Credit: AJC / Johnny Crawford

Atlanta Hawks release Keith Benson and Isma'il Muhammad

According to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Hawks released Keith Benson and Isma’il Muhammad on Thursday.

Cutting Benson and Muhammad trims the roster down to 17 players. The Hawks have two more cuts to make prior to the regular-season in order to get down to the league maximum of a 15-man roster.

Atlanta selected Benson in the second round (48th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft out of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. In college, the 6-11 forward/center was a 2x Summit League player of the year.

Benson played with the Hawks last year during the lockout shortened preseason, but was waived before the regular-season started. After playing in the D-League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the majority of 2011, Benson rejoined Atlanta in July to play on the Hawks’ Summer League team. As a result of a solid summer showcase (13.2 ppg and 6.8 rbg), Benson earned himself an invitation to Atlanta’s training camp in September. He had 10 points and two rebounds in 10 minutes of action against the Spurs during Wednesday’s exhibition. 24 hours later, Benson was released from the Atlanta Hawks.

Muhammad, an Atlanta native and former Georgia Tech standout, was added to Atlanta’s training camp roster on Oct. 1. A member of the Yellow Jackets from 2001-05, Muhammad went overseas after college and has played professionally in Iceland, France, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, New Zealand and Venezuela.

The Hawks have 13 players under contract which means non-contract players, PG Carldell Johnson SG/SF James Anderson, SF Damion James and F Anthony Tolliver, will be fighting for the final two roster spots.

Atlanta has a lot of depth at the point guard position with Jeff Teague, Lou Williams and Devin Harris, so it’s very likely Johnson will be the next to go.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Isma'il Muhammad Keith Benson

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