Justin Tillman starting on the bench is a good thing for the Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks lost their first summer league game against the Utah Jazz. Unfortunately, we did not get to see their first-round pick AJ Griffin due to a lingering injury which will hopefully not keep him out of Summer League. The good news for the Hawks rookie is that coach Nate McMillan really likes the look of what he drafted.

Still, the Hawks are here looking at various players and how they can impact a game. One of these is last season’s starting G League center for the College Park Skyhawks, Justin Tillman. the 6’8″ center has a dream to play in the NBA, which was almost realized last season when he was called up during the Covid-19 crisis but he did not play a game.

He now has the opportunity through Summer League and then through training camp to earn himself a two-way contract. The Hawks offered Sharife Cooper a two-way qualifying offer but there is still another slot available, or Cooper may be offered a full deal, meaning there is a second two-way deal.

The Atlanta Hawks could use the hustle that Justin Tillman brings.

Tillman was one of only two players on the court for the Atlanta Hawks in their first summer league game who made it into double figures in scoring, off the bench no less. Tillmans was a walking double-double in the G League last season, even leading that league in rebounding at one point.

The center is a hard-working, likable player who seems to be good in the locker room. Given the strength of his desire to make the NBA, Tillman would not waste a minute on the floor. For a team who is looking to go on a deep playoff run, this kind of desire can also have a huge impact on the veterans of the team.

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To put it simply Tillman’s heart, passion, desire, and devotion to the game could have a tremendous impact on the entire roster. Summer League is the chance to show that you can impact a team in various roles and Tillman was tremendous off the bench. This will be the role that he might get with the Hawks.