The Atlanta Hawks are in the midst of an interesting offseason that includes an upcoming decision on Isaiah Taylor and a choice already made with Tyler Cavanaugh. On Wednesday, however, clarity arrived on three players in the form of reporting from Michael Scotto of The Athletic and Michael Cunningham of the AJC.
First, Scotto reported that the Hawks will not tender a qualifying offer for Malcolm Delaney.
The Atlanta Hawks will not tender Malcolm Delaney a qualifying offer, a league source told The Athletic. He will become an unrestricted free agent as a result. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.0 assists in 18.8 minutes per game while appearing in 54 games with Atlanta.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) June 27, 2018
This news does not come as a great surprise, as Delaney has publicly acknowledged that he does not expect to be back in Atlanta. Still, the Hawks could have tendered a $3.125 million qualifying offer in order to make him a restricted free agent and reportedly declined to do so, making the veteran guard an unrestricted free agent on the market.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Delaney, who expressed a clear desire to remain in the NBA following an extensive (and successful) stint in Europe before landing in Atlanta. He is a solid option on both ends of the floor but, despite having only two years of NBA experience, Delaney will turn 30 in March.
In addition to the news on Delaney, Scotto notes that two-way guard Josh Magette was also not tendered a qualifying offer.
The Atlanta Hawks will not tender Josh Magette a qualifying offer, a league source told The Athletic. He will become an unrestricted free agent as a result. He played 18 games and averaged 12.9 assists per 100 possessions for Atlanta last season.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) June 27, 2018
Magette was famously a favorite of former head coach Mike Budenholzer (and a portion of Atlanta’s fan base) and, by all accounts, he is a tremendous G League point guard. With that said, he will turn 29 later this year and, with his physical and defensive limitations, it would have been something of a surprise if the new regime elected to bring him back. Beyond that, the Hawks reportedly tabbed former St. Bonaventure guard Jaylen Adams with a two-way contract, likely spelling the end of Magette in that particular role.
Finally, Cunningham notes that 25-year-old swingman Damion Lee will also be hitting the market.
As expected, Hawks will not extend qualifying offers to Malcolm Delaney, Josh Magette or Damion Lee by Fri deadline. They will be unrestricted free agents.— Michael Cunningham (@MCunninghamAJC) June 27, 2018
Lee performed well in 15 games with the Hawks last season, garnering considerable playing time to market himself around the league. In contrast to Antonius Cleveland and Jaylen Morris, Lee did not sign a multi-year contract in Atlanta, instead opting for a rest-of-season deal that brought this exact scenario into the range of possibilities.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for all three players but the Hawks did not take the step required to make any of them restricted free agents.