Pre-Training Camp Player Power Rankings for Atlanta Hawks
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The Atlanta Hawks roster has come a long way since free agency began in July.
GM Danny Ferry is not yet done with the roster, as he continues to look for options to fill out the small forward position. A recent development has the Hawks expressing interest in signing 6'9" small forward Devin Ebanks.
Such a move would complete the 15-man roster. Until Atlanta finds the last piece to the puzzle, the team remains a collection of 14 players.
That being said, with most of the team having been assembled and training camp looming just weeks away, we take a another look at the Hawks' player power rankings.
No. 14-10: Bench Reserves
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In 2012, the end of Atlanta's bench had names like Anthony Tolliver, DeShawn Stevenson, Ivan Johnson, Dahntay Jones and Johan Petro. All of them are gone now, relics of the Hawks' past.
This year brings with it quite a few new reserves.
No. 14: Shelvin Mack
Mack maintains his position at No. 14 in the power rankings. He returns for what will hopefully be his first full season in Atlanta. He figures to be the third option on the depth chart at point guard, playing beyond both Jeff Teague and rookie Dennis Schröder.
No. 13: Jared Cunningham
Still ranked 13th, Cunningham's position on the team remains minimal. Should the Hawks reach training camp without signing another viable option for small forward, Kyle Korver may see some minutes at the 3 this year. If that happens, he could see more than the three minutes of action that he got in only eight games with Dallas last year.
No. 12: Gustavo Ayon
The 6'10" backup forward-center joins the Hawks as extra big, adding depth to what used to be a very short frontcourt rotation. With Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Elton Brand poised to take most of the minutes, he will likely have a limited role this year.
No. 11: DeMarre Carroll
Carroll drops one spot in the rankings, as the extent of his role with the team remains unknown.
He joins the Hawks after four years of bouncing around the league. Until GM Danny Ferry finds another small forward—or unless Coach Mike Budenholzer opts to play Korver there—the starting job may fall to him. Last year, he averaged only six points and less than three rebounds—while shooting threes at a dismal 28.6-percent—in almost 17 minutes per game.
His numbers indicate that he would be better suited as a bench player—a likely reason the Hawks continue pursuing other options for the position.
No. 10: Pero Antic
The Hawks surprised many fans with this addition to the team. The 6'11" big man adds toughness and more offensive versatility. His ability to shoot from the perimeter will make him a threat in the pick-and-roll when coming off the bench.
No. 9 Mike Scott
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Mike Scott falls one spot in favor of his summer league co-star, John Jenkins.
In his first year with the Hawks, he averaged just under five points and three rebounds in nine minutes per game. He showed a lot of promise this summer in Las Vegas, averaging 18.6 points on 46 percent shooting, while grabbing six rebounds per game.
His three-point shot is still a work-in-progress, but he should get solid minutes in the reserve rotation this year.
No. 8: John Jenkins
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Jenkins gains a spot. After much consideration, his three-point shooting is just good enough to give him the edge over Scott.
Having averaged nearly 15 minutes while shooting 38.4 percent from three in 61 games last year, expect John Jenkins to have a more prominent role entering the 2013-14 season.
He had a strong showing in the 2013 NBA Summer League, demonstrating his ability to be a primary scoring option. He averaged 18 points per game, but at a dismal 37.6 percent clip.
He clearly still has areas in his game that can be improved upon. However, with Kyle Korver and Lou Williams both ahead of him at the 2, he has time to mature.
No. 7: Elton Brand
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The Hawks will likely give Elton Brand a lot of burn in their frontcourt rotation. Having a clearly defined role, he moves up four spots in the power rankings.
His numbers have declined with age, but the savvy veteran is a smart low-post player. Expect him to get a significant amount of minutes of the bench at the center position, which should allow Al Horford to get some time at the power forward position.
At 6'9", Brand may seem undersized, but is capable of using both his length and his physical girth to disrupt opposing players who attack the rim.
No. 6: Kyle Korver
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Last year, Korver spent much of the season as the Hawks' starting shooting guard. This year, however, with the small forward position still in flux and the guard position as deep as it is, there is a chance that he could see significant minutes at the 3.
Fortunately, at 6'7", he is not too small for the task.
Korver remains Atlanta's most lethal threat from beyond the arc. His .457 three-point percentage was the second best in the league last year.
No. 5: Lou Williams
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Returning from a torn ACL, Lou Williams hopes to be back by training camp.
Williams has been a perennial contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award for the past few seasons, thanks in large part to his versatility. Though only 6'2", he is capable of playing both guard positions well, which makes him a great utility off the bench.
He plays with high energy and is an active defender. Expect him to continue to make life difficult for opposing teams' reserve guards this year.
No. 4: Dennis Schröder
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Dennis Schröder may have been the hidden gem of the 2013 NBA draft.
After his impressive display in Las Vegas summer league, fans have high hopes for his future with the franchise. He fits right in as the backup point guard behind incumbent Jeff Teague.
Considering his natural play-making abilities and his penchant for defense, he will likely be Atlanta's future starter.
No. 3: Jeff Teague
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Jeff Teague enters training camp as the starting point guard.
With Schröder nipping at his heels, expect Teague to assert himself. With two seasons of starting experience, his offensive game is much more polished. With a career three-point percentage of .346, he is also a viable threat from downtown.
Teague may not have the rookie's natural court vision, but he is still good passer. He has averaged over six assists per game over the course of the two seasons he has started.
With only two years on his contract, expect Teague to play his best basketball as he will likely look for top dollar elsewhere in the summer of 2015.
No. 2: Paul Millsap
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He is an effective inside-out option. Though his presence means that Horford will continue to play at center, his ability to stretch the floor fits the new offensive system perfectly. He should be a great complimentary piece to Horford in the post.
He is a very efficient scorer, shooting nearly 70 percent around the rim with a healthy 47 percent mid-range shot from 10 to 15 feet.
No. 1: Al Horford
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Maintaining his spot atop the power rankings is Al Horford.
With Joe Johnson and Josh Smith having left in successive summers, Atlanta is now Horford's team. He is the team leader and whatever success the team has will likely be born upon his shoulders.
This season, he hopes to follow up the career year he had in 2012 with an equally impressive 2013-14 effort.