Why Atlanta Hawks rookie AJ Griffin will dominate Summer League

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks open up their Summer League campaign against the Utah Jazz in Las Vegas. While Sharife Cooper has been named as one of the top players to watch in the tournament, there is another player who is looking to announce to 12 NBA teams that they made a mistake not drafting him.

Well, to be fair he was probably never going to be the No. 1 pick but AJ Griffin was slated to go as high as top-5. The fact that he slipped down to the middle of the first round could and should be a motivational factor for the rookie wing.

Yes, he certainly is not the fully polished package that he is going to be, that goes without saying. Remember Trae Young‘s first Summer League performance? He was very poor, shooting 1-of-11 from beyond the 3-point line and 4-of-20 overall. However, it is unlikely that Griffin will shoot that poorly but it shows how far you can go.

Atlanta Hawks wing AJ Griffin will play like he has a chip on his shoulder.

Griffin has shown that he knows how to play within a system. Part of the reason that he dropped so low was that he did not average the numbers that some of the others above him did. This was because he was playing his role within the Duke system, a college heavily represented in this year’s draft.

However, there are other issues, be it the potential defensive lapses or the lack of shot creation for himself. As mentioned earlier, no player is going to be the finished product at this point in their career and Griffin is going to be one of the focal points of the Hawks team in Las Vegas.

Next. The Atlanta Hawks officially sign AJ Griffin. dark

The Hawks are also looking to see if Griffin is going to have the talent to break into their regular-season rotations. This means that instead of just spacing the floor, the Hawks are going to want to see what he is capable of at the next level. This, combined with a chip on his shoulder thanks to where he was drafted will see Griffin dominate the Las Vegas season-opening tournament.