After a successful trial in the All-Star Game, should the NBA adopt the Elam Ending in more meaningful games?

The Atlanta Hawks have announced their 2019 Las Vegas Summer League roster. Two notable exclusions, of course, are De’Andre Hunter and Bruno Fernando, who cannot officially join the Hawks until draft-night trades are completed on July 6th. Cam Reddish will not play as he nurses a core muscle injury. 

Atlanta Hawks 2019 Summer League roster

  • Jaylen Adams, Guard, St. Bonaventure (NBA contract)
  • Charlie Brown Jr., Forward, St. Joseph’s (2-way contract)
  • Landen Lucas, Big, Kansas
  • Tahjere McCall, Guard, Tennessee State
  • Matt Mooney, Guard, Texas Tech
  • Amine Noua, Forward, Lyon ASVEL Basket/France
  • Jordan Sibert, Guard, Dayton
  • Omari Spellman, Forward, Villanova (2018 1st-round pick)
  • Reid Travis, Forward, Kentucky
  • Nick Ward, Forward, Michigan State
  • Thomas Wimbush, Forward, Fairmont State

Omari Spellman stands out. He’s the only rotation piece on the Summer League roster until Hunter arrives, placing him in a unique spotlight. He played just 46 games in Atlanta last season, averaging 17.5 minutes per contest and spending considerable time in the G-League. 

The general expectation is his playing time and opportunities will increase as a sophomore. He’s a hulking 6-foot-9, 245-pound presence, but has the skill to stretch the floor, operate in pick-and-rolls and make passes on the move. He’s also a fairly versatile defender who checks multiple boxes in the modern NBA. 

Continuing to improve his conditioning and rounding out his skill set is paramount for Spellman. He shot 40.2% as a rookie and will need to boost his efficiency in the long run. In a Summer League setting, Spellman’s mature frame, NBA experience and general power should shine. Expect a strong stretch in Vegas. 

The Hawks also signed Charlie Brown Jr. to a 2-way contract this week, assuring his spot on the roster next season. He’s someone the Hawks will feature heavily as a long, athletic wing scorer. He averaged 19.0 points and 6.2 rebounds and shot 35.6% from deep as a junior at St. Jospeh’s. 

Jaylen Adams is the final Summer Leaguer (presently) under contract, beginning last season on a 2-way deal before being converted to the regular roster. He appeared sparingly during the season, averaging 3.2 points in 12.6 minutes per game. 

The Hawks have a minor void at backup point guard, although Evan Turner figures to carry that mantle to some extent. Adams’ contract is non-guaranteed for the upcoming season, so his performance in Vegas could determine his NBA future.  

As for others who have legitimate NBA intrigue, Reid Travis, Nick Ward and Matt Mooney come to mind — mostly due to pedigree. All three were long-tenured players at major schools. Travis spent four years at Stanford before finishing his career at Kentucky. Mooney played four seasons over six years, jumping between three schools. Ward spent three seasons at Michigan State. 

Travis and Ward are strong, intimidating bigs. Both are relentless in different ways. Ward runs the court, has a nose for the ball and gets after it on the block. Travis crashes the glass and makes powerful moves to the rim, often forcing contact in the post.  

Neither projects well at the next level due to concerns about all-around skill and perimeter defense, but we’ve seen upperclassmen step into Summer League and find ways to produce. The Hawks have an open 2-way slot available and need useful big men. 

The Hawks’ first game in Vegas is July 6th at 5 PM E.T., when they’ll face D.J. Wilson, Sterling Brown and the Milwaukee Bucks. You can see Atlanta’s full Vegas slate here