Atlanta Hawks waive Summer League standout for veteran wing

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks made a pair of corresponding moves on Friday.

They waived second-year swingman Tyrese Martin, who was coming off an impressive showing during Summer League in Las Vegas, per Grant Afseth of Sports Illustrated’s Dallas Basketball on July 20. But the roster spot vacated by the 24-yeard old swingman whose 2023-24 salary (worth $1.7 million) was set to become fully guaranteed by day’s end, won’t be open long.

Instead of sitting on the open roster spot, the Hawks will poach veteran swingman Wesley Matthews from the Milwaukee Bucks, per ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 36-year-old Matthews adds some more floor-spacing ability and is a much-needed veteran presence off the bench. Atlanta was set to roll into the regular season with Bogdan Bogdanovic (30) and Patty Mills (34) as the only reserves with more than four years of NBA experience.

Matthews averaged 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 52 appearances during the regular season for Milwaukee in 2022-23. He shot just 31.5% from beyond the arc last year and has only sunk 33.1% of his deep looks over the past three seasons and was only active in two of the Bucks’ five playoff games this past season.

He is still a 37.6% deep shooter for his career.

Matthews did shoot 50% on catch-and-shoot threes in his few playoff minutes and also adds some defensive chops off the bench, which the Hawks also lacked, capable of defending 2-through-4 (in certain instances).

He held his assignments 0.3% below their normal efficiency during the regular season (minus-1.0% in the playoffs).

That was better than all but three players from last year’s Hawks’ rotation – De’Andre Hunter, Jalen Johnson, and Onyeka Okongwu. Hunter might be the only one of those players you want consistently sticking guards on a regular basis with Johnson better suited for forwards and Okongwu centers.

Matthews — who will be suiting up for his eighth NBA franchise — should help this team.

Another path possible for Atlanta Hawks and Tyrese Martin

Martin averaged 13.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists while shooting 44.4% from the floor overall and 34.8% from three during Las Vegas Summer League. His modest numbers might belie his strong impact during the games.

All is not lost as far as Martin and the Hawks who have two players on two-way contracts in Seth Lundy and Miles Norris.

Their third has been offered to reserve guard Trent Forrest.

Forrest, 25, averaged 2.3 points, 1.7 assists, and 1.6 rebounds in 23 regular-season appearances with the Hawks last year. While they have extended the qualifying offer to him, he has yet to sign it and, as we saw last year with Sharife Cooper, those situations remain fluid until they are officially resolved.

The Hawks could envision needing to keep the 6-foot-6 Martin around rather than the 6-foot-4 Forrest, though both players would need multiple injuries to see the floor for any significant amount of time.

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This is just another reminder that the offseason is still raging on despite the buzz quieting down, notable with trade rumors still being synonymous with Atlanta.