The Atlanta Hawks have made some solid additions to their roster this off-season. Not only did they acquire young talent in the 2013 NBA Draft in Dennis Schroeder, Lucas Nogueira and Mike Muscala, though Muscala and Nogueira will likely play overseas next year, but they also signed several free-agent big men and inked Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll to deals.
On Saturday, the Carroll signing was finally made official by the Hawks. However, in order to make room on their roster and retain some room with their salary cap situation, Atlanta was forced to waive veteran guard/forward DeShawn Stevenson, per NBA.com.
With the Utah Jazz last year, Carroll appeared in 66 games and averaged six points, 2.8 boards, 0.9 assists and 0.9 steals in just 16.8 minutes per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, but only 28.6 percent from beyond-the-arc. In comparison, Stevenson played in 56 games for Atlanta and averaged only 5.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.5 steals in 20.7 minutes per game while shooting a paltry 37.4 percent from the field, but shooting 36.4 percent from three.
With this move, it definitely feels like the Hawks are making an upgrade. Carroll is more of a true small forward who brings more to the table. Stevenson carved out a niche in the league as an above-average wing defender, but those skills showed serious deterioration last season. Carroll isn’t on the level defensively that Stevenson used to be, but he’s a more efficient offensive player and his larger frame allows him to be more effective on the boards.
Stevenson’s days as an effective player, with the Hawks at least, seem to be over. However, they now have Carroll in-house, which should be an upgrade to their bench. It may not be a wildly attractive move, but it will help the Hawks improve a bit.