With plenty of cap space available, the Atlanta Hawks were expected to make big moves via free agency. Instead, they went a completely different direction by adding Thabo Sefolosha to the mix.
Free agent guard Thabo Sefolosha has reached agreement on a three-year, $12 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks, league source tells RealGM.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 3, 2014
Considering their cap situation, the Hawks were expected to be big players in the free agency market with upper-echolon talents like Pau Gasol, Lance Stephenson and Luol Deng available. By putting a deal together with Sefolosha, they’ve already burned $4 million of that cap space, reducing their power to bid against the other big spenders around the league.
Sefolosha is coming off a disappointing season with the Thunder during which he struggled to live up to his billing as a defensive nightmare. On top of his on-court missteps, he also missed 21 games due to injury and lost significant minutes to Jeremy Lamb.
The Hawks definitely need some help at shooting guard, but Sefolosha certainly isn’t the solve-all. The current starter is Kyle Korver, a three-point specialist who is a serious sore thumb on the defensive end. John Salmons is the second option, but his age and lack of athleticism limit his effectiveness.
Sefolosha will be an upgrade from a defensive standpoint, but offers little on offense outside of the occasional three. If Korver and he could meld into one player, they’d be an excellent starter, but that’s obviously not an option.
Atlanta went out on a limb to sign Sefolosha, and won’t be happy with the results.