Rookie Donald Sloan ended up being the odd man out with Kirk Hinrich’s return from shoulder surgery.
The Hawks waived Sloan today, well in advance of the Feb. 10 deadline for all contracts to be come guaranteed. The Hawks now have 14 players on the roster and, by my accounting, releasing Sloan gets them comfortably below the luxury-tax line so they won’t need to waive anyone else for that reason. Signing a veteran free agent this season without releasing a player by Feb. 10 would push Atlanta’s payroll back above the tax line.
The Hawks opted to keep Jerry Stackhouse and Jannero Pargo, who both also are on non-guaranteed contracts. Pargo provides veteran insurance at point guard behind Jeff Teague and Hinrich, while Stackhouse has played a total of 38 minutes in seven games.
Clearly Sloan wasn’t going to earn a regular role for the Hawks this season. His salary for next season would have increased by about $280,000; under salary-cap rules, signing a veteran with three or more years experience would cost the Hawks roughly $90,000 more than a second-year player like Sloan.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat