Gordon is a player who has gotten a bad rap for a multitude of reasons. He lit up the NBA in his first three seasons with Clippers, capping it off in the 2010-2011 season in which he averaged 22.3 points on 45% shooting. If you don’t remember this Eric Gordon, think of Bradley Beal now, because Gordon was putting up those kind of numbers at a young age. The Clippers dealt Gordon to the Pelicans, where he really began to catch the injury bug. He only played nine games in his first season in New Orleans, but that did not stop the Pelicans from signing him to a deal worth nearly $60 million. Gordon had a tough time living up to that contract and was constantly hampered by nagging injuries. He never reached expectations and New Orleans cannot wait to get rid of him, but the Hawks should take a look. If Gordon is healthy, which is a big if, he is still a productive scorer in the NBA. A healthy Gordon in a player-friendly system like the Hawks could be a perfect match. Korver needs to be moved to the bench and the Hawks are in the market for another scoring guard. Gordon is a nice buy-low option that has major upside.
Lance Stephenson, a lot like Gordon, burst onto the scene in his first few years in the NBA. He is an electric scorer, underrated passer and lockdown defender. This was a guy posting triple-doubles in the playoffs just a few years ago. Stephenson has bounced around the NBA since his days in Indiana. He struggled in Charlotte and Los Angeles, but really showed flashes of the past in his most recent stint in Memphis. Stephenson can still be a force in the NBA. He is another buy-low candidate that presents major upside.
Jamal Crawford has not lost a step with age. Crawford is 36 and fresh off his third career Sixth Man of the Year award. He spent two seasons with the Hawks from 2009-2011 and was an instant fan favorite. He can play either guard position off the bench and flat out score. J-Crossover will not demand a lot of money, clearly wants to win and can play big minutes for a Hawks team that could be without Teague or Schroder at the start of next season. Crawford would be a great addition off the bench for the Hawks and I would love to see him in the new Atlanta uniforms.
Derozan is the most coveted player not named Kevin Durant in this year’s free agency. He has made himself a consistent all-star and showed his value during this year’s playoff run. The Raptors might be able to convince Derozan to stay, but he will certainly test the waters. He has also been linked to his hometown Lakers, but that does not mean the Hawks should not try. Atlanta has a team that is ready to win now. They just need another piece to put them over the top. Derozan could easily be that piece, and that is one of the few things Atlanta has going or them this free agency. If Derozan really wants to win, he should consider Atlanta, but he is without a doubt the most far-fetched option.
Derozan To Atlanta!
Clarkson is the only free agent on this list that is restricted. The Lakers can match any competitor’s deal and retain Clarkson if they so choose. In all liklihood, the Lakers want to keep Clarkson around. He has shown superstar potential and guards like him do not come around often. But the Lakers have also made it clear they will make a strong push to acquire Derozan, if they happen to land Derozan, Clarkson is now open to the highest bidder. Clarkson could be a budding superstar, but his stats might be inflated due to the quality of team he was on. I think Clarkson is going to be a solid player going forward, but not a star, and teams are going to offer him star money.