One of the costly things about the NBA lockout was that many of the fringe free agents took guaranteed deals overseas rather than waiting around for the NBA to open the doors back. Over the summer we spotlighted several players but guys like Joe Alexander and David Lighty stand out the most. Atlanta's training camp roster is made up of some pretty recognizable names with the likes of Tracy McGrady, Jerry Stackhouse and Vladimir Ramanovich signing on. However, there is also a heavy D-League influence among the other camp invitees. Interesting enough, Atlanta has two of the top three scorers in the D-League this season in camp.
Charles Garcia 6-10, 230 Sioux Falls
You might have missed it but Garcia has been in or around the Atlanta Hawks before. Atlanta worked him out prior to the 2010 draft and he spent some time with Atlanta's D-League affiliate the Utah Flash last season. Garcia didn't get a lot of opportunities with the Flash as he was mainly signed as an injury replacement. Recognizing the name, I asked then Flash assistant Gene Cross who told me that he had a lot of ability and just needed the time to put it all together. Well Garcia appears to be doing just that as through four games he was tied for second in the D-League in scoring averaging 24.8 points and six rebounds per game. Currently his turnovers are very high and his free throw shooting is not good but he shot 59 percent from the field in those four D-League games.
Donald Sloan 6-3, 205 Erie Bayhawks
Sloan also has a slight parallel to the Hawks given that he was traded by the Hawks D-League affiliate Reno prior to the start of the season to Erie for Blake Ahearn. Sloan is also tied for second in the D-League in scoring at 24.8 points with Garcia. Sloan enters training camp as a point guard which is a position of need for the Hawks. Atlanta is rumored to be looking for a veteran backup to fill in while Kirk Hinrich recovers from off season shoulder surgery but Sloan has an opportunity and could potentially stick with a solid camp.
Zach Graham 6-6, 210 Reno Bighorns
Graham played five games for the Hawks D-League affiliate the Reno Bighorns and averaged 15.6 points and four rebounds per game. Graham is essentially the Bighorns third scoring option but is shooting 53 percent from the field and 87 percent from the line. He has good size for a shooting guard and could be a name to keep an eye on in the future.
Ivan Johnson 6-8, 230
I haven't been able to find out what Johnson has been up to this season but he was a standout in the D-League during the 2010-11 season for the Erie Bayhawks. Johnson averaged 22.6 points and 7.8 rebounds in 49 games last season. He upped those averages to 23.0 and nine in Erie's three playoff contests.