Hawks send Cunningham to D-League

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Hawks send Cunningham to D-League

The Hawks sent guard Jared Cunningham to the NBA Development League Monday. He will play for the Bakersfield (Calif.) Jam.

The guard has appeared in just one of the team’s first six games, playing four minutes. Cunningham was inactive for the Hawks game against the Magic Saturday when forward/center Gustavo Ayon was cleared to play.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said recently that the team would likely use the D-League to get playing time for young players.

“For young players its an important part of their development process and it’s something we want to use and take advantage of,” Budenholzer said. “Often times, the players, they want to play too. There is only so much you can do one-on-zero. You need those game reps, those game opportunities.”

The Hawks acquired Cunningham this year in a draft-day trade with the Mavericks. He was obtained with the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira (16th overall) and Mike Muscala (44th) in exchange for the rights to Shane Larkin (18th). He appeared in eight games with the Mavericks last season and had 16 points. He spent time with the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, where he averaged 15.3 points, 3.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 34.5 minutes over 15 games. He was limited by knee tendonitis.

Cunningham was a first-round pick of the Cavaliers (24th) out of Oregon State before being traded to the Mavericks on draft day.

Last month the Hawks declined to exercise their third-year option on Cunnigham. He will become a free agent following the season.

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