A few weeks ago, this summer looked somewhat promising for the Atlanta Hawks. Developments within the past 48 hours, however, could begin to dismantle any of the plans Atlanta had for this offseason.
The original goal was to go hard after Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul in hopes that they could then attract Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard to join him. With all of the talk lately of a trade going down between the Boston Celtics and the Clippers, though, these potential signings look more bleak by the minute.
This particular deal would send Kevin Garnett to the Clippers with Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers following right behind. In return, the Celtics would acquire DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler and draft pick(s). The part of the deal that could ultimately hold this up is the unwillingness of Los Angeles to give up Eric Bledsoe as a part of the deal.
So, what does this mean for the Hawks? Wouldn’t Howard still be in play? Well, there are plenty of other interested teams out there and some have even gone out on a limb to express how confident they are in the ability to sign him.
According to other sources close to the scenario, both Los Angeles teams could wind up swapping Blake Griffin and Howard as well; thus allowing Howard and Paul to play together as many had suspected.
Without Howard and Paul in play this offseason, the Hawks could ultimately be left empty-handed. As their superstar forward Josh Smith is about to hit the market, many predict he has already been long gone and has no chance of winding up back in Atlanta.
Of course, all of this has yet to come to fruition. But, if it indeed happens the Hawks are going to have to revert to any backup plans for free agency. Might that be Andre Iguodala or Andrew Bynum? That’s not exactly comparable to Paul and Howard, but the Hawks are going to need to get something done.
This offseason Atlanta will have a ton of cap room to work with. The last thing they want to do is end up without any star players heading into next season.