There was speculation that the Hawks’ newest pickup Cartier Martin would see some action in his first game with the team as they hosted the San Antonio Spurs in their preseason home opener Thursday night in Atlanta. But that didn’t come to fruition.
We may see Cartier Martin tonight, depending on how things go. If you missed it, here's his first interview with us: http://t.co/1YkFJ1P5zT
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 17, 2013
A few hours prior to tip-off, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported “[Hawks coach Mike] Budenholzer would not say how much newly-acquired small forward Cartier Martin would play.” They key words there were how much, leaving indication that he would likely play at some point in the game. However, coach Bud opted to play all five starters for at least 30 minutes each (the first time he has done so this preseason), and only play five subs, none of which were Martin, in what turned out to be a very close game as the Hawks rallied late but the Spurs hung on and survived 106-104.
Other training camp invites Eric Dawson and Royal Ivey did not see court time either.
The Hawks signed Martin to a “non-fully” guaranteed deal on Tuesday after waiving David Lighty, Adonis Thomas and Damien Wilkins the day before.
Martin, a 6’7″ 220-pound wing player, was brought in to compete against fellow training camp invitee James Johnson at the small forward position behind starter DeMarre Carroll. The Hawks have been using a starting unit of Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Carroll, Paul Millsap and Al Horford with second-year man Mike Scott, who played power forward in college, getting the bulk of the backup preseason minutes at the 3-spot.
Frankly, with the way Scott has been playing thus far in preseason — 11.5 points in 19 minutes per game — he should be the clear backup SF behind Carroll.
Martin and Johnson should simply be competing for third-string depth, which they probably are. Johnson has the edge in that battle as he, like Scott, has appeared in each of the four preseason games.
The Hawks’ training camp roster currently sits at 18 with only 3 preseason games left. The roster needs to be cut down to the regular-season maximum of 15 by opening night.
Martin will have a chance to showcase his skills in Atlanta’s next game when they host Memphis on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. (ET).