The Atlanta Hawks are going to look like an entirely different team next season. Their young core remains intact; however, Travis Schlenk went out and spent a boatload of money this offseason to fill in the missing pieces. The Hawks now have a lot more three-point shooting and depth that almost seems unimaginable after the last several seasons. This is undoubtedly a playoff roster, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they made some noise in the postseason.
Hawks sign Danilo Gallinari to a three-year, $61.5 million contract
Before free agency opened up, it was rumored that the Hawks and Danilo Gallinari already had a contract in place. Soon enough, free agency began, and a three-year deal between him and the Hawks was announced.
I love this signing for a multitude of reasons. Gallinari is coming off his two best seasons in which he helped two teams — the Clippers and the Thunder — overachieve and make the playoffs. He’s a walking bucket that will give the Hawks 20 points a game while shooting around 40% from behind the arc. Gallinari alone is going to take a ton of pressure off of Trae Young and John Collins.
The 6’10” Italian sharpshooter can also play all over the floor. The Hawks could start him at small forward in bigger lineups, and he’s an ideal stretch four. $20 million a year is a lot, but in this market, Gallinari is getting exactly what he’s worth.
Hawks sign Rajon Rondo to a two-year, $15 million contract
The Hawks filled one of the most glaring needs on their roster by inking Rajon Rondo to a two-year contract. $7.5 million a year may sound like a lot for a point guard that has not averaged more than ten points a game since the 2015-2016 season, but Rondo is exactly what the doctor ordered for this Hawks team. Atlanta needed someone to backup Trae Young, and with their improved bench, Rondo should thrive with his passing ability. Playoff Rondo is also most definitely a thing. He was a weapon for the Lakers in the bubble, and the Hawks are hoping he can do the same next season.
Hawks trade Dewayne Dedmon for Tony Snell
There were other aspects to this trade, but this was basically a swap of bloated contracts. With Okungwu in the fold behind Clint Capela, Dedmon and his $13 million salary became expendable, so Travis Schlenk found a partner and acquired a player that should provide much more for Atlanta. Tony Snell definitely isn’t worth the nearly $13 million he will earn this season, but he provides excellent three-point shooting along with defense. It’s difficult to really find anything wrong with this move.
Hawks sign Bogdan Bogdanović to a four-year, $72 million contract
Another quick signing once free agency began; the Hawks had Bogdan Bogdanović ink a four-year, $72 million offer sheet. That put some pressure on the Kings to match, which they ultimately decided not to do. The signing became official at midnight last night.
This is a hefty contract, but it doesn’t feel like the Hawks overpaid. Bogdanović is a deadeye three-point shooter that can score in a multitude of ways. He’s kind of what the Hawks were hoping to get out of Kevin Huerter, but to this point, Red Velvet has not been consistent enough to keep starting. Atlanta needed to find another option at shooting guard, and Bogdanović will undoubtedly be an upgrade. It also allows a guy like Huerter to move to the bench, which will significantly upgrade Atlanta’s second unit.
The Hawks also signed Solomon Hill to a one-year contract, but he doesn’t exactly move the needle much. I don’t imagine he will get very much playing time, so I didn’t include a grade for him.
Overall, I think Schlenk did a tremendous job of filling in the holes on this roster. The Hawks now have a boatload of three-point shooters and the most depth I’ve seen on this team in years. With Trae Young leading the show, I fully expect the Hawks to compete with the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference.
The only question is, will it be enough? With these moves, the Hawks pretty much handcuffed themselves for the next three seasons. They won’t be significant players in free agency for a while, and this wasn’t exactly the best free-agent class. I’m not sure Gallinari, Rondo, and Bogdanović are quite enough to make this team a championship contender, which is the only reason I’m not giving Schlenk a better grade for his offseason acquisitions.