8 Players the Atlanta Hawks gave up on too soon

DeMarre Carroll, Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
DeMarre Carroll, Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Damion Lee, Atlanta Hawks
Damion Lee, Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Damion Lee

After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, Damion Lee found his way to the NBA through proving his value at the minor league level. Over the course of a year and a half, Lee played for the Maine Red Claws and Santa Cruz Warriors, earning the attention of the Hawks.

In March 2018, Lee signed back-to-back 10-day contracts in Atlanta before the organization decided to bring him onboard for the remainder of the season. In 15 games with the Hawks, he started 11 times while averaging 10.7 points and 1.3 steals. His shooting splits were rather unimpressive at just 40% from the floor and 25% from deep.

As a result, the Hawks let him walk and he signed with the Golden State Warriors on a two-way contract for the 2018-19 season. As it turns out, Lee was the classic example of a player that just needed a bit more opportunity to find his rhythm and be a legitimate difference maker for an NBA team.

Over the next four seasons with the Warriors, Lee became a much more consistent shooter, averaging 39% from beyond the three-point arc two times. He contributed to two trips to the NBA Finals and one championship for Golden State.

It is no secret that playing alongside an all-time great like Steph Curry will raise any role player’s game, but Damion Lee’s success can not simply be chalked up to playing for the Warriors. There is zero reason to believe he would have flopped in Atlanta if the Hawks had given him more of an opportunity.