There has been a lot of discussion this summer about the Atlanta Hawks' 15th roster spot and how they might decide to use it heading into the regular season. The Hawks currently have six players on their preseason roster who have non-guaranteed training camp deals. Among those are 2014 second round pick Lamar Patterson who spent last season playing in Turkey, Terran Petteway, DeQuan Jones, Edgar Sosa, Earl Barron and newly signed Arsalan Kazemi.
There was also some thought that Atlanta might elect to maintain some flexibility and enter the regular season with an open roster spot. However, Mike Budenholzer seemed to squash that line of thinking at Monday's media day.
"I think that a 15th guy for us going into the season could make a lot of sense over the flexibility of an open roster spot," said Budenholzer.
If you have followed the Hawks for the last two seasons then you know how much Budenholzer and his staff preaches competition. He talked a bit about how the competition for the final spot on the roster can have a good effect on the entire team.
"I think not all training camps is there genuine opportunities or open spots and anytime you have one, two or three of those spots where guys are competing it carries over to the rest of the group," Budenholzer said. "The competitiveness to make a team and I think our core group is pretty competitive by nature. My experience is that anytime you have that genuine opportunity for someone to make a team it really adds to your camp.
Budenholzer then indicated that whoever ends up with the final spot will have to be a two-way player. Of course, he mentioned the defensive end of the court specifically as a requirement.
"Just the ability to fit in and understand how we want to play on both ends of the court. Defensively especially. I think our entire group is trying to be built with guys that can play at both ends of the court."
By filling the 15th spot, it is likely that the Hawks won't lose any of that flexibility with the roster. Whoever earns the last spot will likely be playing with a non-guaranteed deal that wouldn't become fully guaranteed until January. That would give Atlanta the leeway to waive them without the penalty of being responsible for the entire contract.