The Atlanta Hawks waived Chaundee Brown on September 11. Just a day later they had found his replacement in Jarrett Culver. Brown was an undrafted free agent out of Michigan that drew a pair of starts for the COVID-ravaged Hawks last season. He thanked the organization for the opportunity.
Atlanta quickly moved to fill his vacated two-way slot.
They went a different route this time, tapping Jarrett Culver, a former sixth-overall pick looking to reignite his career.
There is still a long way to go for that to happen but being with the College Park Skyhawks is a good place to start. Knock on wood but the Hawks have dealt with a fair number of injuries over the last two years.
New Atlanta Hawks wing gets strong vote of confidence
Culver, the sixth-overall pick in 2019, is still only 23 years old. He averaged 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds as a rookie for the Timberwolves. But he has never been able to deliver on the promise he showed coming out of Texas Tech. This past season he was traded from Minnesota to the Memphis Grizzlies.
How does the 6-foot-6 defensive specialist fit into the Hawks’ plans?
As a two-way contract, he will go through camp with the team. That can create an opportunity to impress the coaching staff and the Hawks have one roster spot available which could remain open as they try to duck the luxury tax for the time being.
Still, we are a long way from that and Culver was “in danger of being out of the league” writes CBS Sports.
The best thing Culver can do is be a great teammate.
His three-ball is very shakey – a career 28.3% shooter from three – but he can still defend. With the Hawks’ 2022 first-round pick AJ Griffin, the inverse is true. It would be great for the Hawks and the players if they were able to help or even complement each other.
Barring some unforeseen trade, the current roster is likely the one that they take into the season.
Culver is not like most players taking this route given his draft pedigree.
That doesn’t mean taking a flier on a player such as Culver in the off-chance that it finally click is a bad idea. Despite his rapid fall, Culver was still a highly-touted prospect at one point. And teams are never shy about giving young players chances when they don’t have to commit.
At this point, Culver is like a lottery ticket. If he hit, great. Everyone knows the odds are long but the payout is worth it.