Atlanta Hawks Prospect Watch: Isaia Cordinier in December

Feb 3, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Then Atlanta Hawks logo on a pant during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The Atlanta Hawks won 124-86.Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 3, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Then Atlanta Hawks logo on a pant during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The Atlanta Hawks won 124-86.Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Our monthly prospect watches continue here at SDS with another check-up on the Atlanta Hawks’ prospect, Isaia Cordinier. Let’s see how 2016 has ended for the French swingman. 

Isaia Cordinier was a second-round pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2016 NBA Draft. He came into the NBA Summer League with a reputation as a good athlete and slasher, with a strong work ethic and decent range. As happens with many players out of Europe, though, Cordinier went back across the Atlantic to play in France this season, with his opportunities with the Hawks likely to be limited.

With the Antibes Sharks, Cordinier started strong in October. The French top league, the LNB Pro A, was a step up for him, especially after a summer disrupted by injury, but he did not seem overwhelmed. The first time we checked in, the French swingman had averages of 5 points, 1 rebound, 1.25 assists, and 1.25 steals per game. His efficiency was startling, shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from behind the arc. That was only after six games, though.

After November, things were very different, and his stats and efficiency had both fallen from his bright start. His awesome three-point percentage dropped a startling amount to 37.5 percent and his field goal percentage was an unimpressive 34.3 percent. We established that Cordinier was not a primary scorer for the Antibes Sharks, to excuse his relatively low stats for his minutes.

Still, his energy and his fit with Atlanta seemed promising, but how has he done since?

Per Game Averages as of 12/01: 4.5 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals.

Percentages as of 12/01: 34.3 FG%, 37.5 3P%, 50 FT%.

Current Per Game Averages: 3.3 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals.

Current Percentages: 27.9 FG%, 31.6 3P%, 56.2 FT%.

Now, I don’t like to criticize too much, but it is hard not to here. It definitely does seem now that the LNB Pro A, France’s top league, might be too much for Isaia Cordinier. His 27.9 percent shooting from the field is atrocious. Not bad. Atrocious. His three-point touch has abandoned him, and his 3.3 points per game in 18 minutes is completely unimpressive.

Related Story: Top Individual Performances Of 2016

Cordinier’s scoring, inside and out, is bad at the moment. And his passing is not a strength anymore. His assist numbers have dropped to 1.2 per game, while he turns the ball over 1.9 times per game.

He is struggling. Badly. Inefficiency is plaguing him any time he’s on the offensive end, and that is alarming. The Hawks management will be watching, and I doubt they’ll be impressed. The Antibes Sharks certainly aren’t.

(Tweet translates to: We’ll go into the last quarter and Cordinier is still not entered in game for Antibes #ProA)

With nearly three fouls per game, Cordinier has retained his endless energy and work-rate. He is still finding it difficult to control that energy, it seems, but good energy on the defensive end is promising, while the rest of his game falters.

As I said last time, though, development is rarely a simple thing, and while Cordinier struggles, it is harder for him to pull himself out of that slump. He still shoots fewer than four times per game and he has only started six of his 12 games, most of which came early in the season.

With that minimal usage, Cordinier is going to struggle to improve those offensive numbers, but that is part of playing in a better league, with better players.

If he wants to get to the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, or with anyone else, then he needs to master the challenge.

So, how is Isaia Cordinier doing in France? Well, he is struggling. His offense is as cold as the Arctic and he has no rhythm right now. It is only 12 games in, but his slump is genuinely worrying because a  27.9 percent clip from the field is dreadful.

Still, there is time for him to find his way. There is time to improve his shot and he has still shown some promise in terms of energetic defense and play-making from the shooting guard position. And still, fans want him in the LNB Pro A dunk competition, so his athleticism remains.

It is certainly not time to give up on Cordinier. He has potential. Bags of it. He just needs time and the Hawks should be patient. But still, the 2016-17 season for the French swingman has been a struggle after a promising start.

Next: Player Power Rankings From 2016

The Atlanta scouts will be watching and Cordinier needs to improve.