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Hawks request waivers on John Jenkins and Jordan Mathews

Atlanta will cut ties with the two guards in the wake of DeAndre’ Bembry’s return from injury

NBA: Atlanta Hawks-Media Day Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks announced late Friday night that they’ve requested waivers on guards John Jenkins and Jordan Mathews, trimming the training camp roster down to 18:

The cuts come after DeAndre’ Bembry was able to return from his triceps injury much earlier than originally anticipated, negating the need for the guards who were very unlikely to make the final 15-man roster anyway. Mathews in particular was at the bottom of the totem pole and cutting Jenkins earlier than the final cut-down day may help him catch on with another team before camps close in about a week and a half.

Jenkins notched 12 minutes in the Hawks’ preseason game against Detroit on Friday and three minutes against Miami on Sunday, while Mathews logged just five minutes against Cleveland on Wednesday.

The Hawks will have to cut at least two more players from the roster before their regular season starts on October 18. Jeremy Evans and Tyler Cavanaugh loom as the two most likely cuts, as their contracts are only guaranteed for $50,000, and the other candidates all look as though they will play a part on the team this season. Quinn Cook provides depth at the point guard position, Nicolas Brussino is truly the team’s only backup small forward behind Taurean Prince, and Luke Babbitt is a solid floor-spacer whose contract is guaranteed for almost $1 million.

Cutting Evans and Cavanaugh would get the Hawks to 16 players, but one of those is Josh Magette, who is signed to a two-way deal and therefore can take up an extra roster spot.