TULSA, OK - MARCH 18: Keith Benson #34 of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies goes up for a shot against Alexis Wangmene #20 of the Texas Longhorns during the second round game of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 18, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Former Hawks draft pick Keith Benson has earned a call up to the Golden State Warriors according to Ridiculous Upside's Scott Schroeder. Benson is currently playing for the NBA Development League's Sioux Falls Skyforce.
In 19 D-League games this season, Benson averaged 15.1 points and 7.6 rebounds to go with 1.4 blocks per game. It wasn't until after Friday night's performance of 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, however, that the Warriors decided to tell him they planned to call him up (he was matching up with Brian Butch, a fellow call-up candidate, for what it's worth).
Benson lost his spot in Atlanta to Ivan Johnson late in training camp. There was very little good news to go around with Benson after the Hawks drafted him. He had a failed stay overseas during the lockout and then failed to impress during training camp. To his credit he has had a productive D-League campaign and is going to get an opportunity to showcase his talents.
The choice to cut ties with Benson looks worse for the Hawks now after losing Al Horford and seeing Jason Collins also miss 21 games with an elbow injury. Zaza Pachulia has been the team's only reliable option at center and Collins has failed to provide much of anything positive in his return from injury. Erick Dampier was signed as an insurance policy after Collins was hurt (a signing which by the way has sent the team into the luxury tax) but seems to be stuck behind Collins in the rotation.