Start, Bench, Cut: Sorting through the Hawks’ power forward options

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks, Saddiq Bey
Atlanta Hawks, Saddiq Bey. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

Cut: Saddiq Bey

To be clear, this is only a suggestion to keep Bey out of the starting power forward spot. He should certainly be a big part of the Hawks’ plans given the way he played after being acquired at the trade deadline.

Bey, 24, averaged 11.0 points while canning 40% of his threes in 25 appearances for the Hawks last season.

They boasted a plus-18.8 net rating with him in the 4 spot.

He only logged 284 possessions there, though, far from enough of a sample size to draw any sort of conclusion. We do know that Bey is the best floor spacer out of the three and, as such, he should be on the floor, particularly with two guards who want to get into the lane in Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

But Bey at power forward could create all of the rebounding concerns that Hunter would in a smaller frame.

Going up against bigger matchups more often could also adversely affect Bey’s efficiency.

Bey is going into the final year of his contract this season. While the Hawks didn’t exactly break the bank to acquire him, they almost certainly want to get a better idea of just what he can be for them long-term before making that commitment.

They were also very good with him at small forward so it is not as if they would be hurting themselves. And, in the current NBA, positions are largely fungible on a play-to-play basis as switching and matchup-seeking are prevalent in almost every game. Basically, the key for the Hawks is simply starting Bey and Hunter at the forward spots.