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Atlanta Hawks Roster Update: Hawks already at 15 with RFAs, rookies and non-guaranteed contracts


Who are you? Lamar Patterson hopes to stick around on this roster and show you.
Who are you? Lamar Patterson hopes to stick around on this roster and show you.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Had this in the comments area of the Luol Deng signs with Miami piece, but let's look at where the Hawks stand in terms of roster construction and see where the Hawks might go from here.

C- Al Horford, Pero Antic
PF- Paul Millsap, Adreian Payne**, Mike Muscala*, Mike Scott***
SF- DeMarre Carroll, Thabo Sefolosha, Lamar Patterson*
SG- Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore, John Jenkins
PG- Jeff Teague, Dennis Schröder, Shelvin Mack***

*- non-guaranteed contract or second round unsigned

**- rookie contract not yet signed

*** - restricted free agent

Well, howdy, that's the maximum 15 players right there. We knew there was a logjam on the roster, and there it is.

Now, as you can see, there are plenty of moveable parts there in case the team wanted to upgrade in any areas or simply reorganize the roster.

First, there are the restricted free agents, Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack. As of now they are on the team as long as the team keeps the QOs in place and/or if they decided to sign their qualifying offers and play out their status, becoming unrestricted free agents next summer.

Then, there are the non-guarantees, Pero Antic and Mike Muscala. Both have non-guarantee contracts, though part of Muscala's is guarantee, as our own Hawksfanatic has noted in his Salary Cap updates. Antic's deal becomes fully guaranteed if he is not waived before July 15 according to

UPDATE: Peachtree Hoops was informed this afternoon that Pero will not be waived, making his contract fully guaranteed.

Also in this is this year second round draft pick Lamar Patterson. We mention him because the Hawks traded something to get into the second round and draft him, thereby we assume a future for Patterson with the Hawks. He could be sent overseas, a la Muscala 2014, but we include him here due to Hawks skin in the game in how they acquired his rights.

Finally, we have Adreian Payne who, to this moment, hasn't signed his rookie contract, at least not officially through the team press releases. While he could go the way of Lucas Nogueira and play overseas, not counting a roster spot or on the salary cap OR start the clock ticking on his rookie deal, the likelihood of the Hawks doing that with Payne is very, very minute.

Looking at this we can see the quandary of Danny Ferry as he looked at this traffic jam of sorts on the roster and jumped when Toronto wanted to send the ghost of John Salmons to the Hawks for Lou Williams and Nogueira. Certainly, trading a recent #1 pick while still in his project stage wasn't ideal, the Hawks were able to get some roster and cap relief in the deal, and pick up a second round pick to replace the one spent acquiring Patterson.

This was bound to happen as the Hawks addressed their on-the-court issues at the wing and necessarily had to re-organize the roster and tweak the construction to accommodate those changes.

There are no guarantees either that this is the final roster. We've speculated that another big man, the kind to replace Elton Brand and Gustavo Ayon, may be an acquisition and that re-signing Brand may still be an option at the right price.

Patterson could go overseas and the restricted free agents could have new homes if a competitor signs them to a more lucrative offer sheet. It would surprising to see the Hawks match for either Mack or Scott if the price exceeded that of even Kent Bazemore's modest deal.

Also, if the Hawks had been able to land either Gasol or Deng, they surely would have had to avail themselves of some on this roster for cap purposes and it probably would have landed on the qualifying offers of Scott and Mack.

Until the first day of the regular season, the Hawks can carry up to 20 players on assorted contracts, so even if the Hawks go over 15 players during the offseason, they won't have to address it until then, unless it's for cap purposes.

It's interesting to track this and the Danny Ferry administration has done a far, far, far, far, far better job in managing roster construction and talent depth than any administration dating way back to the 80's in Atlanta. Some of that was due to money, some due to not being perhaps savvy enough to understand the nuances of cap like Hawksfanatic has laid out or it may have been simply due to malaise and caretaking, rather than exploring the strategic advantages of working the cap and roster.