By Chris Vivlamore
The Hawks waived DeShawn Stevenson Friday, according to a league source, in a move that clears the way for the team to announce the signing DeMarre Carroll. The forward agreed to terns with the nearly almost a month ago. The official signing of Carroll could come within the next day or two.
Carroll agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract on July 5th, the same day the team agreed to a deal with his Jazz teammate Paul Millsap. The delay in signing was for salary cap reasons as the Hawks rebuilt much of their roster this offseason. The Hawks were retaining Bird rights for several of their unrestricted free agents. However, Anthony Tolliver remains the only player that has not signed elsewhere or had his rights renounced.
Carroll, 6-foot-8, was selected in the first round (No. 27 overall) by the Grizzlies in the 2009 NBA draft out of Missouri. He averaged 6.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 66 games last season. In Carroll, the Hawks get a hard-working wing defender with size. The Hawks hope that work ethic will be contagious for the number of young players on the roster.
“He is a tough-nosed player,” Millsap told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month. “Very competitive. Every second he’s on the court he is going to give his all, diving for loose balls. He wants to guard the best offensive player. Just his grit and how he approaches the game.”
In four NBA seasons, the 27-year-old Carroll has career averages of 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.3 minutes. He figures to have an expanded role with the Hawks.
In Carroll’s first season at Missouri, after transferring from Vanderbilt, he experienced itchy legs that he was convinced was due to an allergy. However it turned out that Carroll had a liver disease that could one day require a transplant. He required medication but the issue has not slowed his on-court tenacity.