Ray Spalding
Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

New Hawk Ray Spalding: ‘The style of play fits me well’

The Hawks signed Ray Spalding on Wednesday as the forward is on an Exhibit 10 contract. An Exhibit 10 contract permits a team to give a player up to a maximum $50,000 bonus payable if that player is waived, then signs a timely G League contract and then plays for the team’s G League affiliate.

In 14 games last season between the Mavericks (one game) and Suns (13 games), Spalding averaged 3.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 10.6 minutes In 29 games with the G League’s Texas Legends, he average 16.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 1.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 30.1 minutes. The 6-foot-10 Spalding was the 56th overall selection out of Louisville last year by the 76ers before being traded to the Mavs.

Spalding answered several questions from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

Q. Tell me about the decision to sign with the Hawks and how all of this worked out?

A. After summer league, I finished up with Phoenix, Phoenix set up different contracts with different players. My agent thought maybe it would be time to look elsewhere. So we did that and the Hawks reached out. He really liked what the Hawks said about me and offered me so I felt like this would be a safe place to start.

Q. Is there something about the system that attracted you? Or the coaching staff?

A. Yes, the coaching staff and the system. It’s a very talented group of players and coaching staff from the standpoint of they play really high speed. They get up and down a lot. Shoot the 3-ball. Space the floor really well. Great point guards. Great interior and (outside). Looking forward to it. The style of play fits me well.

Q. How does the style fit you?

A. I’m a pretty smooth guy. When it comes to fitting into a system, it’s pretty easy. I rebound. Play hard. Handle the ball. I can shoot the ball inside and out. 6-11. Long arms. I can get in the passing lane. I can get up and down and play quick. I’m a quick guy so I just really like the way they play.

Q. What did they tell you about your expected role?

A. We haven’t really talked about that yet. I just plan to bring effort, enthusiasm. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I don’t say too much. I let my play do the talking. I have worked on my jump shot, handling the ball, focus on playing inside and outside. That’s what I do.

Q. Do you feel like you’ve gotten your shot yet with limited playing time with the Mavs and Suns?

A. I’ve gotten that question a couple of times. They say you are a rookie until you play your first game the next season. I’m still a rookie. With that process to happen with the Mavs, being traded to the Suns and now over here with Atlanta, everyone has a story. That’s part of my story. It’s part of my process. I will eventually get my chance. I’m getting an opportunity now. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of it.

Q. What do you know about the Hawks players? I imagine it’s quite appearing to play with a point guard like Trae Young and they have a lot of other great pieces.

A. They have a lot of great pieces. The point guard, Trae Young, is a great point guard. He passes the ball really well. Scores the ball really well. Gets everyone involved. They got John Collins, Alex Len, some good shooting guards. (DeAndre) Bembry is a really good player. They play tough. They play aggressive. They play well together. I like their culture.

Q. What about your defensive side of the ball. That’s a big deal here.

A. I love playing defense. I’m a long guy so I’m always in passing lanes. I get a lot of steals, blocked shots, just the little things that come down to big wins.

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