless there’s an injury, Cooper won’t be playing any meaningful minutes to end the season. Looking past this season, though, it’s easy to envision him as a second-team guard. If Delon Wright leaves as a free agent or Lou Williams retires, the Hawks could do worse than give Cooper an opportunity. He has a very similar stature to Lou Williams and could put up comparable stats to the veteran. Getting Cooper in the second round is already looking like a steal. 

 

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