Atlanta Hawks: 7 Best Guards to Prioritize in Free Agency

Klay Thompson Danny Green Atlanta Hawks (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Klay Thompson Danny Green Atlanta Hawks (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Cory Joseph Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Cory Joseph

Cory Joseph of the Indian Pacers produced a fairly solid 2018-19 campaign with the Indiana Pacers, and his role was elevated somewhat when Victor Oladipo went down with an ugly leg injury.

Joseph has long been known as a low-usage, spot-up threat on offense that plays mistake-free basketball, and that kind of player is exactly who the Atlanta Hawks need going forward – at least during the second year of its full rebuild.

Though Joseph’s offensive numbers aren’t the best (12th percentile in points per shot attempt and 20th percentile in effective field goal percentage per Cleaning the Glass), his defensive numbers are certainly impressive.

Joseph ranks 4th among NBA point guards in ESPN’s Real Plus/Minus metric with a 1.53. The only point guards ahead of him are Chris Paul, George Hill and Kyle Lowry. Joseph ranked ahead of noted guard defenders such as Patrick Beverley, Derrick White, Marcus Smart, Eric Bledsoe and Jrue Holiday – not bad for a player that likely won’t demand a massive salary this offseason.

Lastly, Joseph’s penchant for making the right pass at the right time can be quantified by Cleaning the Glass’s assist to usage ratio. Though Joseph’s usage is supremely low for a guard (15.9%, 12th percentile), his 1.3 assist to usage ratio is in the 86th percentile among guards – showcasing his ability to read defense and make quick decisions on offense – even if he isn’t serving as his team’s primary engine.