The Hawks added Dejounte Murray in a huge trade that didn’t cost the team much in terms of players. Atlanta still has some work to do, and they have made it clear they aren’t afraid to spend in order to compete.
Tony Ressler: "Going into the tax does not scare us."
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) May 5, 2022
The Hawks need to add wings who can score and play defense to surround Dejounte Murray and Trae Young with. Atlanta may also need a competent replacement for John Collins if he is traded. I’ll be targeting lower-cost guys who can space the floor, play some defense, or both. Atlanta may free up some money in a John Collins trade, but for now, I’ll focus on cheaper options. If you want to read about the guys I like for the backcourt, it’s linked below:
2022 Free Agent Targets for the Hawks: Backcourt
F Cody Martin — Charlotte Hornets (Restricted)
If I had to pick one guy on this list, it might be Cody Martin. I could see the Hornets matching whatever offer Martin gets, but he plays with a lot of energy and gives a ton of effort on defense. Throw in the fact that he’s only 26 and shot 38% from deep last year, and the Hawks may have to overpay a bit.
C Mo Bamba — Orlando Magic (Restricted)
The Magic may not let Bamba walk, but he is a rare talent for a 7-footer. Bamba can block shots at a high level and knocked down 38% of his triples. If the Hawks move on from Clint Capela, Bamba would be a perfect replacement. At 24 years old, he may be my top target on this list.
C Bobby Portis — Milwaukee Bucks (Unrestricted)
Portis brings a lot of energy, and he could be the enforcer the Hawks have been sorely missing. Atlanta needs to establish some attitude, and Portis would provide a lot of it immediately. The fact that he can space the floor is just icing on the cake.
F PJ Tucker — Miami Heat (Unrestricted)
Even at 37, PJ Tucker is a bully who can establish a defensive identity immediately. If reports are true and the 76ers are offering Tucker 3 years and $30 million, it would be tough for the Hawks to match that. But what’s crazy is he may just be worth it.
F Chris Boucher — Toronto Raptors (Unrestricted)
Boucher hasn’t really carved out a big role in Toronto, but he’s a good shot blocker with the athleticism to switch and can also knock down a few open threes. He could be a solid backup next to Onyeka Okongwu for the right price, depending on Jalen Johnson‘s future in Atlanta.
F Otto Porter Jr. — Golden State Warriors (Unrestricted)
Porter may get a surprisingly large deal, but he showed the chops of a high-quality 3-and-D defender in Golden State last season. Knocking down 37% of your threes and playing good defense will get you paid in today’s NBA.
F Joe Ingles — Portland Trail Blazers (Unrestricted)
Although Ingles is coming off of a brutal injury, he’s still one of the best defenders in the league when he’s healthy and can knock down open threes. Maybe the Hawks can snag him on a discount.
F Bruce Brown — Brooklyn Nets (Unrestricted)
I think Bruce Brown would be an incredible fit for the Hawks. He can guard multiple positions even though he’s a bit undersized, and he knocked down 40% of his threes last season. Atlanta needs someone who is going to bring some fire on the defensive end.
C Serge Ibaka — Milwaukee Bucks (Unrestricted)
Not the menace he once was, but if he can stay healthy, he can knock down some threes and block shots. Plus, Serge Iblocka is just fun to say.
F Thaddeus Young — Toronto Raptors (Unrestricted)
You can trust Young to switch onto quicker wings and knock down a few threes — he would be a solid bench piece for the Hawks in the form of a poor man’s Jerami Grant.
F Derrick Jones Jr. — Chicago Bulls (Unrestricted)
A guy I wanted to take a crack at last free agency, Jones is a very good defender who can knock down some threes and provide highlight reel dunks.
Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire
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