This is part three of a three-part series of free agent targets I like for the Hawks. Obviously, Atlanta’s number one priority will be bringing back John Collins, who is thankfully a restricted free agent. Atlanta will be shedding the big contracts of Tony Snell ($12 million) and possibly Lou Williams ($8 million), so even if the Hawks do ink John Collins to a big deal, they should be able to add a few pieces with Collins’ Bird Rights softening his cap hit. I’m pretty comfortable with most of this roster, and although there aren’t many big-name free agents, I think the Hawks could add a lot of solid pieces around Trae Young like they did last offseason. Injuries were a big problem for the Hawks all season and in the postseason, so I imagine they will continue to value the depth that got them to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Wing is a position I could see the Hawks upgrading in free agency. While Kawhi Leonard would be an incredible addition, I doubt he’s interested in leaving the West Coast again. However, Tony Snell and Solomon Hill will be free agents. If you checked out my first edition mock draft, I had the Hawks taking 3-and-D wing Herb Jones out of Alabama, but I could easily see them adding to this positional group. I think the Hawks will take the approach they took last season; they will look to add some solid, but maybe under-the-radar guys that can gel as a cohesive unit. As incredible as De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish looked at times this past season, adding depth behind them is more important than grabbing a big-time star.
If you want to read about the backcourt options and big men I think make sense for the Hawks, click the links below:
F Norman Powell (Player Option)
Powell will probably be too expensive for the Hawks after he turns down his $11.6 million player option for next season, as he averaged 18.6 points per game while shooting over 41% from 3. Still, he’s a solid enough defender and would be a fantastic addition to the Hawks.
F Will Barton (Player Option)
Barton is one of the more reliable and underrated scorers in the NBA, but after injuries bothered him all season, I don’t see him declining his player option. If he does, the Hawks could add a solid scorer to their bench on a reasonable deal.
F DeMar DeRozan (Unrestricted Free Agent)
I don’t think adding DeRozan to an already tight cap sheet makes sense financially, and his lack of a three-point shot and troubles during the playoffs worry me even more. Still, he’s a 20+ point per game scorer and averaged almost seven assists last season.
F Nicolas Batum (Unrestricted Free Agent)
Once on one of the worst contracts in basketball, Batum had a nice season with the Clippers that rebuilt a lot of his value. He shot 46.4% from the floor, 40.4% from 3, and 82.8% from the free throw line. He is also a decent defender; the Hawks could use the 6’8 Frenchman as a bench small-ball power forward.
F Jeff Green (Unrestricted Free Agent)
Mr. Playoffs himself could be a solid vet presence coming off a season in which he shot 41.2% from 3. Green can play a lot of positions; his price tag, veteran skillset, and versatility may appeal to the Hawks.
F Kyle Korver (Unrestricted Free Agent)
If he doesn’t retire after this season, who wouldn’t want to see Kyle Korver go for one more rodeo in Atlanta for the vet minimum?
F James Ennis (Unrestricted Free Agent)
Ennis isn’t the greatest defender in the world, but he has a very long wingspan and can hang at multiple positions. Add in the fact that he shot over 43% from 3 last season, and you’re talking about a guy who could be a solid, cheap rotatinal wing.
F David Nwaba (Unrestricted Free Agent)
If the Hawks add a guy like David Nwaba, it would be to serve as a stopper on the perimeter that can guard multiple positions. I feel like they already have that in De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, but maybe they want to build a little depth if injury strikes again.
F Glenn Robinson III (Unrestricted Free Agent)
I think Robinson would be one of the best fits for the Hawks, especially at the price. He’s efficient, an above-average defender, and knocks down open threes. That would be a nice addition to Atlanta’s bench.
F Hamidou Diallo (Restricted Free Agent)
I don’t think the Pistons let Diallo get away in free agency, but who knows. Diallo is a freak athlete that is still developing, but he would add another long and versatile defender who can shoot at a decent level to Atlanta’s stable of wings.
F Rudy Gay (Unrestricted Free Agent)
Gay isn’t the player he once was, but he’s a rock solid veteran that can still shoot and play some defense. He would take over the Solomon Hill role but would undoubtedly be a big upgrade. If he can be had for the veteran minimum, I would love this signing for Atlanta.
F Trevor Ariza (Unrestricted Free Agent)
Ariza would be another solid vet minimum guy. Even though he’s no longer “Trevor A-three-za”, he can still shoot and play solid defense on forwards and bigger guards.
F PJ Tucker (Unrestricted Free Agent)
The Hawks just faced off against PJ Tucker in the Eastern Conference Finals, and he’s a guy that will always be valued for his defense, switchability, and shooting. Tucker can guard all four positions, and he would be perfect for the Hawks if they could afford him. His 3-point percentage was a bit down in 2021, but I think the spacing the Hawks offer would be appealing to him.
Photo: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire
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