Why the Hawks didn’t wait for buyout market to fill roster

Hawks forward Ryan Kelly during media day in September. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

Hawks forward Ryan Kelly during media day in September. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

The Hawks didn’t wait long — or for the buyout market to fully unfold — before filling two open roster spots. The Hawks officially announced the signings of Ryan Kelly and Lamar Patterson to multi-year deals Friday.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the signings Thursday night after the NBA trade deadline.

Both Kelly and Patterson played for the Hawks this season. The familiarity with the wing players was why the team moved so quickly, according to Hawks coach and president of basketball operations Mike Budenholzer.

“We had strong feelings about them even and when we’ve let them go,” Budenholzer said. “We communicated that to them at that time. We’ve continued to follow them closely. We feel like adding them to the group this year, not just this year because there is potential and hope that these are guys who fit us and understand how we play. Lots of time we talk about fit. We feel like Ryan and Lamar have that potential.”

The Hawks didn’t wait to see all the player availability as teams began buyouts Thursday. The signings of Kelly and Patterson underwhelmed a significant part of the Hawks’ fan base. Budenholzer said in the end the team’s opinion of the two signees won out over waiting for other options.

“(The buyout market) is 100 percent a consideration,” Budenholzer said. “You look at that list. A little bit of the hard part of the buyout market is you don’t know until March 1. You do as much homework as possible. You do as much research as possible. You put those names on the board. Are you going to prefer one of those? You run some risk of either losing a Lamar or Ryan. Or just because a guy is bought out doesn’t mean he necessarily is going to choose you. You weigh all those things together, and we felt like our opinion and strength of conviction with Lamar and Ryan was such that we wanted to go ahead and sign them now.”

Of note: The Hawks-Cavaliers game on March 3 will move to 7 p.m. and be televised by ESPN, the NBA announced Friday. The network will no longer televise the Heat-Magic game as originally scheduled.