AJ Griffin has the chance to change the Atlanta Hawks rotations

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks have made a slightly surprising move with the 16th pick in the 2022 NBA draft. Instead of going with a high-energy prospect Tari Eason, they also did not select the versatile guard TyTy Washington. Instead, they picked the shooting forward AJ Griffin.

Griffin is the son of former NBA player Adrian Griffin who is currently an assistant coach at the Toronto Raptors. Griffin senior played 477 games spanning nine seasons for five different franchises. While his averages were nothing to write home about, Griffin had an exceptionally high IQ, which he is not using while coaching.

This means that the young Griffin has grown up around NBA basketball and this is an invaluable level of experience for a rookie to have. In his one season for Duke, Griffin averaged 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 24.0 minutes per game.

Why is it that AJ Griffin has the chance to change the Atlanta Hawks rotations

While it is going to take a complete organizational rethink to get Griffin into the rotation, he is one of the hardest-working players in the 2022 NBA draft. This means that when he hits the Hawks training camp he is going to impress the Hawks coaching staff with his effort.

On top of that, Griffin knew which shots to take and when to take them. He shot the ball at 54.7 percent from the floor, 44.7 percent from the field, and 79.2 percent from the free-throw line. Don’t be fooled by his relatively low averages, Griffin played on a stacked Duke team that had five players taken in the 2022 NBA draft.

It is his efficiency that could see him break into the Hawks rotations relatively early on. Young works best when he has space to move in. With a knock-down shooter like Griffin in the lineup, there should be a whole lot more room for him to cause havoc.

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Griffin will have to prove himself over and over again, firstly in summer league, then in training camp, and then in the preseason. If he can get a decent amount of playing time at the start of the season, then he has a chance of being a factor in helping the Hawks make the playoffs.