The Hawks made a cut to their roster for the first time in a week, and it wasn’t the name that most people envisioned.
James Johnson has been waived by Hawks. #ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) October 21, 2013
This news from the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore (which hasn’t been confirmed by the team as of the time of this post) caught me by surprise, as I had been operating under the assumption that Johnson was far more likely to make the team than a few other players currently on the Hawks roster. With that said, the 6-foot-9 forward was playing on a non-guaranteed training camp deal, and anyone cut under those pretenses isn’t a complete shock.
In 4 preseason appearances with the team, the 26-year-old Johnson averaged just 12 minutes per contest, while producing 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. However, many (including myself) believed that he could be a valuable asset as a versatile forward with a high pedigree that includes being a former 1st-round pick in the league.
With the release of Johnson, the Hawks roster now sits back at 17 players, and there will be (at least) two more cuts in the near future. Newly-signed swingman Cartier Martin had a rough debut with the team on Sunday afternoon (shooting 1 of 12 from the floor), but he is now the only swingman available without a guaranteed deal. In addition, Shelvin Mack, Royal Ivey, and Eric Dawson are those most likely to be on the cutting block, but we’ll have to wait until the next shoe drops.