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2011 Atlanta Hawks Player Review: Damien Wilkins

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Shortly after Joe Johnson was diagnosed with an injured elbow, the Atlanta Hawks signed Damien Wilkins as a free agent to help provide some wing depth while Johnson was out. When Wilkins was brought in, he was asked by Hawks coach Larry Drew to provide energy at the defensive end of the floor. The Wilkins name isn't quite synonymous with the word defense and Damien had never really been thought of as a great defender in any of his other NBA stops. 

However, to his credit, Wilkins brought a lot of energy to the team with most of that centered at the defensive end of the floor. Damien made enough of an impression on his teammates and his coaching staff that he ended up sticking with the team for the remainder of the season even if he had to jump through some hoops to make it happen. Atlanta waived Wilkins on Jan 5 just a few days before his contract would have been guaranteed for the remainder of the season. Atlanta then resigned Wilkins to a pair of 10-day contracts before finally picking up the tab for the rest of the season.

Damien Wilkins appeared in 52 regular season games for the Hawks and eight more in the playoffs. He averaged a career low 13 minutes and 3.5 points per game. Wilkins did post a career high in Field Goal percentage but that had to do more with his reduction in attempts than anything else.

At 31 years of age, Wilkins was at a crossroads in his career last season when Atlanta signed him. His career has taken him from Seattle to Oklahoma City and then to Minnesota. He was out of the league before signing with the Hawks. He is not the type of player that the Hawks should want in the starting lineup on a nightly basis but he can bring some value to the team. Given Atlanta's financial situation, it is very likely that Wilkins finds his way back onto the team for next season.