It has been very quiet on the Hawks front in recent days, but they’ve made a minor splash in inviting a former player to join them at the rapidly approaching training camp.
According to multiple reports, point guard Royal Ivey has accepted an invite to re-join the Hawks, at least for training camp, and he’ll add to the list of non-roster invitees that includes David Lighty and Eric Dawson. He is no stranger to the Hawks, having played in 188 games over 3 seasons, but the last time he took the floor in an Atlanta uniform was all the way back in 2007.
With all of that said, it is fairly tough to see a role for Ivey going forward. He has been a below-average player for the entirety of his career (never posting a PER over 11, with 8 seasons under 10), and things aren’t going to improve at the age of 31. He is a strong defensive presence from the lead guard spot at 6-foot-3 with good physicality, but that’s basically where the strengths stop.
Offensively, he has managed to generate a more-than-solid 36.2% shooting rate from 3-point distance, but his efficiency falls off a cliff elsewhere. He’s a sub-41% shooter from the field, and averages just 1 assist per game for his career in nearly 13 minutes per game. He’s a combo guard masquerading as a point on the offensive end, and frankly, the Hawks have enough of that issue.
This is a pure depth move, and one that I’m thoroughly okay with. Ivey has been an NBA player for nearly a decade, and that’s the type of player who can push the young guys in camp while showing up every day as a professional. I wouldn’t expect him to make the team, but it also wouldn’t shock me to see him beat out Shelvin Mack (who has a non-guaranteed contract) for the final guard spot.