The Hawks walked away from this year’s draft with three selections in Kobe Bufkin, Mouhamed Gueye and Seth Lundy. The three now will get their first taste of NBA action as they embark on their rookie campaigns.
Though the summer league will not be an indictment of the three rookies’ talents and how their careers will develop, it is an important indicator of their ability to adjust from game to game.
Through the team’s three-day minicamp, they got a chance to get their legs under them. The three players haven’t had the chance to participate in some five-on-five action since early in the summer.
So, they look to attack the team’s opener after shaking off some of the rust.
2. Does AJ Griffin show the beginnings of taking the next step?
The second-year wing did not play in last year’s summer league after the team held him out because of foot soreness.
But, he’s taken advantage of a healthy summer, and the team has penciled him in for at least the first two games.
The 19-year-old is fresh off a solid rookie season where he averaged 8.9 points and shot 39% from 3-point range. He started the season strong after his shooting helped him to crack the team’s rotation. But after he cooled off and with a new coach leading things, his playing time dwindled.
Now Griffin will try to get into the flow of the game and potentially test out some new developments in his game.
3. How can Vit Krejci and Tyrese Martin make cases for themselves?
With nonguaranteed contracts, both Krejci and Martin will make their last-ditch efforts to show why they belong on the Hawks roster. Neither played significant minutes last season.
The Hawks have 13 players signed to guaranteed contracts. The team also has TyTy Washington and Usman Garuba set to come in via the trade they executed Saturday.
So, solid performances from Krejci and Martin at summer league could make a case not only to the Hawks, but also the other 29 teams.
4. Who stands out among the other players on the team’s roster?
The Hawks have plenty of players on the roster that look to make their case to make it to an NBA training camp and possibly a roster.
Though he technically is on the roster, Hawks two-way signee Miles Norris could look to give the Hawks some things to mull over. The 23-year-old forward averaged 14.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists with UC Santa Barbara last season. He also shot 39.1% from 3 on 4.3 attempts per game.
One name that has caused a stir is former North Carolina forward Brady Manek, who helped the Tar Heels to a national championship appearance. UNC eventually fell to Kansas, but Manek’s performance in the tournament earned him plenty of attention.
5. Can this year’s Hawks pick up the team’s first Summer League championship?
The Hawks have yet to make an appearance in the championship game since the NBA began holding one in 2013. The Hawks have had mixed results over the years at the summer league.
In addition to their opener against the Kings, the Hawks also have matchups against the Nuggets (July 9), the Timberwolves (July 12) and the 76ers (July 13). The two teams with the best records advance to the championship game July 17. The league will decide the schedule of the remaining 28 teams’ with games split between July 15 and 16.