The Atlanta Hawks made a move to shrink their roster down, but the player who was relieved of his duties wasn’t exactly the one that many expected.
James Johnson has been waived by Hawks. #ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) October 21, 2013
This news from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution caught me by surprise, as I had been operating under the assumption that Johnson was far more likely to make the Hawks roster than a few other players currently in their training camp. 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 Atlanta, 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 had a legitimate chance at a regular season roster spot 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 joins Shelvin Mack, Royal Ivey, and Eric Dawson as the most likely dominoes to fall in the coming days, but as the Johnson release illustrates, anything is possible.