The Hawks have signed former Sixers draft-and-stash prospect Arsalan Kazemi, the team announced (hat tip to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Vivlamore reported late Monday that the sides were working toward a deal after Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed the Sixers had relinquished his rights so he could try out for the Hawks. The 25-year-old power forward goes into the roster spot vacated when Atlanta waived Jason Richardson, who’s retiring, bringing Atlanta to the 20-man preseason roster limit.
Kazemi, a native of Iran, played last season for ChongQing AoLong of China in his second year as a pro after he became the 54th overall pick of the 2013 draft. He spent most of his college career at Rice before transferring to Oregon for his senior season, one in which averaged 9.4 points and 10.0 rebounds in 29.0 minutes per game. The 6’8″ Kazemi again showed a knack for rebounding for the Sixers summer league team in July, notching 3.2 PPG and 7.6 RPG in 27.4 MPG, though it would be a stretch to say he looked particularly strong against a level of competition much weaker than he’ll see in standard NBA action.
He’s with the Hawks for the start of camp today, Vivlamore notes (Twitter link), though he’ll face a stiff challenge to remain with the team beyond the next month. Atlanta has 13 fully guaranteed contracts, and Vivlamore has referred to Mike Muscala, who possesses a partially guaranteed deal, as a “lock” to make the regular season roster. That means Kazemi would have to overcome Lamar Patterson, Terran Petteway, Earl Barron, DeQuan Jones and Edgar Sosa to win a spot on the regular season roster, assuming the Hawks even carry a 15th man on opening night.