As I have in each segment of this series, this will not simply be the best centers available this offseason. It will be a list of guys that make sense for the Hawks to target. Atlanta acquired Clint Capela at last year’s trade deadline, giving them a bonafide starter at the position for the first time in a while. If you missed any of the previous pieces to this series, click the links below:
Harrell has become a superstar off the bench for the Clippers, and he’s about to get paid like it. The big-man averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds off the bench last season and is also a force on the defensive-end. Harrell isn’t going to shoot threes, but he brings everything else to the table that the Hawks lack. Harrell may not have interest in coming to Atlanta, and he may end up being too pricey anyways, but he should be a top target for them this offseason.
2. Serge Ibaka
In the era of positionless basketball that we are in today, Ibaka has made the switched to center, and it has made him infinitely more valuable. He’s no longer the block machine that he once was, but he’s still a good defensive player that averaged over 15 points a game on over 50% shooting and nearly 40% shooting from behind the arc, along with 8.2 boards last season. His versatility to play with either John Collins or Clint Capela is also particularly intriguing.
3. Marc Gasol
Another Toronto Raptor, Marc Gasol is no longer the All-Star caliber player that he once was, but he is an incredibly valuable veteran that does a little bit of everything. I would love to have his experience off the bench on a short-term deal. However, at his age, I doubt he would have much desire to come to Atlanta.
I’m not sure the Hawks would be interested in bringing in a character like Cousins. However, it does seems like he has humbled himself a bit over the last few years. Unfortunately, his health has completely ruined what was such a promising career. If he’s able to come back and play anything like he used to, it’s a testament his work ethic. This is a lottery ticket with little risk, and while I doubt the Hawks will be the team to sign him, it would undoubtedly be interesting and could pay substantial dividends.
There are a lot of free-agent centers in this class, but not too many that interest me. However, Leonard is a versatile big-man that can shoot the ball well from behind the arc. He could be a quality addition off the bench if the Hawks go this direction.