Atlanta Hawks rookie sends strong message after signing ‘multi-year’ contract

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

The Atlanta Hawks have signed second-round pick Tyrese Martin to a multi-year contract. The terms are not yet available. Drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the 51st-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Martin was traded away on draft night along with cash for the rights to Ryan Rollins. Atlanta had taken Rollins 44th overall.

Martin becomes the 14th member of the Hawks roster, bypassing Sharife Cooper – who some might have pegged for the third point guard role – and Chaundee Brown.

Both players contributed in some form or fashion last season.

Martin joins a wing rotation that includes Bogdan Bogdanovic, Mo Harkless, and Justin Holiday around starters De’Andre Hunter and Dejounte Murray. Murray’s minutes figure to be staggered with Trae Young leading to more open minutes at shooting guard.

Tyrese Martin gets honest on signing a multi-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks

The 6-foot-6 former UConn Husky averaged 12.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in summer league action. But his feel for the game seemed most impressive despite the Hawks going 2-2 in summer league play.

Martin scored a game-high 21 points on better than 64% shooting while grabbing six boards in a win over the Miami Heat.

He took to Twitter to send a brief, strong message about his newfound situation.

It’s just two words. But they say a lot when considering the roster obstacles that could have kept him searching for an NBA home.

The Hawks will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer league finale.

It is unclear how long Martin will play in that one, if at all, given his roster status and the ongoing health issues of AJ Griffin.

Nate McMillan has said they are just being cautious with Griffin. Having Martin, who shot just 27.3% in summer league but 43% in his final collegiate season, is a wise insurance policy for a Hawks team that traded away three of the top four three-point shooters to appear in at least 41 games during the season.

Brown shot 40% from beyond the arc in three regular-season appearances.

The next hurdle for Martin will be cracking McMillan’s rotation. McMillan has said the Hawks are beyond the development phase.

That could mean a lot of G-League action for Martin next season – even last year’s 20th-overall pick spent just 22 games on the Hawks’ bench. But it did sound like the Hawks had some plans for Griffin this season.

Martin could at least be in the mix to pick up some of that slack if his fellow rookie’s injuries linger or pop back up.

It’s probably more notable that he beat out Brown than it is for Cooper.

Cooper, the 48th-overall pick last year, saw action in just 13 games last season. He could fall victim to a logjam. The Hawks will likely divvy their point guard minutes between Murray and Holiday behind Young.

Atlanta tendered a qualifying offer to Cooper. That made him a restricted free agent after he played on a two-way contract last season.

There has been no official word on Cooper accepting the offer and another two-way contract.

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But Locked On Hawks host Brad Rowland says that is still his expectation. And the Hawks did re-sign Brown signed his two-way deal in April. All of that is secondary. How Martin is feeling about his new contract is what is most important.