With the addition of Matt Costello, the Atlanta Hawks currently have 17 players heading into training camp. This number is likely to increase before the start of training camp, but lets take a look at the 17 players the Hawks currently have signed and what the 15-man roster is likely to look like heading into the regular season.
Point Guards: Dennis Schroder, Jarret Jack, Malcolm Delaney
Dennis Schroder now has the point guard position all to himself. The 23-year old point guard has impressed in his first three seasons in the NBA, improving in all areas in each season. The loss of Jeff Teague is going to be felt, especially early in the season. But Schroder brings loads of upside at the position, and by season’s end Schroder is going to have fans forgetting about Jeff Teague. The signing of Jarret Jack was a terrific one because he really adds a veteran presence at the position but also is plenty capable of contributing. Coming off a significant knee injury, it might take a little while until Jack is at the top of his game again, but the Hawks also have a lot of faith in newly signed Malcolm Delaney. Delaney was a star in Europe, averaging over 16 points and 5 assists a game. He shot over 40% from three and will likely be seeing a lot of action early in the season. Both Jack and Delaney are capable backups, but the progression of Schroder is going to determine how good this unit can be. We already know Schroder is good, but it is time to see how good. Schroder looks like he has the potential to be a real star in the league, and if he can pop, this unit could be even better than last year.
Shooting Guards: Kyle Korver, Tim Hardaway Jr., DeAndre Bembry
Kyle Korver is coming off a season where he saw a significant drop in both his scoring and shooting numbers. His 2014-2015 season was going to be hard to repeat, but Korver was no where near as efficient of a player last season. Part of that may have been due to the injury he suffered in the playoffs two years ago. He missed an entire offseason and it clearly effected his shot. With Korver now having a full offseason to work on his shot and get healthy, he should be a much more efficient shooter this year. It was not too long ago, I wanted Korver shooting every time he touched the ball. Hopefully, he returns to that level this season. As for Tim Hardaway Jr., his role should increase this season. It took him a long time to get on the floor last year, but he finally earned a role. Hardaway Jr. can shoot a lot better than he did last year and he should be a nice scoring option off the bench for the Hawks. Bembry was the Hawks pick at number 21. He has athleticism, great vision and a high basketball IQ. He will be a nice NBA player at some point, but he still needs a lot of improvement on his jump shot. He did not shoot terribly in summer league, which is promising. However, with the amount of depth on the wing, it is going to be hard for Bembry to earn a lot of minutes without being a better shooter.
Small Forwards: Kent Bazemore, Thabo Sefolosha, Taurean Prince
Kent Bazemore got rewarded with a $70 million dollar contract this offseason and he deserved it. He proved to be a reliable three-point shooter, an improving slasher and a terrific defender last season. The exciting part about Bazemore is there is still room for improvement. He is going to be a starter for the Hawks for years to come. Thabo Sefolosha enters the final year of his contract. He has proven to be a terrific defensive presence off the bench that fits perfectly into Mike Budenholzer’s philosophy. His three-point shooting has gotten better and he will continue to be a key piece of the Atlanta bench. Taurean Prince is the most interesting prospect on the Hawks. He has an NBA ready body, but he still has tons of room for improvement throughout his game. However, if he can adjust to the rotations in the NBA and continue to improve as a shooter, he is going to get minutes. The plan is for Prince to become a starter for Atlanta as soon as possible. The defensive wing combo of Bazemore and Prince could be deadly in the future.
Power Forwards: Paul Millsap, Kris Humphries, Mike Scott, Matt Costello
Paul Millsap is an absolute stud. Moving on, the Hawks re-signed Kris Humphries. The Hawks acquired Humphries on waivers last season, and he provided an excellent presence off the bench. He is a tough rebounder with an underrated offensive game. Mike Scott is still dealing with legal issues connected to his arrest last summer for drug possession. It is unclear how that situation is going to pan out, but for now his contract is guaranteed and he is set to be on the roster next year. Aside from the legal issues, Scott is a nice piece off the bench that can stretch the floor and score in bunches. Matt Costello got the invite to training camp on a non-guaranteed deal. Costello was terrific for Michigan State in college and fits the type of player the Hawks want around the locker room. However, the Hawks currently have boatloads of frontcourt players, so it is going to be tough for Costello to actually make the team.
Centers: Dwight Howard, Tiago Splitter, Edy Tavares, Mike Muscala
The Hawks acquired Dwight Howard in the offseason, and it is without a doubt the most intriguing move the Hawks made. Howard does not stand out as a perfect fit in the system, but he covers a huge need for Atlanta. Howard is a terrific rebounder and the Hawks were dreadful on the boards last season. Having Howard along with a newly healthy Tiago Splitter is going to change that. Splitter returns after missing most of last season with a hip injury. Even when Splitter was on the floor, he was not spectacular. At best, he was average but he was also never really healthy. If Splitter is healthy, he is still a nice fit for this team and will be the team’s backup center. Edy Tavares could surprise a lot of us. He was impressive in summer league and is a terrific shot blocker. He might not see a ton of minutes this year but he could be the backup big man next year, if Splitter leaves in free agency. Mike Muscala might have a hard time making the roster this season. His contract is not fully guaranteed, and even though Atlanta fans love Moose, he has failed to make enough improvement to really crack the rotation. With the Hawks loaded in the frontcourt, Moose is going to have to battle for a roster spot.
Final 15-man roster
Point guards: Dennis Schroder, Jarret Jack, Malcolm Delaney
Shooting guards: Kyle Korver, Tim Hardaway Jr., DeAndre Bembry
Small Forwards: Kent Bazemore, Thabo Sefalosha, Taurean Prince
Power Forwards: Paul Millsap, Kris Humphries, Mike Scott
Centers: Dwight Howard, Tiago Splitter, Edy Tavares
The Hawks might make another move before the beginning of the season. Maybe there is a trade that shakes things up or they add another free agent, but as of now, this will likely be the roster heading into the season. Costello has a very little shot of making the final roster, and Muscala has just not shown enough improvement. Edy Tavares has more potential and will likely earn the role as the third center.