John Jenkins came into the 2015 season trying to prove that he was finally recovered from a back injury that robbed him of virtually the entire 2014 season. His short stint in summer league last summer raised even more doubts, but he told reporters at the team's media day that he was completely healthy and in the best shape of his life.
Jenkins showed that during the preseason averaging 9.2 points while shooting 65 percent from the floor. He even showed off a quick first step an improved ability to finish off the dribble at the basket. However, the Hawks declined the third-year option on Jenkins and as the regular season began, it was apparent that he was way down the depth chart in terms of playing time.
However, when Jenkins played he did perform reasonably well whether that was in garbage time with the Hawks or in the D-League. He averaged 18 points in 11 games in the D-League while shooting 48 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range. Jenkins knocked down 40 percent of his three-point attempts with the Hawks while appearing in 24 games this season.
Of course offense has never been the question mark for Jenkins. It is the defensive end of the floor that has often had him out of the rotation. Jenkins' improved conditioning actually improved his stature as a defender. He will never be classified as a good defender, but it doesn't appear to be due to a lack of effort on his part.
Jenkins' time with the Hawks can be best summed up as bad luck. He showed some promise in his rookie season, but the back injury couldn't have come at a worst time. With the team transitioning from Larry Drew to Mike Budenholzer, Jenkins never got the opportunity to show that he belonged. By the time Jenkins recovered, Atlanta had made an effort to get bigger at the wing position and he found himself just trying to hold on to a roster spot.
Jenkins' tenure as a Hawk is likely over, but I'd be surprised if he doesn't get a shot with another NBA team. His shooting ability alone is worthy of a chance and there is a good possibility he will find himself in training camp with another NBA club.