It’s October, which means it’s time for an annual NBA tradition: former college stars getting cut as final rosters start to form.
On Tuesday night, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the Atlanta Hawks cut Ryan Kelly, the ex-Duke Blue Devil who got a good chunk of playing time for the Lakers the past few years.
In his first two seasons with the Lakers, the 25 year old showed he could be a reasonable facsimile of a stretch-four, hitting over 33% of his attempts before cratering in a very small sample last year (5/37).
With Los Angeles actually fielding something resembling a legitimate NBA team this season (having added Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov), Kelly moved on to Atlanta, but it was not to be, even with Paul Millsap’s recent knee procedure and Tiago Splitter’s unfortunate inability to stay on the court.
Kelly’s lack of upside and unfamiliarity with the team means he was always facing tough sledding to nab a roster spot over the likes of returnees Kris Humphries, Mike Muscala and Mike Scott, proven by the fact that he was dropped before the final pruning of the roster (Vivlamore notes the Hawks still have 18 players)
If Kelly can’t catch on with another team, one wonders if the D-League might be more appealing to him than going overseas, considering he and his wife (Bill Cowher’s daughter) have a son who was born just last year.