Former Atlanta Hawks guard clears waivers, free to sign with any team

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Former Atlanta Hawks guard Sharife Cooper has officially cleared waivers, reports HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. The Hawks waived Cooper on July 25 just three days after the former second-round pick signed his qualifying two-way offer. He is now free to sign with whatever team he wishes and that will have him.

That part has been what’s complicated for Cooper, especially at this point of the season with many rosters featuring solid point guard depth.

Among other limitations, Cooper is strictly a point guard.

But that does not mean that he won’t have suitors willing to take a chance on the 21-year-old who played grew up and played his high school ball in Georgia. He will now look to continue his journey elsewhere.

Which teams make sense for former Atlanta Hawks G Sharife Cooper?

Cooper’s lack of ideal NBA size is compounded by his ineffective jumper. The former Auburn Tiger shot 18.9% from the floor and from three during this year’s summer league while also shooting just 66.7% from the free-throw line. He did average 4.2 assists to 2.6 turnovers but his decision-making left a lot to be desired.

Assistant coach Nick Van Exel said that he did not believe that Cooper was quite “there yet” at this stage of his development.

To his credit, Cooper did acknowledge the things he needed to work on.

He averaged 17.1 points with 6.9 assists to 3.6 turnovers while spending most of his rookie season in the G-League. He did manage to shoot over 36% from beyond the arc with the College Park Skyhawks. But he still shot just 43.1% from the floor.

The Hawks also added a pair of point guards in Dejounte Murray and Aaron Holiday leaving little scraps for Cooper with the big club.

CHGO_Bulls’ Will Gotlieb shared the news of Cooper’s release on Twitter and suggested that he would like to see Cooper in Chicago. Whether Cooper lands in the Windy City remains to be seen. The frugal Bulls could use the potential at least in the G-League.

It is not a matter of talent for Cooper. The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz recalled the excitement around Cooper being drafted to the Hawks with the 48th-overall pick. He also pointed out, it has not clicked for Cooper yet who now finds himself like so many others every season: looking for work.

11 other teams currently have an open two-way slot.

Next. Hawks rookie destined for heavy minutes in the G-League. dark

His age and potential should help him land a home soon enough. Perhaps this will be the impetus for a major turnaround to a career that has gotten off-track before it ever really got going.