Heading into Thursday evening, the Atlanta Hawks were forced to decide on the potential future of two of their young assets. November 1st represents the deadline for picking up contract options (or giving contract extensions) to players on their rookie deals, and the team elected to pick up one option, while letting another slip by.
ROSTER UPDATE – We have exercised our contract option on John Jenkins. Details here: http://t.co/mmkuArmpX8
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) November 1, 2013
The Hawks announced on Thursday evening that they would be exercising the 2014-2015 contract option on shooting guard John Jenkins. In short, this means that the team will be paying Jenkins $1.312 million for the 2014-15 season, and it also keeps the 22-year-old shooter off of the free agent market after this season.
Another shooting guard, Jared Cunningham, wasn’t so lucky, as the Hawks elected to pass on locking him up. This makes him a free agent after this season, but this move wasn’t terribly surprising given that Cunningham wasn’t drafted by the team or this regime.
Both of these moves (or non-moves) were in line with what I would have recommended for the team. Jenkins showed promise as a shooter, and given his 1st-round pedigree, it would’ve been a little bit nauseating to see him on the open market after this season. There is concern over an ongoing back issue that sidelined him during the preseason, but even if he is just a fringe rotation player, Jenkins would be worth the minimal cost. As for Cunningham, I don’t see a future beyond this season with the team, and that is a valuable roster spot (and cap figure) to play with.
Stay tuned for more information, as the team opens up their home slate tonight!