The Atlanta Hawks are in a tight race with the Toronto Raptors for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Just a half game separates the teams, so every little difference counts.
But it probably doesn’t matter which team gets that third spot, as long as the loser doesn’t fall to No. 5. As the third or fourth seed, the Hawks and Raptors would have a round of homecourt advantage, a matchup with a similarly productive team and an almost-certain loss to the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat in the next round.
So, while this is in no way good news for the Hawks, it’s probably not season-altering. Team release:
Atlanta Hawks guard John Jenkins underwent successful lower back surgery this morning. The surgery was performed by Dr. Hal Silcox from the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic.
Jenkins will undergo a period of rest and recovery, followed by treatment and rehabilitation, and will miss the remainder of the season.
After a promising rookie year, Jenkins never really got going this season. He played just 13 games and, as an outside-shooting specialist, shot 4-for-18 (22 percent) on 3-pointers.
Kyle Korver is the NBA’s premier 3-point specialist, and DeMarre Carroll and Louis Williams will keep occupying the remaining minutes on the wing. Atlanta had a little margin for error with its depth here.
Jenkins, the No. 23 pick in the 2012 draft, is under contract for $1,312,920 next season. The Hawks must decide on his $2,228,025 option for 2015-16 by Oct. 31 of this year. I suspect they’ll pick that up, but how he rehabs and plays in summer league will influence their decision. He’ll need a strong showing to erase the disappointment of this season and regain the momentum he had following his rookie year.