Rumors are circulating that the Atlanta Hawks could be interested in former Lakers forward Devin Ebanks.
According to HOOPSWORLD report Alex Kennedy, Atlanta is one of four teams eyeing Ebanks.
Before we talk about role and fit, lets take a look at Devin and what he has done in his three years as a professional.
After playing two seasons in the Big East for the West Virginia Mountaineers, Ebanks was selected 13th overall in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft by the Lakers. We didn’t get to see a lot of Devin in L.A., only playing 11.3 minutes per game in his first three seasons. It would seem his lack of minutes could be attributed to Metta World Peace’s veteran presence on the Laker roster, as well as Mike D’Antoni’s obsession with playing Earl Clark last season.
It’s not hard to see what scouts liked about Ebanks. He’s a good athlete and has great size for the small forward position at 6’9″ and 215 lbs. Devin has shown some promise in the few games that he played legit minutes. On January 12 of this past season, he logged 36 minutes against the Knicks and contributed a solid 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting with five rebounds. His most consistent playing time came at the end of the 2011-2012 season. In the Lakers final 10 games, he averaged 6.5 points and 3.0 rebounds as a rotation guy playing 22 minutes per contest.
So, what does this mean for the 2013-2014 Atlanta Hawks? From the look of the current roster, I’m not sure how many minutes would be available for a guy like Devin. He would seem to be behind Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll for the bulk of SF minutes. However, I can see what GM Danny Ferry is thinking. You can get a 23-year old, 6’9″, athletic defender for basically nothing. Ebanks is still young enough to be coached and developed, but has three years of NBA experience under his belt. This is a guy who could be useful in games against players like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Rudy Gay. New Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer could bring Ebanks off the bench in spurts to use his size, athleticism and length to defend the big time scorers that play SF in the Eastern Conference.
Ebanks is not a signing that is going to put you over the top as a title contender, but he does have a role on an NBA roster. We have seen how Ferry and Budenholzer like the long athletic small forward defenders — just take a look at their past Spurs history; guys like Bruce Bowen and Kawhi Leonard come to mind.