After the Atlanta Hawks’ new general manager Danny Ferry managed to magically deal the otherwise immovable contract of Joe Johnson prior to the start of last season, the franchise finally has an opportunity to create a new culture in Philips Arena this summer.
Now obviously Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are the big names being linked to the Hawks, but it doesn’t change the fact there’s a bevy of talent just waiting to be claimed this offseason outside of them.
Here’s a quick look at a few of the players that could potentially be a great fit for the team moving forward:
Tyreke Evans | Sacramento Kings | Restricted free agent | 15.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.5 APG
Since landing Rookie of the Year, Evans has struggled to find his niche in Sacramento. And I’m not entirely sure that’s something we can blame on him. The Kings have been less than consistent with their rotations and Evans, a player who thrives off having the ball in his hands, has been expected to play off-the-ball more often than not.
Nevertheless, Evans is 23-years-old and oozing with untapped potential. His career highs in field goal and three-point percentage last season only attest to that. He may not be the superstar many thought he could be, but I still firmly he has the potential to be an all-star caliber player.
Monta Ellis | Milwaukee Bucks | Unrestricted free agent (player option) | 19.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, 3.9 RPG
Holy inefficiency, Batman!
Honestly though, Ellis just can’t help himself. He’s a chucker, and that’s obviously a two-headed monster. But when this guy is on, he’s on – and there’s very little a defense can do to contain him.
A lot of this boils down to what kind of money Ellis can demand when the market settles and what Milwaukee ultimately does with restricted free agent Brandon Jennings. But if the Hawks can get him for a reasonable price, he could prove to be a solid second option — at least most nights.
Paul Millsap | Utah Jazz | Unrestricted free agent | 14.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.6 APG
Ideally, I would want Al Jefferson here. But I don’t see Utah letting him go with Enes Kanter still needing time to develop. Derrick Favors, on the other hand, has been waiting in the wings for quite some time now.
Yes, at 6-foot-8, Millsap is a bit of a tweener, but his production and efficiency in his first year as a full-time starter with the Jazz this season was off the charts. He would be more than capable of filling any void left by the potential departure of Josh Smith.
Follow Joseph Nicks on twitter @josephnicks8.