When the Atlanta Hawks parted ways with (effectively) retired guard Mo Williams, the team elected to use that open roster spot on a 10-day contract for veteran combo guard Gary Neal. Now, with Neal’s pact nearing its end after Friday’s game against the Washington Wizards, the Hawks could reportedly be targeting an old friend for a similar arrangement.
The familiar face is Lamar Patterson.
Lamar Patterson, fresh off a 41-point game for @nbadleague Reno , getting strong interest from Atlanta for a 10-day deal, ESPN sources say.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 27, 2017
The Hawks have a decision to make soon with Gary Neal near the end of his own 10-day pact and Patterson, sources say, has Atlanta intrigued— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 27, 2017
Mike Budenholzer indicated prior to Friday’s game that no decision on Neal’s situation had been made. Patterson, who is only 25 years old, appeared in 35 games for Atlanta last season and has spent the 2016-2017 season to this point appearing in 26 games for the Reno Bighorns of the D-League.
The former second-round pick has been outstanding in the D-League, averaging 22.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game this season, and Patterson would provide a younger option with more theoretical upside. Atlanta’s lack of a third point guard would seem to be a hiccup in this regard, but Neal isn’t exactly the picture of a pure distributor, either, and the Hawks utilized Patterson as an emergency point guard at times during his time with the team.
While the 15th roster spot does not usually attract much attention, this is an interesting potential decision for the Hawks in the next 24 hours. Stay tuned.