It was an easy drive. Just two hours from Birmingham, Alabama to Atlanta. No plane ticket needed.
Josh Magette was glad to make the trip.
The Hawks announced the signing of Magette (pronounced Mah-jet) to a training camp roster on Monday. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the signing Sunday night. The Hawks are again at 20 players and now have some depth at point guard. The team loaded its roster with big men but were in need of perimeter players with Dennis Schroder nursing a sore ankle and Jarrett Jack being brought along slowly from a torn ACL.
The 26-year-old Magette went undrafted out of Division II University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2012. The 6-foot-1, 160-pounder has spent the past four seasons playing in Europe in the Netherlands (Landstede) and Greece (Koroivos) and for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League. During the 2013-14 D-League season, Magette averaged 10.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.9 steals in 52 games. Last season he averaged 11.5 points, 9.1 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals in 45 games.
Magette played for the Nets in the Las Vegas Summer League this year under new coach Kenny Atkinson, a former Hawks assistant, who runs a similar system.
“I’m very excited,” Magette said Monday after going through his first practice. “I went from sitting at home waiting for something to happen to being in a car driving to Atlanta and practicing less than 24 hours later. I’m grateful for the opportunity and hope to make the most of it.”
Magette said he was planning to return to the D-League with the D-Fenders before the opportunity with the Hawks came up at the last minute. That will likely be the plan again with a long-shot attempt to make the Hawks roster. Although he has other offers overseas, Magette said he prefers to stay in the D-League and remain on the radars of NBA teams.
“Now, I’m going to ride this out and see what happens,” Magette said.
Magette will wear No. 7.