It has been less than two weeks since Ryan Kelly was released by the Atlanta Hawks, but it appears that the former Duke and Los Angeles Lakers forward will be returning in short order. On Monday afternoon, Shams Charania of the Vertical reported that, in a stunning move, the Hawks will move on from center Edy Tavares and, instead, turn to Kelly for the 15th and final roster spot.
The Atlanta Hawks have released center Edy Tavares and plan to sign forward Ryan Kelly, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 31, 2016
At the time of this post, the Hawks have not confirmed/announced the move.
Tavares was seen as likely the final inclusion on the roster and the 7-foot-3 big man was the only Atlanta player that did not appear in the season opener against the Washington Wizards. The 24-year-old has tantalizing potential on the defensive end of the court with both rebounding and rim protection, but there have been concerns about Tavares and his NBA readiness, and that underscores this move. It does come as a surprise, however, that the Hawks would go in the direction of another frontcourt piece, rather than addressing the elephant in the room with only two point guards on the roster.
As for Kelly, his addition would bring a more offensive frontcourt option and, in the event that Mike Scott misses additional time with a knee issue, Kelly could be the “break in case of emergency” big man off the bench. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.