ESPN’s Chris Haynes broke the news Thursday evening that most people around the NBA thought was a foregone conclusion when the Hawks acquired Jamal Crawford in the sign and trade that sent Paul Millsap to Denver.
Jamal Crawford and Atlanta Hawks have come to terms on a buyout, league sources tell ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 7, 2017
It was always doubtful that Crawford would return back to Atlanta for a second stint, but the Hawks were intent on at least trying to trade the longtime veteran. He began to show his age a bit last season, averaging his lowest point total since the 2002-2003 season. The details of the buyout are unclear at the moment, but the Hawks did not seem too interested in buying him out unless it was for much less money.
Just a bit prior to the Crawford news breaking, the Hawks also renounced the rights to Ersan Illyasova.
The Atlanta Hawks have renounced the free agent rights to Ersan Ilyasova.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 7, 2017
Illyasova has been a productive player in the NBA for years. He is a valuable stretch four and could have been a helpful cheap option during the Hawks rebuilding phase.
The combination of these two moves could mean another, much larger move is coming. It could be just due diligence before Atlanta matches the offer sheet for Tim Hardaway Jr. However, the Hawks own bird rights on Hardaway Jr. that would allow them to sign him without having to reallocate any salary. Atlanta could be on the verge of acquiring a player to replace Hardaway Jr., like a KCP, or perhaps a trade.
One thing is for sure, the Hawks front office finally woke up today. Atlanta also re-signed Mike Muscala to a two-year deal earlier this afternoon.
Stay tuned for more updates