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Lamar Patterson embracing leadership role with Hawks summer league team

Lamar Patterson is providing a veteran presence for Atlanta’s summer league team.

NBA: New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks second-year guard Lamar Patterson knocked down four three-pointers and finished with 16 points in Saturday’s 88-80 win over the Washington Wizards. It was a veteran like performance from Patterson who has exhibited a calmness to his game over the past three seasons at summer league.

"Pretty much the same,” Patterson answered when asked about the difference in this summer league campaign from the last.

“Just go out there and make sure you play within the system and don't sabotage your game. A lot of people watching so you just want to make sure you do what you can do and just showcase yourself."

This is Patterson’s third trip to summer league with the Hawks and he has stepped into a leadership role with the team and has taken on an active role in helping his young teammates.

"That was just a given, just walking into it,” Patterson said. “Having two years under my belt with the Hawks program and system, it was easy to help translate, help some of these guys translate from college and guys who haven't run our sets before."

There is an added incentive for Patterson this summer. His contract with the Hawks is not guaranteed so he is looking to impress not just Atlanta but other teams as well.

"Just show improvement,” Patterson said. “Be able to do what I do. Facilitate and knock down open shots, and play solid defense. That's what every team is looking for, a guy like that."

The Hawks agreed to a one-year deal with veteran point guard Jarrett Jack on Sunday. Atlanta now has 16 players on their roster for next season which is one more than the 15 max. While Patterson is cast as more of a wing player, he has shown an ability to make plays and has played some point guard. However, he is just looking for a spot and a role and doesn’t care what that might be.

"Just wherever. It's not my call,” Patterson said when asked about possibly playing point guard more regularly. “I'm capable, but like I said, it's not my call."

Patterson and the Hawks will wrap up preliminary play at the Vegas Summer League on Monday with a matchup against the Brooklyn Nets.