Brandon Goodwin’s back home and living out his NBA dreams

Brandon Goodwin plays for his hometown team, the Atlanta Hawks, where just a few short years ago, he starred at Norcross High School and won Georgia 6A Player of the Year. 

Goodwin averaged 6.1 pts, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in his 2nd season in the NBA. 

“Playing in your hometown is a dream, and for me, it was to take advantage of the opportunity now,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin’s journey in Atlanta started as a two-way player for the College Park Skyhawks and Atlanta and was called up against the Golden State Warriors in December but got limited action. He continued to impress his coaches and signed a multiyear deal with the Atlanta Hawks that gave a nice security blanket for his NBA career going forward. Goodwin knows nothing is given out and prides himself on playing hard for his teammates. 

Goodwin does not put up gaudy stats or numbers, but his heart and leadership off the bench are critical for the Hawks moving forward. Last year, Goodwin stepped in and provided a nice spark to back up Trae Young. He even recorded a career-high 21 points against the Boston Celtics in February while Young was out. 

“I think those games just gave me a lot of confidence moving forward,” Goodwin said. “Knowing I can have that poise to be a leader for the team behind Trae.”

With a team’s sights set on the playoffs, timely and productive bench play is imperative when the starters go out. As seen throughout the NBA, the bench sometimes has to carry the team’s load in a long, 82-game season with back-to-backs in play. A team’s best players have to contribute to the team most to benefit. 

“I am willing to do whatever it takes, either scoring the ball or getting stops on defense,” Goodwin said. 

Goodwin has shown flashes of his ability to hit perimeter shots and slash to the rim for easy buckets. He even provides an excellent complement to Young when they are both on the floor, even when the lineup is undersized. Atlanta’s best scorer off the bench was Jeff Teague, who averaged 10.9 a game. Goodwin has more upside going forward, at only 25 years old. 

The chip on Goodwin’s shoulder gives him another dynamic. 

He went undrafted after solid seasons with the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. 

But, in September 2018, the Memphis Grizzlies signed Goodwin before assigning him to their G-League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle. 

A month later, they waived him, and he later signed with the Denver Nuggets but was assigned to the Iowa Wolves in the G-League. With Denver, Goodwin appeared in 14 NBA games during his two-way contract.

But his big break came last August when the Atlanta Hawks signed him to another two-way contract. Six months later, he reached the pinnacle of professional basketball, and the kid from Norcross had his contract converted into a full NBA deal with guaranteed money. 

Opportunities don’t always come in the NBA, and Goodwin knows that “any opportunity given, I have to take advantage of it.”

Goodwin knows his role well and only wants to contribute to the team. To win in the NBA, egos must move aside as the 12-man roster each night comes together for a common goal. He embodies that well, and most importantly, this young player is hungry for an opportunity to continue to prove himself. The Hawks will give him plenty of such opportunities.