The Atlanta Hawks had one of the better 2021 NBA Drafts pretty much no matter who you ask. They were able to snatch former potential top-five pick Jalen Johnson out of Duke at No. 20 overall, then, at No. 48, they grabbed Sharife Cooper, an Atlanta high school basketball legend out of McEachern High School via Auburn, who was top-20 on several reputable boards throughout the draft process.
Based on the transaction log on NBA.com, it appears the Hawks have already signed both rookies ahead of Summer League action from Las Vegas, which kicks off this weekend. Notably, it appears Cooper has signed a Two-Way contract, meaning he won’t take up one of Atlanta’s 15 NBA roster slots.
The transaction log also indicates that No. 20 pick Jalen Johnson has signed his rookie-scale contract with the Hawks.— Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) August 5, 2021
The Hawks would have the ability to convert Cooper to a three-year NBA contract during the season if they don’t use all of their MLE, though they would need to create a roster spot to do so assuming they head into 2021-22 with a full roster.
Last season, Skylar Mays and Nathan Knight occupied Atlanta’s Two-Way slots. Mays is currently a restricted free agent as the Hawks extended him a qualifying offer, while Knight was not extended the QO by the Hawks, and wound up signing a Two-Way with the Minnesota Timberwolves for next season.
Mays seems like a solid bet to be Atlanta’s second Two-Way guy for 2021-22, though that has yet to play out yet. The Hawks kick off Summer League action Sunday afternoon at 4 pm ET vs. the Boston Celtics.