NBA teams aren’t getting any breaks this year. The season just ended, and the draft is just days away. A few days after that, free agency begins, and before we know it, teams will be playing preseason games. We are just a few months from the start of the 2021-2022 season, which should be another exciting one for the city of Atlanta. Following an Eastern Conference berth, the Hawks have new expectations, and in order to reach them, Travis Schlenk will have to be on his A-game this offseason.
Assuming the Hawks re-sign John Collins, they won’t have a ton of money to spend, but they will have enough to round out the rest of their roster and patch up any holes. The Hawks have perhaps the deepest team in the NBA, but there are still areas that need fixing if they want to compete for a championship next season. I’ll be limiting this wish list to realistic targets; no, unfortunately, the Hawks will not be signing Kawhi Leonard a week from now. I’ll also consider what the Hawks can afford and avoid targets I believe are candidates to be overpaid.
Biggest Needs: Backup point guard, wing depth, backup center
Rose might be the guy I want the Hawks to sign most this offseason. He fills their biggest need behind Trae Young, and while he’ll never be an MVP candidate again, he looked like an All-Star caliber player for the Knicks in the playoffs. The injury concerns are obvious, and I’m not sure what kind of contract he will receive in free agency, but perhaps he will play in Atlanta at a discount for an opportunity to win a championship.
I could see the Hawks attempting to get a bit younger behind Trae Young at the point guard position, but I thought Williams did enough to earn another contract in Atlanta. He was a microwave scorer off the bench, and the veteran leadership he showed makes him an even better fit on this young team.
If the Hawks don’t re-sign Williams, Mills offers a lot of the same and is a few years younger. He might make more sense to give a multi-year deal to.
Diallo is a restricted free agent, and I like his game for the Hawks. He’s not a good three-point shooter, but he adds elite defensive ability on the wing and is a fantastic slasher. Diallo also matches up with the timeline of the Hawks young core.
Payne was fantastic for the Suns this season behind Chris Paul, and he could provide a similar boost to Atlanta’s second unit. I imagine the Suns would like to keep him, but they have much bigger concerns this offseason, like re-signing Chris Paul.
McConnell isn’t much of a scorer, but he’s still a high-quality backup point guard because of his playmaking and defense.
As a cheap veteran addition, I like the idea of Howard returning to Atlanta to back up Clint Capela.
Robinson has a team option, which I believe the Knicks will pick up, but if they don’t for some reason, he would be the perfect addition to the Hawks roster behind Clint Capela. It was evident the Hawks needed to get a little more physical in the playoffs. Robinson would add just that, and the need for him becomes even more apparent with Okongwu sidelined for six months.
Green has defensive versatility, which should appeal to the Hawks, and he can also stroke it from three, shooting over 38.5% from behind the arc in each of the last three seasons. I like what he could potentially offer Atlanta’s second unit, and he shouldn’t be too costly.
Gay’s at the tail-end of his career, and I could see him wanting to join a contender. He would add some scoring and defense to the Hawks second unit while also providing veteran leadership.
Holmes is a high-energy big man that is elite in the paint. With Onyeka Okongwu out for at least six months, the Hawks could use Holmes’ presence. However, I have a feeling he will be looking for starter’s minutes and money, something Atlanta probably can’t afford.
With John Collins and Danilo Gallinari, the Hawks don’t have a positional need for Millsap, but I would love to add his veteran presence to the roster. He’s still a fantastic defender and spot-up shooter, and I could see him being interested in returning to Atlanta, where he had the best years of his career.
Not the player he once was, but he’s still great at two things, getting open and nailing threes. Every competitive team could use more shooting off the bench.
Caruso’s defense and three-point shooting would be a welcomed addition to the Hawks second unit. He could also play some backup point guard behind Trae Young.
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