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Atlanta Hawks roundtable: Which non-rookie newcomer will bring the most value in 2018-19?

Happy Friday, folks.

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In the dog days of August, fresh NBA content can be sparse but Peachtree Hoops cuts through the silence for an off-season roundtable series centering on the Atlanta Hawks. Part five centers on newcomers to the roster, focusing on who the most valuable non-rookie additional will be.

  • Brad Rowland - It’s probably Jeremy Lin. While I really liked the Alex Len signing and didn’t particularly care for the Lin trade, the veteran point guard is simply a better player. There is a bit of injury uncertainty given his absence last season but, provided Lin can stay on the floor, he provides another strong point guard option with the size and floor-spacing needed to play alongside Trae Young on a semi-regular basis. I’m a fan of Justin Anderson, Alex Poythress and Daniel Hamilton but, simply put, this is a two-man race and Lin is the best player.
  • Glen Willis - I think it will be Alex Len because he will be able to handle workload that Collins would otherwise have to handle. He will be even more valuable should the Hawks move Dewayne Dedmon at any point this season. In terms of seeing how the young core fits and getting a valuable feedback loop regarding what they collectively can do and what is missing, Miles Plumlee getting minutes doesn’t really help with that. Len was an important addition to the young roster from that perspective.
  • Graham Chapple - Jeremy Lin is a great choice here, especially if Lloyd Pierce elects to bring Young off of the bench - meaning Lin, for a time, hops into the starting lineup, but I’m going to off the beaten path and say Vince Carter. There are veteran presences and there’s Vince Carter. A young team needs as many positive influences as it can get and few are better than VC. A role model to absolutely everyone, Carter will be an extension of Lloyd Pierce in many ways - a bridge, you might say. Part of this journey the Hawks are embarking is all about - and this is something Pierce has also referenced - creating habits, building culture and going about your craft and job the right way and being a professional, and Carter will be instrumental in all of these off-court areas (as well as being, effectively, an extra assistant coach on the court/on the sideline) that are really important for Pierce as he looks to establish his values in his first year as head coach.
  • Greg Willis - It might be a bit of a reach, but I’ll go with Justin Anderson here. He is not a first or second year player, so he brings decent NBA experience with him, including experience in Coach Pierce’s defensive scheme. I expect him to be a rotational player on the wing and I expect regular playing time will help him have a better rhythm on the offensive end than he has had in his first two NBA seasons.
  • Jeff Siegel - Given that I think Lin should start at point guard (at least to open the season), it’s hard not to go with him as the clear favorite to bring the most value among the newcomers. Len will certainly get good minutes and could show a bit more than he has through his career to this point, but we already know that a healthy Lin is a starting-caliber player.
  • Josh Lane - Carmelo Antho……..wait just checked up on the news. Well I guess I will go with Justin Anderson. I am eager to see the impact he will have on his teammates and the possible defensive potential that LLoyd Pierce might be able to unlock with him. As of now, Anderson seems to be the only player on the team that appears to play defense.
  • Rashad Milligan - Jeremy Lin definitely brings more the table as a combo guard playing alongside Young than Delaney would have. He’s a proven scorer in this league and reads the floor extremely well. I think his experience will be critical for the Hawks once opposing teams go on runs and the rest of the young guys want to go for the home run. He’s a guy that seemingly knows his role in this league and he should be a good fit on this roster. Alex Len looks a lot like an exact replacement for Mike Muscala but once again, Lin is definitely better than Delaney.
  • Sam Meredith - This is a pretty easy one if Jeremy Lin is able to stay healthy. Lin offers the most experience at the point guard position and the Hawks might decide to go for experience over excitement (I would not). The only problem is like I said before, Lin has had a hard time staying healthy so that will be a point to watch this season. Also related; This is a contract year for Lin, so expect him to give it his best shot.
  • Xavier Cooper - From a pure basketball standpoint, I believe Lin will contribute the most. He’s on his last year of his contract so he’ll be looking to play well. He’s never been a bad player when healthy. He’s a smart veteran with a decent jump shot and pretty high IQ. He can score the ball at times when it’s needed but he isn’t going to try to put up 50 on anyone. I just believe he will balance everything out for the Hawks and do what is needed to help Atlanta win some games.
  • Zach Hood - Jeremy Lin. While Young will surely have all of the eyes on him, I expect Lin to do what he’s done since he broke into the league. Get about 15 points a game with a handful of assists. That production will be hard to match for any of the other guys the front office brought in this offseason.