The word “selfish” often was used after postgame losses by various players — something that was rarely said in the previous two playoff seasons — and though Neal’s name was never used publicly that’s who was the primary target. That term also was used by some on the coaching staff.
Some of his teammates, including Jared Dudley, publicly refuted the report, but that definitely didn’t help his status during free agency.
His damaged reputation coupled with the injury made him untouchable this past summer.
Neal recently signed to play in the NBA Developmental League with the Texas Legends. In three games, the 32-year-old averaged over 15 points per game.
The Hawks traded Mo Williams to the Nuggets for the draft rights to Cenk Akyol on Wednesday. The move opened a roster spot which the Hawks used to sign guard Gary Neal to a 10-day contract.
Ironically, the Washington Wizards could use some of Neal’s production off the bench.
Washington’s bench is last in scoring and field goal percentage. Scott Brooks has shuffled the rotations, playing Marcus Thornton (who the Wizards signed after waiving Neal) ahead of the rookies early in the season.