Atlanta Hawks Should Sign Big Man Justin Patton ASAP

Justin Patton #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers Atlanta Hawks (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Justin Patton #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers Atlanta Hawks (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A quick look at why the Atlanta Hawks should sign Justin Patton as soon as possible for the remainder of the season – and beyond.

Justin Patton, formerly of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers, was just waived by the latter in favor of Greg Monroe. Monroe, a longtime NBA veteran, will likely serve as more frontcourt help for Philadelphia as they look to make some noise in the postseason.

Of course, the 76ers might be better suited getting some semblance of depth in the backcourt, as they got gashed once again by Trae Young – giving the Atlanta Hawks a 3-1 season series win over the 76ers this year.

Still, perhaps the Sixers might want Monroe for his recent experience playing with the Celtics, Bucks and Raptors over the past year and a half. As Philly looks to garner any edge it can against its future playoff opponents, Monroe would be a mole of sorts for Philly.

Either way, with Patton on the open market ahead of schedule, the Atlanta Hawks should prioritize signing him for the rest of the season or even into next year. Though Deyonta Davis has played quite well on his second of two 10-Day contracts, Patton seemingly has more upside – despite being let go by two consecutive teams now.

What the Atlanta Hawks need more than anything going forward is a true rim-protector at the center position. Though a brilliant finisher around the basket, John Collins is not the long-term option at center except in small-ball scenarios. He has been better on defense of late, but Patton stands 7 feet tall with a 7-foot-3 wingspan and plenty of defensive upside to explore.

Though he has played sparingly in the NBA, Patton flashed tremendous defensive skills in his lone college season at Creighton. His agility and nimbleness on the defensive end, as well as his ability get out in transition after blocks, steals and rebounds, would be a huge boon for this young Atlanta Hawks team.

Patton is also slightly younger than Davis (turns 22 in June, Davis turns 23 in December) and was actually born in Georgia, so it would be a homecoming of sorts.

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The Hawks desperately need a true center, so why not give Patton a chance for the final 3 games of the season? There is little to play for other than bolstering Trae Young’s Rookie of the Year case, so why not?