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Walter Tavares to stay in Spain this season, not play for Atlanta Hawks

Walter Tavares, the 43rd pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, will mostly likely stay overseas in Spain this season and not play for the Hawks, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Edy Tavares will “very likely” return to Spain for another ACB League season, according to a person familiar with situation.

The Hawks’ second-round draft pick (No. 43 overall) will play under season for Gran Canaria to continue his development. The 7-foot-3, 260-pound Tavares averaged 6.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 20.7 minutes last season in Spain.

This makes perfect sense to me. Known as “Edy,” Tavares has only been playing basketball for about four seasons now. His basketball education is still an ongoing process, and the Hawks may not have time or a roster spot for that next season as they try to compete for a playoff spot in the wide-open Eastern Conference. Remember, before Al Horford went down the Hawks were the third-best team in the East. It’s very possible that they could do that again with a healthy roster.

Plus, Tavares is pretty clearly not ready for the NBA. He showed decent athleticism and fluidity at Summer League, as well as a strong understanding of his limitations offensively. Having said that, the rotational and instinctual understanding of the defensive end isn’t quite there yet, and that where most of his value comes at 7’3 with a 7’9 wingspan. The potential is definitely there for him to become the international rim protector the Hawks have been looking for in recent seasons with the Tavares and Lucas Nogueira picks, but the future is not quite now in this case.

By leaving him overseas, they’ll allow him to develop on someone else’s dime, and possibly have him on a cheaper deal longer into his useful potential playing career. I’m not totally sold on him ever being much more than a fourth big man, but the Hawks would probably be happy if they got that anyway.

Sam Vecenie

Sam Vecenie is the editor-in-chief of Upside & Motor, as well as an editor at Hardwood Paroxysm. He likes to spend endless hours watching random NCAA game film, and scouring the internet for international basketball. You can find his other work at SBNation's college basketball platform.

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