The Atlanta Hawks have seen their roster undergo some pretty dramatic changes over the 2013 NBA off-season. Not only have they added guys like Paul Millsap, Gustavo Ayon, their slew of solid rookies and several others, but they have also seen the departure of, most notably Josh Smith, as well as a few others.
However, one of the young players on their roster that could be due for a breakout season is second-year shooting guard John Jenkins. With Lou Williams likely to start the season still on the sidelines recovering from a torn ACL, that could open up the door for Jenkins to see some serious playing time early in the season and, if he performs well, as Williams’ backup.
In his rookie season last year, Jenkins played in 61 games and averaged a solid 6.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 14.8 minutes per game. He also put up respectable efficiency numbers, hitting on 44.6 percent of his shots and 38.4 percent of his shot from beyond-the-arc.
The most notable thing about Jenkins in his rookie season was his ability to score. Not only does he have a solid jump shot with good range, but he also has solid attacking ability off of the dribble. Though he doesn’t offer much else when he’s on the floor, his scoring ability definitely leaves him a place in this Hawks’ rotation.
Some people stated to worry about Jenkins’ prospects, though, after he played somewhat poorly at the Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged a solid 18 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, but he shot just 37.6 percent from the field and 28.9 percent from long-range. However, Jenkins took 85 shots over the week, which indicates that he was pressing on the offensive end, a problem that won’t really arise in the regular season.
Jenkins should have the opportunity to prove himself at the start of next season at least. If he’s able to come in and continue to show off his scoring ability within the flow of the Hawks’ offense, it’s not hard to imagine him earning a bunch of money in the future or being a part of the Hawks moving forward.