Johan Petro has played just under 35 minutes in three games for the Atlanta Hawks this preseason and told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was frustrated and didn't really understand what his role was with the team:
"I don't know," Petro said when I asked how training camp was going so far. "To be honest with you I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out what my place is with this team. I'm still trying to figure out my role. I'm still trying to figure out a lot of stuff.
"Not difficult, but more frustrating more than anything else. It's part of the business I understand. I'm new coming in to the team. Personally, I just have to stick to what I know how to do, stick to my principles and try to give to the team as much as possible. You have to adjust. I really trying to work on the differences that this team has compared to where I was before."
Petro's salary makes him an unlikely candidate to be waived during the preseason although if he is unhappy with his current role a buyout could be possible somewhere down the road. Larry Drew previously said this preseason that he will be sitting down with each player, one-on-one, to discuss their role and his expectations for the upcoming season. That however is unlikely to happen before the last exhibition game on Friday.
Petro was acquired in the Joe Johnson deal from the Brooklyn Nets. He appeared in 59 games last season while averaging 15 minutes a night. He is firmly behind starting center Al Horford and backup Zaza Pachulia on the Hawks depth chart. We have also seen Drew give Ivan Johnson minutes at center during the preseason so Petro could be even further out of the rotation.
Petro logged over 15 minutes in the preseason opener against the Heat finishing with four points on 1-6 shooting. He then scored two points on 1-4 shooting against the Spurs in just under 13 minutes. Petro then received three straight DNP-CD's before playing garbage time minutes in the win over the Mavericks.
Given the amount of experimenting that Drew has done this preseason the writing appears to be on the wall for Petro. Perhaps he knows that as well but talking about his frustrations in the newspaper doesn't seem like the appropriate way to go about handling the situation.