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Atlanta Hawks Offseason Breakdown: Who’s in and Who’s Out?

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Examining Atlanta’s Offseason

The Atlanta Hawks struggled all season long, laboring to a 24-58 record, last in the Eastern Conference. After appearing in the postseason 10 straight seasons, the Hawks took a major step back, fully committing to a rebuild. Lets take a look at the Hawks current roster situation entering free agency, and who they might look to add to speed up the rebuild in their first season in the renovated arena.

Who they Have

After inking their three first round pick, and forwards Mike Muscala and Dewayne Dedmon opting-in to their deals, the Hawks are left with close to 20 million dollars in cap space. Here’s who the Hawks currently have signed to deals, not including their three picks:

Source: http://www.spotrac.com/nba/atlanta-hawks/cap/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taurean Prince and John Collins look like the only building blocks for the young Hawks. Prince really took off in his second season, averaging over 14 points per game after scoring only 5.6 points per game in his rookie year. Collins rattled rims with thunderous dunks, showing off his athleticism that made him the 19th pick in last year’s draft. With those two set in stone, the Hawks can decide who else to keep through their rebuild.

Aside from Prince and Collins, the Hawks could go a number of different ways with the rest of their roster. Dedmon and Muscala both exercised their player options to stay with the team, so those two seem to be safe for at least this next season. The Hawks have a decision to make with two of their current stars, Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore.

Dennis Schroder: The 24-year-old point guard out of Germany has been one of the few mainstays during the roster teardown. Schroder had a career year, averaging a career high 19.4 points per game. He showed tremendous ability running the high pick-and-roll, and became the Hawks go-to guy late in games. Despite his best season yet, Schroder shot a meek 44 percent from the field and just 29 percent from deep. He ranked just inside the top ten in the Eastern Conference in PER (Player Efficiency Rating) and netted a real plus minus of negative 1.79. While he is young and has room to develop, his shooting and lack of defensive prowl will hold him back from becoming a superstar for the Hawks. The Hawks are paying him 15.5 million per year, a steep price, and Schroder has voiced his displeasure with a complete rebuild. With the Hawks planning on inserting Trae Young as their primary ball-handler of the future, the team should look to shop Schroder for possibly a future first round pick.

Kent Bazemore: Since joining the starting lineup in the 2015-16 season, Bazemore has become the modern three-and-D wing; he has yet to shoot less than 40 percent from three and has a 7-0 wingspan to go along with his 6-5 frame. The Hawks should be in no rush to ship Bazemore out; he provides shooting, tough defense, and leadership to a young Hawks team. However, the Hawks have reportedly been looking to deal the 28-year-old since last summer. While Bazemore has proved to be a solid role player, he will never be the guy; that’s just not how he plays. And the Hawks paying him over 18 million dollars for two more seasons is a bit excessive. For the right price, hopefully receiving either another draft pick or young asset to build around, the Hawks could look at shipping Bazemore away.

Possible Trades

While the Hawks are not going to make any big splashes come July 1st, the team still has room to take on a bad-contract, as long as future picks are attached. Lets examine who the Hawks should think about helping out this offseason.

Philadelphia 76ers: Fresh off a conference semis appearance, the Sixers are looking to add at least one superstar free agent to a max contract. If the Sixers elect not to resign J.J. Reddick, they will still need to trade away one or two more players to make enough cap space to go after a player like LeBron James. Look no further than Jerryd Bayless, who is owed over 8.5 million next season. Bayless alone is not appealing to the Hawks, but if the Sixers attached a future draft pick, such as two 2020 second round picks or a 2019 draft pick.

Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies had a very disappointing season, compiling the third worst record in the NBA. However, they still do have several key pieces to compete with. Marc Gasol, when healthy, is still one of the best centers in the league. Gasol will turn 34 next season, so the Grizzlies should look to take advantage of what they have left with him. Pair him with injury-prone point guard Mike Conley, who will try to stay healthy after playing only 12 games last season, and the Grizzlies slowly look like a contender, especially if they can add one more free agent in the mix. To do that, they will have to part ways with Chandler Parsons and his horrendous contract. Parsons will make close to $25 million in each of the next two seasons, not at all worth his 7.9 points per game in only 36 appearances stat-line. The Grizzlies were supposedly shopping Parsons along with their number four pick on draft night, but could not find any potential suitors. The Hawks could be in the mix to take on Parsons, so long as some sort of future asset is included in the deal.

Free Agency

While the Hawks will certainly not be big spenders this offseason, they may look to ink some younger player to short-term deals and see what they have with them. Some potential suitors for the Hawks:

Julius Randle: The former Kentucky star blossomed for the Los Angeles Lakers this past season, averaging a career best 16.1 points and 8 rebounds per game. Randle had a PER of 19.96, higher than the likes of Blake Griffin, John Wall, and Kyle Lowry. Randle certainly will not be cheap; he is only 23 and his potential has not nearly been fully reached. However, he would be a nice fit next to John Collins, as the two would form a formidable duo down low.

Aaron Gordon: Another athletic freak to pair with Collins. Gordon looked much more comfortable playing the four than he did the three. While Gordon is not the best shooter–he shot a measly 34 percent from three point range–he is only 22, and boosted his percentage by six points from the previous season. Gordon could become a future building block in Atlanta if the Magic choose not to re-sign him.

Yogi Ferrell: The Dallas Mavericks may elect to resign Ferrell; he is very cheap for a 38 percent three point shooter. The Hawks could look to add Ferrell for depth in their backcourt. If the team does send out Schroder, it would leave a major hole in the backcourt, one Ferrell could easily fill. Despite not being the biggest or most physical guard, he brings toughness and energy, dating back to his days in Bloomington at Indiana.

The Hawks will most likely sit back and wait once free agency begins on July 1st. They are not looking to make any big splashes, but could be involved in several trades or short term deals to acquire future young prospects and draft picks. Sorry, looks like no LeBron this summer.

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