The Atlanta Hawks will open training camp on Tuesday with one available roster spot for the upcoming season. As of this writing, they will have four players in camp on non-guaranteed deals that are hoping to impress enough to grab that final spot. Veteran Jason Richardson would have also been a part of this group before he announced his retirement Wednesday evening.
The Hawks have options here. If one of these players impresses, then they can keep him likely on a team flexible deal. They could also decide to open the season with 14 players and thus keep their options open. Here is a look at the players that will be competing at camp:
Patterson probably has the best odds of this group to earn that final roster spot. Atlanta acquired his rights from the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2014 NBA Draft. He spent last season playing in Turkey where he averaged 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He shot 44 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range.
Patterson showed quite a bit of improvement over the summer while playing for the Hawks' entry in the Las Vegas summer league. There he averaged 13.1 points 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 45 percent from the floor and 38 percent from three-point range. He still is not an elite athlete, but you could definitely see how his game had matured in just one season overseas.
At 6-5, he is not really a small forward although Mike Budenholzer isn't afraid to deploy small lineups. If Patterson can continue to knock down three-pointers at a decent clip and show that he is capable of playing adequate defense, then he could find himself on the opening day roster.
His familiarity with the team should work to his advantage and at 24 another year in Europe probably wouldn't have been beneficial. If he comes to camp and doesn't make the squad, the Hawks will no longer have rights over him so that too works in his favor.
Patterson will be an intriguing player to watch during camp. We know Atlanta prides itself on its player development system and Patterson would be a great example if he ends up on the roster.
Like Patterson, Petteway was another player that had a good showing in Las Vegas. He earned a trip to training camp after averaging 10.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He didn't shoot the basketball well, but he displayed a fearless attitude and competed on both ends fo the floor.
Petteway spent the 2015 season at Nebraska where he elected to forego his senior season and enter the draft. He doesn't have the experience that Patterson has and is about the same size at 6-6.
If Petteway is to earn a spot on the roster then he will have to turn heads defensively. While Atlanta's small forward situation may be a bit unsettled, they have a lot of wing options going into camp. That may ultimately work against a guy like Petteway who just may not be able to get enough opportunities to impress.
Jones accepted a camp invite a few weeks ago and is another intriguing wing option given his size, athleticism, and past NBA experience. Jones is listed at 6-8, 220 and possesses good leaping ability. He's not as polished a player fundamentally as a guy like Patterson but has made strides over the last couple of seasons.
Jones appeared in 63 games with the Orlando Magic back in 2013. From there he has spent time overseas and in the D-League. He averaged 13.3 points in three games with the New Orleans Pelicans' summer league team in Las Vegas.
Jones spent last season playing in Italy for Acqua Vitasnella Cantu where he averaged 8.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 52 games. He shot 51 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range. He is a local product having played high school ball at Wheeler High School in Marietta.
Will be interesting to see if he can get time on the court early in the preseason. His highlights showcase his athletic ability well, but he really hasn't sniffed the NBA since his time in Orlando.
Sosa comes to camp as the only non-wing player among the non-roster invites. He is a former teammate of Al Horford with the Dominican Republic's national team and played for Atlanta assistant Kenny Atkinson at the FIBA Americas Tournament this summer.
Sosa went undrafted out of Louisville in 2010 and has spent the last several years playing overseas. The Hawks appear set at point guard with Jeff Teague, Dennis Schröder, and Shelvin Mack all returning this season. However, Mack is still recovering from a shoulder injury and has yet to be fully cleared to return to action so there was a need to add another option for the early part of camp.