Atlanta Hawks guard Sharife Cooper named one to watch.

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

The Atlanta Hawks open up their Summer League campaign against the Utah Jazz and they have a tremendously exciting team named. One of the leaders of this team is Sharife Cooper, who Xavier White of named as one of his 15 players to watch during this year’s Summer League.

Cooper played less than 40 NBA minutes last season and was therefore unable to showcase his talents at this level. The problem for Cooper and the Hawks is that Cat Barber had a breakout season and Cooper was a player caught between two teams and not having a set role on either team.

The sophomore guard was really good in last year’s Summer league when he was unlucky to miss out on being named to the All-Summer League team. However, he will not have Jalen Johnson alongside him as the 20-year-old forward had a non-surgical procedure which has kept him out of this Summer League.

The Atlanta Hawks will want to see true leadership from Sharife Cooper

It is obvious that the Hawks want to see more from Cooper. They extended him a two-way qualifying offer to make sure that he stays with the franchise. He was looking likely to get some decent court time this season until the Hawks traded for Dejounte Murray.

However, a good Summer League, followed by a strong training camp and preseason could see Cooper convert his two-way deal into a regular NBA deal. If not, he will want to establish himself as the premier point guard for the Skyhawks, ready to be called up as required to the varsity squad.

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Cooper has the talent and the work ethic to be a decent rotation piece in the NBA. This Summer League feels like it is going to be supercharged and it is an opportunity for Cooper to make a name for himself around the league. With luck, it will help the Hawks have a successful start to their campaign.