Jenkins signed his rookie contract with the Hawks minutes before joining Tuesday’s opening of the team’s rookie camp.
The sharp-shooting rookie made a good first impression on coach Larry Drew.
“He’s a guy we’re really looking to come in here and put the ball in the basket,” Drew said. “I mean, that’s what he does. He’s one of the best I’ve seen in quite some time as far as shooting the basketball.”
Jenkins led the Southeastern Conference in scoring two straight years at Vanderbilt.
The 6-foot-4 Jenkins can compete for substantial playing time or even a starting job at shooting guard after the Hawks traded All-Star Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets for five players and a draft pick last week. The Hawks also have traded small forward Marvin Williams to Utah for guard Devin Harris.
The trades are expected to become official today.
The Hawks’ offseason makeover may soon include the addition of free-agent guard Lou Williams.
Williams said on his @TeamLou23 Twitter feed Tuesday he is headed to Atlanta.
Williams posted “ATL... LOUWILLVILLE.. happy to be apart of a team thats similar to the Sixers.. Young, athletic, and hardworking.”
The 6-foot-1 Williams is undersized but played both guard positions with the Sixers before opting out of the final year of his contract with Philadelphia. He was runner-up to Oklahoma City’s James Harden for NBA’s sixth man of the year award after he averaged a career-best 14.9 points per game last season.
The Hawks have Jeff Teague as the returning starter at point guard. Teague, Harris and Williams provide an apparent surplus at point guard which could be an indication new Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is interested in another trade.
Ferry made a brief appearance at Tuesday’s practice but soon left, holding his cellphone to his ear.
“We’re still involved in talks,” Ferry said.
Williams played at South Gwinnett High in the Atlanta area and committed to sign with the University of Georgia before he opted to enter the 2005 NBA draft.
Williams’ agent, Leon Rose, did not immediately return messages.
Williams’ experience could allow the Hawks to slowly develop Jenkins, who was the No. 23 overall selection in the draft.
“I’m not sure what is going to happen,” Jenkins said when asked how the Johnson trade could impact his rookie season. “All I can control is what I can do every day, and that’s work hard.”
Drew said Jenkins must improve on defense.
“He is a super kid. He comes from a great program,” Drew said. “When you talk to him, you can just hear how bad he wants it. He’s a guy that really works hard.
“As I told him, I’m going to challenge him. Everybody knows he’s capable of making shots. Everybody knows when he’s on the floor, you can’t leave him. But defensively he’s got to get better and he knows that.”
The Hawks’ second-round pick, forward Mike Scott of Virginia, also participated in Monday’s first day of the rookie camp.
Two former Atlanta draft picks, guard-forward Pape Sy and forward-center Keith Benson, also are on the Hawks’ rookie team that will play a five-game summer league schedule in Las Vegas, beginning Friday.
“It gives us an opportunity to see these guys play in game-like conditions,” Drew said.
“The two guys we drafted, certainly we’re looking to overload these guys because they’re going to be guys who are going to be in training camp and on our team. We have to give them as much as we can so we can get them on the same page as fast as we can.”