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2023-24 Atlanta Hawks player preview: Trent Forrest

NBA: Preseason-Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Forrest is a rare 25-year-old three-year veteran of the NBA on a two-way contract, but with his signing last week, that’s the very role he’ll fill for the Hawks this season. In this sense, his off-court intangibles may prove more worth than his on-court contributions in 2023-24.

As a player, he’s a hard-working defensive pest who can guard all over the backcourt. Listed at 6-foot-4 with a reported 6-foot-8 wingspan, he can operate more as a wing on that end of the court and cause havoc in passing lanes — as his 1.7 steals per 100 possessions helps indicate.

Offensively, he can function as a point guard and run the show when needed. He makes smart decisions on and off the ball as both a primary ball handler and connector in a secondary role. His care with the ball is best illustrated by a career assist-to-turnover ratio north of two.

With Trae Young and Dejounte Murray healthy, he won’t be tasked with long stretches of play of course, but the opportunity may arise over the course of an 82-game season. Like Aaron Holiday before him, however, he’s largely a passive offensive player with a very low usage percentage. And unfortunately for the Hawks and their new Quinball schemes, he’s unable to stretch the floor at all as a career 18.2% shooter from deep.

He, the much more veteran Patty Mills, and rookie Kobe Bufkin figure to be battling for minutes at the third point guard spot in the rotation. It’s very possible that there are none available once accounting for the Young-Murray stagger we figure to see this season once again. But in case injuries hit, Trent Forrest is a very capable stopgap option for Atlanta. And even if not, his voice in the locker room and the training facility will still be quite valuable on its own.