7 Moves Atlanta Hawks Could Make During Free Agency
NBA Free Agency: 7 Moves the Atlanta Hawks Could Make This Off-Season
The Atlanta Hawks appear to be ready to take their team in another direction. They hired a new head coach in Mike Budenholzer who has been a long-time Gregg Popovich assistant with the San Antonio Spurs. Budenholzer will lead the roster that General Manager Danny Ferry will look to rebuild. With only three players under contract for next season, the Hawks have a ton of flexibility when it comes to free agency this year. If they can get the right guys to sign, Atlanta could completely rebuild the roster in one offseason.
I think Ferry will look to build this team with a more balanced attack in mind. The Hawks have recently been a high scoring and athletic team, but they have struggled defensively and continue to get knocked out early in the playoffs. Focusing more on the defensive aspect of the game will be key for Ferry as he tries to pull a quick turn-around in Atlanta. It should be very interesting to see what pieces the Hawks can bring in.
Aside from Al Horford, Atlanta does not really have an impact player under contract. They will obviously look to resign a handful of their guys, but I think they will certainly attack the free agent market as well. I would be surprised if there was not at least one big-named free agent that signs in Atlanta this offseason.
No matter what happens, the Hawks will be a very interesting team to follow this offseason. Ferry and Budenholzer will surely look to build on to their nucleus using all of this cap space that they have. It is a very exciting time to be a Hawks fan, as the team could be built from the ground up. Here are 7 moves that I could see Atlanta making through free agency this offseason.
Sign Dwight Howard
Can the Hawks get Dwight Howard to return to his hometown of Atlanta? I think it is possible. When it comes to Howard, you never know what he will do. If Howard agrees to play in Atlanta, the Hawks will surely be looking to build their team around the all-star center. Not to mention, the Hawks will have the cap space to sign another big-time free agent to pair with Howard.
Sign Chris Paul
There have been reports that Chris Paul and Howard would like to sign with the same team. Atlanta is the only team that can afford to outright sign both players to the max contracts that they will receive. If Ferry can get both Paul and Howard to sign in Atlanta, they will become instant contenders in the East. Paul is still the best point guard in the NBA, and would be a welcome addition to each and every team in the league.
Bring Back Jeff Teague
If the Hawks can not bring in Paul, resigning Jeff Teague is not a bad back-up option. As a restricted free-agent, the Hawks can match any offer that a team makes to Teague. If they land Paul, they can let Teague walk no problem, but he is a good point guard that surely is good enough to start for a contending team.
Sign Monta Ellis
Monta Ellis is an elite scoring option that would be a great addition to the Hawks. He would be a great player either coming off of the bench as the sixth man or in the starting line-up. Ellis does have his faults as a player, but there is no doubt that he can put the ball in the hole.
Resign Josh Smith
As an unrestricted free-agent, Josh Smith is free to sign with any team in the NBA. If the Hawks miss on their top targets like Howard and Paul, I think they will make a strong effort to bring Smith back to Atlanta. Smith is an athletic player who is very versatile. He plays well on both ends of the floor and would fit in well with the new system.
Resign Kyle Korver
Kyle Korver is one of the best three-point shooters in the game. While his shooting is the best skill he possesses, I think Korver is a more complete player then he gets credit for. He is a very tough defender and good rebounder for a guard. As long as his contract is affordable, Korver would be a nice piece for the Hawks to bring back.
Sign O.J. Mayo
O.J. Mayo is a versatile player who can create his own shot, whether it be from the outside or driving through the lane. Mayo is a guy that I think Atlanta will target as a pure scorer. He also is a solid defender and can handle the ball well enough to play point guard if needed. If they can land him at the right price, Mayo can be a solid contributor for the Hawks.