How Austin Daye locked up a spot with the Hawks for next season
It never hurts to have that San Antonio Spurs pedigree. And when you're trying to latch on with the Atlanta Hawks, or "Spurs East" as they were affectionately dubbed this season, that's doubly true.
Just ask Austin Daye, whose contract for next season was picked up by the Hawks toward the end of this season. But how did a player who barely saw time in the rotation and had a minimal (if any) impact on Atlanta's playoff run come to secure a deal for next season?
It starts with practice, of course, where Daye is reportedly among the Hawks' hardest workers. But according to the team's official website, it's also because Daye fits the bill for what Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer is looking for in a forward:
"The Hawks had a roster spot open following the Adreian Payne trade, and Daye fit in nicely with his ability to spread the floor. Head Coach Mike Budenholzer likes long players who can stretch defenses, and Daye certainly fits that mold."
Daye scored just 3.3 points in 9.5 points per game for Atlanta in 2014-15, and he didn't get much of a chance to showcase his floor-spacing ability, as he attempted only 14 3-pointers last season. But the Hawks clearly saw enough of Daye to use one of their 15 roster spots on him for next season. He might not get much time with everyone back and healthy, but his versatility gives the Hawks options as free agency shakes out this offseason.
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