Remembering the Hawks that didn’t finish the 2020 season

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NBA Media Day feels like years ago. Despite the unbearable heat, everyone was in good spirits, and there was cautious optimism for the season ahead. Players sat on stools in front of little circular tables and media members crammed in around them (we may have seen our last media day with that format).

During the 2019 free agency period, General Manager Travis Schlenk opted for older players on expiring contracts to preserve cap flexibility. Everybody expected trades, but no one foresaw such a tumultuous season. Let’s look back in memoriam of the players who didn’t make it to the end of the shortened season with the Hawks.

Jabari Parker

The former #2 pick played in 32 games before a shoulder injury sidelined him on January 7th. While John Collins was away from the game, Parker helped shoulder a lot of the offensive production for the team, averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds. But after missing a month of action, the Hawks traded Parker and fellow big-man Alex Len to Sacramento for DeWayne Dedmon and two draft picks. Unfortunately for Parker, he played only one game in purple and black. He will certainly opt-in for the final year of his two-year deal, which the Kings now own.

Alex Len

While the Hawks shuffled through post players trying to find the right fit, Len felt like the best option. 8 points and 6 boards per game was solid, but his defensive presence was what kept him on the court. The only downside was a slump in 3-point shooting, which he was finally starting to shake off before being included in the Parker trade for Dedmon.

In Sacramento, the former lottery pick played in 9 games with similar numbers. This fall (that feels weird to say), Len will be an unrestricted free agent and should easily find work with another team.

Allen Crabbe

After being traded to Atlanta during the 2019 summer, Crabbe started the season slowly due to injuries. Eventually, he got up to 5 points per game with an eFG% of .469 but could never find the rhythm, so Hawks fans never fully appreciate his silky-smooth jumper.

The journeyman was a part of the first move in a series of trades beginning in January. Crabbe was dealt to Minnesota for Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham. He played in 9 games for the T’Wolves before having the remainder of his contract bought out. There is no doubt that this sharpshooter will find a home soon (hopefully for a contender).

Evan Turner

Turner was yet another #2 draft pick that the Hawks acquired in exchange for Kent Bazemore. The point-forward was hamstrung by injuries and eventually shut down after just 19 games.

On February 4th, he was sent to Minnesota as part of the largest trade in 20 years. Turner never suited for the T’Wolves, and his expensive contract has finally ended. The consummate professional and positive locker room presence should be able to find a role somewhere next season for a much more reasonable salary.

Chandler Parsons

The former All-Rookie player had one of the most infamous contracts in the league. After setting the league on fire in Houston and Dallas, Memphis signed Parsons to a max contract in 2016 but a string of knee injuries derailed a promising career.

The Hawks traded Solomon Hill and Miles Plumlee for Parsons during the 2019 summer, and eventually, he would play in five games. Things got even worse when he was struck by a drunk driver on January 20th and faced career-threatening injuries. A few weeks later, the Hawks would waive his contract.

Since January, Parsons has been incredibly quiet. He had a long road ahead of him with injury management before the car wreck, and now things are that much more difficult for him. He’s dabbled in real estate investment and flirted with the idea of owning an NBA team one day. If Parson’s playing days are over, it will be exciting to see his second act.


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