Update: The Hawks have officially announced the move referenced below.
In advance of May 15, the Atlanta Hawks had a decision to make surrounding the future of big man Tyler Cavanaugh. As noted previously in this space, a significant portion of Cavanaugh’s nearly $1.4 million salary for the 2018-2019 season was scheduled to guarantee on the day of the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery and, as such, the Hawks were prompted to evaluate his future within the organization.
On Friday morning, word broke from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Cavanaugh will be waived by the Hawks, citing his well-chronicled ankle issues from the end of the regular season and the pending coaching change.
The Atlanta Hawks are waiving forward Tyler Cavanaugh today, league sources tell ESPN. Circumstances of an early option date, ankle injury and coaching change will make him a free agent.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2018
In many ways, this is not a surprise, as Cavanaugh struggled mightily (both in Atlanta and Erie) near the end of the season, even with the caveat of the aforementioned ankle injury that caused him to play at less than 100 percent. Beyond that, the former Wake Forest and George Washington big man was a better fit in a Mike Budenholzer scheme than he likely would be under different leadership and, at 24 years old, there is limited upside for the future with Cavanaugh.
It is certainly possible that the Hawks could attempt to bring Cavanaugh back later this summer or even for training camp in advance of the 2018-2019 season. What Travis Schlenk and company were not willing to do, however, was guarantee $450,000 at this (very) early juncture in the off-season.