In advance of Tuesday's regular season opener, the Atlanta Hawks were faced with what appeared to be an easy decision with regard to the active roster. The team is currently carrying 15 players on the roster, but with the NBA's rule stating that only 13 of those athletes can be active on a given night, Edy Tavares and Lamar Patterson seemed to be the obvious choices to attend the game in street clothes.
Only one of those players will be doing so.
Head coach Mike Budenholzer announced during his pregame availability that swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. would join Tavares on the inactive list, and this move comes as a significant surprise. Hardaway's option for the 2016-2017 was picked up by the team on Tuesday night, but beyond that, the Hawks paid a hefty ransom to acquire his contract this summer, and Hardaway looked to be ahead of Justin Holiday and the aforementioned Patterson on the depth chart when evaluating preseason.
No additional rationale was given from Budenholzer, apart from the fact that the "inactive will probably change night to night", but because this move does not align with what the rotation resembled during the exhibition slate, further examination could be warranted.