Atlanta Hawks Hold Minicamp Before Lockout

Before the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on Thursday, the Atlanta Hawks are holding a three-day minicamp for undrafted players and free agents to showcase their talents and potentially make the team. From the AJC:

“The Hawks are squeezing in a three-day minicamp for draft pick Keith Benson plus 17 free agents who weren’t under NBA contract at the end of last season. There’s a real sense of something at stake for the players, too, since the this team has up to eight open roster spots next season. ‘They are just showcasing their talents and trying to make a ball club,’ Hawks coach Larry Drew said after the morning session on Monday. ‘I told them this is a great opportunity.’ The sessions could be the only chance for Atlanta to evaluate players in a group setting before training camp. There’s been little reported progress on a new CBA. Without a deal, owners are expected to lock out players, putting a halt to league business. Normally the Hawks would put together a summer league entry that includes players from this minicamp and also their young players under contract. But the NBA already canceled the summer leagues, which are the usual venues for teams to scout for cheap talent and evaluate their draft picks. The players in Atlanta’s camp have six practices over three days to make an impression. ‘I’ve been watching a lot of and now that we have them in, it gives me a chance to get a good feel for them,” Drew said. “We have some good talent here. There are a lot of guys that didn’t get drafted that certainly could have been drafted.’ Three guards in Atlanta’s camp were standout college seniors ranked among the top 50 prospects by before the draft last week: Ohio State’sDavid Lighty (No. 35), Pittsburgh’s Brad Wanamaker (No. 41) and Illinois’ Demetri McCamey (No. 50). All three players earned reputations for solid defense in college. Atlanta’s designated wing defender last season,Damien Wilkins, is set to become a free agent and Drew said the Hawks haven’t decided if they would try to re-sign him.”