While trade rumors are starting to swirl around the Atlanta Hawks, they are closing in on decision time for their current roster.
The deadline for NBA contracts to become fully guaranteed is on January 10. Teams have until January 7 to waive any player with a non-guaranteed deal to avoid being on the hook for their full salary this season. The Hawks have two such players that fit that criteria in Mike Muscala and Ryan Kelly.
Muscala doesn’t have to worry as he has emerged as one of the team’s key bench pieces and has been a rotation staple since the beginning of the season. For Kelly, things could be a bit more interesting.
Atlanta initially cut Kelly during training camp but brought him back after Mike Scott underwent a procedure on his knee. To make room on the roster, the team parted ways with former second-round pick Walter (Edy) Tavares.
Kelly hasn’t been able to garner consistent playing time having appeared in just nine games this season mostly in mop up duty.
Additionally, free agent players are eligible to sign 10-day contracts beginning on January 5 and Atlanta may be interested in clearing a roster spot to garner some flexibility.
If Atlanta elects to hang on to Kelly, the team would have a full roster of 15 players with fully guaranteed deals. They would be responsible for paying that full contract should they need to open up a roster spot before the end of the season.