Hawks waive veteran Jack, roster at 17

The Hawks waived veteran Jarrett Jack on Thursday. The release of the veteran point guard, who has been unable to practice as he returns from torn right knee ligaments, reduced the training-camp roster to 17 players.

Jack suffered the injury last season as a member of the Nets and has been rehabbing during training camp. He missed all seven of the Hawks’ exhibition games this preseason.

Jack agreed to a one-year, veteran-minimum contract worth $980,431 this summer after the Nets waived the 6-foot-3 guard and his $6.3 million contract in June making him an unrestricted free agent. His guaranteed salary will count against the Hawks’ cap.

The Hawks have only Will Bynum and Josh Magette as point guards on the training camp roster behind starter Dennis Schroder and backup Malcolm Delaney. Bynum and Magette remain long shots to make the final roster, so the Hawks could go into the season with just Schroder and Delaney as point guards.

Jarrett Jack takes questions during Hawks media day in September. The veteran point guard was waived Thursday.
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

The Hawks’ depth in the front court has been hurt with the injuries to Tiago Splitter and to a lesser degree Paul Millsap and Mike Scott. The Hawks were cautiously optimistic that Splitter would be ready after missing most of last season following hip surgery. However, the reserve center will now miss extended time with a right hamstring strain. Millsap missed the first three-plus weeks of training camp after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his right knee. He will play in only his third exhibition game Thursday night in the Hawks’ preseason finale. Scott has been slowed by a sore left knee that has limited him in training camp.

If Bynum and Magette are the final players released or barring a trade, center Edy Tavares would be on the opening-day roster, adding depth to the front court. The Hawks must trim their roster to a maximum of 15 players by Oct. 26, the day before the season opener.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer confirmed this week that Jack would not be ready for the start of the regular season. He has yet to take part in contact portions of practice. Jack said last week that he was close to such workouts.

“We are actively progressing,” Jack said of his rehabilitation. “I can tell you me knee feels 100 times better this month than it did last month. Coach and (the staff) are on me about rushing to get back. They tell me to take my time. They’d rather have me for the longer stretch of the season than just this early part. I’m going to take it day by day. Patience isn’t something I was blessed with so I’m going to do my best until the time is right to step back on the court.”

Jack, 32, was recently inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. He was part of the Yellow Jackets’ run to the 2004 NCAA Tournament’s national championship game. In 11 NBA season, Jack played for the Portland, Indiana, New Orleans, Golden State, Cleveland and Brooklyn after being selected in the first round (No. 22) of the 2005 NBA Draft. He averaged 11.1 points, 4.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 28.1 minutes over his 803 career games.

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