October 11, 2012 in Professional
Both players appeared in one preseason game (last night’s contest at San Antonio), as Benson finished with 10 points and two rebounds in 10 minutes (5-8 FGs), and Muhammad recorded one point and two assists (1-2 FTs) in 12 minutes of action.
Benson’s strong preseason performance in his first game, along with his strong Summer League, have solidified him as a professional player. The Hawks may have actually done him a favor by cutting him early rather than waiting. He was a longshot to make that roster when you consider what’s in front of him — All-Stars Josh Smith and Al Horford as well as guaranteed contracts to Ivan Johnson, Zaza Pachulia and Johan Petro as well as NBA veteran Anthony Tolliver in camp. Keeping Benson would’ve meant the Hawks either had to carry six or seven big men (depending on what they do with Tolliver), something that is rare with only 15 roster spots, or they would’ve had to eat a guaranteed contract to one of those players in order to keep Benson, and that’s something that is even more rare. Releasing him early allows Benson an opportunity to either catch on with another team in camp or find a deal overseas if he wants to pursue that route.