(Editor’s note: September has finally arrived and that means that Atlanta Hawks basketball is just around the corner. The team will open training camp at the end of the month and will be kicked off by its annual media day event. Peachtree Hoops will be there to help usher in the new season. In the meantime, we are going to be taking a player by player look at the roster heading into training camp. The plan is for one of these to go up per day but we may have to double up some if the team adds more players between now and the opening of camp.)
Up first in our player by player training camp preview is Matt Costello who inked a two-year partially-guaranteed contract with the team earlier this summer. Costello was a four-year player at Michigan State and also went to Las Vegas with the Hawks’ summer league team earlier this summer.
As a senior with the Spartans, Costello appeared in 35 games while averaging 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 56 percent from the field. He measured out at a solid 6-10 at the Portsmouth Invitational tour where he had a solid showing as a rebounder. Per DraftExpress:
Matt Costello was the second best rebounder at the PIT at 11.7 per game, and measured a solid 6'10, 245 pounds with a 7'1.5 wingspan. Costello didn't get quite the same buzz as some of the upperclassmen around him at Michigan State, but will be highly sought after in every league outside of the NBA given his size and ability to make an impact with his mobility and toughness inside.
Costello appeared in six summer league games with Atlanta averaging 5.7 points 5.0 rebounds per game in just over 18 minutes. He struggled with his shooting while in Vegas converting on 35 percent of his field goal attempts.
As you can see in the video, Costello isn’t going to be the kind of player that delivers a ton of highlight plays. However, he is a heady player who can set screens and has a high basketball IQ which is something that has become somewhat of a requirement of Hawks players. Costello is a hard worker and is a big body that will be able to mix up with the rest of Atlanta’s frontcourt during the preseason.
Costello’s contract has only a $50,000 guarantee. It is a similar situation to the one the Hawks had with Terran Petteway last preseason. More and more NBA teams are handing out contracts with small guarantees like this to players like Costello to get them into camp and to perhaps offset some of the low salaries in the D-League. Still a guy like Costello could be an attractive target for some European teams, so it remains to be seen whether or not the D-League is actually an option.
Even without Atlanta’s current roster crunch, Costello would be a longshot at best to make the team’s final roster. Still it is a great opportunity for him to get some experience in an NBA training camp.