Skylar Mays is making the most of his opportunities for the Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks called up their G League assignees Jalen Johnson, Sharife Cooper, and Skylar Mays to the varsity squad. They did this due to the Covid-19 crisis that has gripped the NBA throughout the month of December.

Unfortunately for Cooper, he had a single game with the varsity squad before he entered the league’s health and safety protocols. The Hawks also started to develop Johnson in the game against the New York Knicks which is tremendous considering that he had struggled the two games prior.

However, the player who has stepped up and taken this opportunity with both hands is Mays. The second-year man has gone from leading the G League team to starting two games for the varsity squad. While this shows the depth of the crisis, it also shows the faith that coach Nate McMillan has in his guard.

The Atlanta Hawks need to focus more on Skylar Mays’ development.

Now that the NBA has adjusted the rules for two-way players, both Cooper and Mays should spend more time with the Hawks’ main squad. This will allow coach McMillan to develop them during games, giving them a role to do and letting them learn it, which is his way.

Thanks to the Skyhawks not playing in the shortened G League season in 2020, Mays was able to work with the varsity squad for the whole season. His work ethic obviously impressed the Hawks as they offered him a second two-way deal, leaving Nathan Knight to find another home during the preseason.

With the exception of the Orlando Magic game, Mays has been good since being promoted. He started against the Philadelphia 76ers and had his first double-double with the Hawks, collecting 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and a steal in 33 minutes.

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He was a little less impressive against the Knicks, scoring 11 points but going 1-of-6 from deep. He had two assists and two steals, and his connection with Gorgui Dieng was something special. If the Hawks can develop Mays even further over the next few games then they have another viable guard option moving forward.