NBA teams are continually scouting G-League talent. Kendrick Nunn is just the most recent example of a player who went from playing in the G-League to being a big-time contributor for an NBA team. Just this year, the Hawks signed Brandon Goodwin to a two-way contract. He has outperformed the recently acquired Jeff Teague and has a serious chance of landing a guaranteed contract from the team based on his play.
The trade deadline is rapidly approaching in just eight days. The Hawks have been wise to hold onto the large expiring contracts of Evan Turner and Chandler Parsons to facilitate deals. However, come February 7th, if they are still on the roster, they must immediately be bought out. In a lost season, as far as playoff hopes go for Atlanta, they must seek long-term answers for their future. The Hawks lack quality depth and finding the next Brandon Goodwin should be the goal.
Essentially, Atlanta has the right to call up any player from their own affiliate, the College Park SkyHawks, or any player in the G League whose exclusive rights are not owned by an NBA franchise.
While the Hawks do have three centers already on the roster, they have actively been searching for answers at the position. Opening up two roster spots can allow them to take a chance on a guy who will be hungry to prove their NBA worth.
There are two big men that I love who are available for any team in the NBA to sign out of the G-League. One of them is Donta Hall, a former Center out of the University of Alabama. He may end up being best suited to play power forward at 6’9″ in the NBA, which would honestly be great for the Hawks considering they only have two natural power forwards on the roster, and Jabari Parker has been nursing an injury. Hall is averaging 14.9 points on 65% shooting and 10.1 rebounds in the G-League, and while G-League stats should be taken with a grain of salt, his rebounding ability has been proven at every level. He is a cheap option who plays hard and crashes the boards, and with a little added size, he has a real chance at being a quality backup big in the NBA. It was surprising he was not drafted by a team.
One of my favorite college players of all-time was Sogaba Konate, and he is another guy who is capable of playing both big man spots. We have not seen much from him this season, playing in limited minutes after returning from a fractured metatarsal in the preseason. However, it is clear that the Hawks need to improve their team defense, and while Konate is far from a proven NBA commodity, he is one of the best defensive players in the history of college hoops. He was the force for Bobby Huggins’ defense, averaging 3.2 blocks per game in his final full season with the West Virginia Mountaineers, en route to Big-12 All-Defensive Team honors. That was good for 191 blocks. He was one of the most feared players in college hoops entering 2018-19 but went down with a knee injury that likely played a huge role in him not being drafted. A completely untested commodity in the NBA, Konate could be a diamond in the rough worth taking a flyer on for Atlanta.
Long story short, it really does not even matter who the players are. The Hawks have made it clear that Evan Turner will not play anytime soon, and sadly, Chandler Parsons will not likely be able to play soon, if ever. Travis Schlenk may as well give Lloyd Pierce some new toys to play with as the season dwindles, and hope they can find a rotation piece or two for 2020-21.
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