3 Hawks whose value is on the rise, 2 who are fading fast

Atlanta Hawks, Jalen Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks, Jalen Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks, Wesley Matthews
Atlanta Hawks, Wesley Matthews. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Faller: Wesley Matthews

The Hawks have yet to see Wesley Matthews in action this season. And he will not see the floor versus the Magic, either, remaining on the injury report with what the team is calling a “mild calf strain”. He will be joined by rookies Kobe Bufkin and Mouhamed Gueye as spectators for the contest.

But they were not expected to be contributors, not to the extent that Matthews was. Even if that role wasn’t going to be significant – fellow veteran Patty Mills has yet to see the floor too, for example – Matthews was going to provide some floor spacing and perimeter defense.

Not only are the Hawks struggling with the former, but they are also allowing opponents to shoot 36% from deep on 37.7 attempts per game, ranking 20th and 24th respectively.

He is also a 37.6% career three-point shooter, though he has struggled in recent years.

Matthews is still able to serve as a sage for the team. And he has been seen fulfilling that role several times throughout the early going, providing teammates with his insight from the sidelines. But the Hawks need him on the court, especially if they are not getting enough out of Griffin.

Again, given how little Mills has played so far, and how late Matthews arrived in free agency, perhaps this was always going to be his role. The Hawks are getting solid contributions from the players they have available. But they don’t want to overtax some of those key pieces, like Bogdan Bogdanovic, either.