Atlanta Hawks Waive Tyler Cavanaugh

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 12: Tyler Cavanaugh
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 12: Tyler Cavanaugh /

The Atlanta Hawks have waived Tyler Cavanaugh after a surprisingly successful rookie season after the big man went undrafted out of George Washington University.

As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski succinctly summarized, the loss of Cavanaugh came from a confluence of factors.

Sure, Cavanaugh did suffer from a lingering injury to his ankle throughout much of the year — only appearing in 39 games (starting in 1). When TC was on the floor, however, he was often the most hardworking player out there, constantly outworking other players on the offensive glass and mixing it up inside on defense.

He also showed solid touch from distance, ranking third on the team in three-point attempt rate at 58.6 and shooting a rock-solid 36 percent on 89 total attempts during his rookie season.

Though the Hawks were clearly at a crossroads when this decision was made, as Lloyd Pierce had not yet been named head coach of the Hawks, but it must be noted that this decision cannot be pinned on a head coach, as it was GM Travis Schlenk who made the decision to sign Cavanaugh to a two-way deal then guarantee that deal later in the season.

The decision to guarantee Cavanaugh’s contract was surely due to the fact that this Hawks team was ravaged by injuries in the frontcourt early in the season and Cavanaugh served as a stopgap during that time.

Still, it seems unfair to let a player go who worked hard on and off the floor and provided solid minutes for a team that had absolutely no expectations going into the year.

Clearly the Hawks franchise is looking to go in a different direction, as the hiring of Pierce and the dismissal of Cavanaugh entails.

The team wants to focus on high-upside, younger players in the Draft, and the team hired a coach who is comfortable working with those players.

Next: 4 Possible NBA Draft Steals for Hawks

Let’s hope Cavanaugh finds a place on a team this offseason, as he showed a viable NBA skill set with the Hawks this season. A skilled big man who can shoot is always in demand, so let’s hope a team gives Cavanaugh a shot.

Even if he doesn’t get a shot, we’ll always have this awesome video of TC to remember him by: