Keep that same energy.
It was a saying Trae Young emphasized after he air-balled his first two 3-pointers in last year’s Summer League. Young got better every game after that and went on to have a Rookie of the Year type season for the Atlanta Hawks. This season, you don’t see Young playing in Summer League. However, you can find him sitting court side with some jeans and a white tee. Last season, Kevin Huerter didn’t play in Vegas since he was recovering from injury. He did go on to make the NBA All-Rookie Second team. You also don’t see him in a jersey as well. Once you’ve proved yourself to be a reliable player in the league, you don’t have anything to prove in a summer exhibition game. This season, there are some Hawks players that have to show that they’re able to play meaningful minutes in this league.
Time is ticking
Omari Spellman was the Hawks 30th pick in last year’s draft. There was optimism that Spellman could be a high energy guy for the Hawks and that his intensity could help him see minutes on the floor. Sadly, he barely saw the floor his rookie season and was very inconsistent at times. He bounced back and forth from the G-League to the Hawks and was never able to find his role on the team.
He suffered an injury after the All-Star break and didn’t see the floor again since. One major cause for concern during the season was Spellman’s weight. He went from 254 pounds at the combine to 293 pounds in six months. Spellman came back on the court last week for the first time since his injury, and he still didn’t look in shape. There were rumblings that the organization was still worried about his weight. Because of that, it wasn’t a surprise when Jabari Parker signed with the Hawks earlier this week.
Hours after the signing was announced, Spellman was traded to the Golden State Warriors. With the direction the Hawks are moving, Travis Schlenk had no time to wait for a player that didn’t seem like he was committed to the process.
Another player that could be on the clock is Jaylen Adams. Adams saw more minutes last season after Jeremy Lin was traded. His job was to back up Young. Adams didn’t look comfortable at times on the court and other players had to take over the point guard duties. So far in this Summer League, things have been looking the same. It’s not for certain if the Hawks will guarantee Adams’ contract if he doesn’t improve in the next couple of days. They might have to look for another backup guard.
Hawks rookies shining
It looks like the Hawks have hit the jackpot once again on a pair of rookies. DeAndre Hunter and Bruno Fernando have shown some positive signs so far in the Summer League. Though Hunter has only played one game, the way he’s able to get to his spots and his confidence on the court was impressive. Fernando has shown promise on both sides of the ball. His ability to block shots will help the Hawks after losing Dewayne Dedmon in free agency. He’s also able to do this on offense, which isn’t a bad thing to have in your arsenal of moves for a center.
This is really, really, really scary good. Bruno Fernando is a massive human and this pullup looked crazy smooth pic.twitter.com/ZEytH5nXKy— Ben Pfeifer (@Ben_Pfeifer_) July 9, 2019
Fernando already looks like a player that will be exciting to watch during the season.
Charlie Brown Jr. has also been a player that’s looked good for the Hawks in Vegas. The Hawks signed him to a two-way contract, and he may find himself on the 15-man roster this upcoming season. All three players have been making the most out of their time in the Summer League. Hopefully they’ll be able to see real minutes in the NBA this season.
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