Hawks Sign Small Forward DeMarre Carroll
The Hawks have signed four-year veteran DeMarre Carroll. Carroll will provide some much needed depth at the small forward position where he will be splitting time with Kyle Korver. Carroll spent last season playing for the Utah Jazz where he played in 66 games and averaged 6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, and 0.9 steals in 16.8 minutes per game.
Carroll is a more than capable offensive player, as shown by his 15.5 PER and 53.5 True Shooting percentage last season. He is most effective attacking the basket on off-ball cuts, running in transition, and scoring after offensive rebounds. In transition, Carroll was excellent last season shooting 64.6% from the field on 65 transition field goal attempts, per Synergy Sports. He will look to become a more proficient spot-up shooter this season, as he shot just 34.7% on 118 spot-up attempts last season. However, being surrounded by other shooters such as Korver, John Jenkins, Lou Williams, and others, Carroll’s spot up shooting will likely not be a prominent spot-up shooter. On offense, Carroll’s role will likely be small and he will be asked to attack the basket and bring pace and energy to the offense. The main focus for Carroll will be on the defensive end where he will look to come in and be a key defender for the Hawks on the wing.
Head coach Mike Budenholzer has stated on multiple occasions that his main focus is on creating a defensive identity for the Hawks, and Carroll will be a good defensive presence on the wing. Carroll’s size, at 6-foot-8, 212 pounds, allows him to defend bigger small forwards, and his length makes him effective closing out on shooters. Per Synergy Sports, last season Carroll held opponents to 42.2% shooting, fouled on only 7% of his official defensive possessions (any possession ending in a field goal, turnover, or free throw), while forcing turnovers on 9.1% of his official defensive possessions. Carroll is a very good pick-and-roll defender, allowing opponents to score on only 35.6% of the time as the pick-and-roll ball-handler against him, and forced a turnover on an incredible 26% of pick-and-roll possessions against him.
Adding Carroll will allow the Hawks to experiment with different lineups and back-court combinations depending on the opponent due to his defensive prowess. Prior to Carroll’s signing, Korver was the only true small forward on the roster (and he spent part of last season playing shooting guard) which would have forced Budenholzer and the coaching staff to be creative with their rotations. Carroll gives the Hawks much needed depth and will provide a defensive presence on the wing that they needed.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/NBAE/Getty Images