Ranking 2023 Free Agent Targets for the Hawks: Big Men

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The Hawks need to overhaul their roster if they want to get back to contending in the postseason, and without some trades, that’s going to be difficult to accomplish. The Hawks could look to trade John Collins, Clint Capela, or both. De’Andre Hunter could also be moved in the right package. I like the idea of shedding some salary and adding a few free agents that better fit Quin Snyder’s scheme, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more than one of these guys came up on Atlanta’s wishlist. I’ll be focusing on high-level defenders who can shoot, and hopefully distribute, because the Hawks have a real issue with stopping the ball under the rim. I’ll be covering wings and guards next. I’ll be categorizing some versatile power forwards (like Jerami Grant) under Wings, so be on the lookout for the next edition if you think I missed someone. I’ll be considering scheme fit and cost in these rankings, not just the best player.


13. C Andre Drummond (Player Option)

Not the player he once was, but Andre Drummond is still a beast on the glass who can eat up lobs and passes under the rim as a reserve player.


12. C/F Paul Reed

As a bench option, Paul Reed makes a lot of sense. He offers a lot of what Onyeka Okongwu can give you — a solid rebounder who can defend and attack the basket.


11. C Mason Plumlee

I love Plumlee’s potential fit with the Hawks; he has an insane bag for a center, and he’s a great pick and roll partner for Trae Young. He’s a good passer as well and shouldn’t break the bank.


10. C Thomas Bryant

If the Hawks look for a cheap Clint Capela replacement, Bryant makes a lot of sense. He had a good stretch with the Lakers in Anthony Davis’ absences in the regular season, providing rim protection and rebounding and handling some scoring loads.


9. F Christian Wood

Wood has had a very interesting career. He has a great skillset, but he has often found himself buried on multiple depth charts. It’s hard to ignore his shooting splits and rebounding ability, but there’s some risk here.


8. C Nikola Vucevic

This is probably only possible if the Hawks move on from Clint Capela’s contract, but that’s not out of the realm of possibility. Vuc can’t defend at the rim anywhere near the level that Capela can, but he’s a floor spacer that can rebound who also canned 35% of his threes last season.


7. C Jakob Poeltl

Poeltl is a fanastic rebounder and defender, and if the Hawks move on from Capela, he’d make for a great option at what would probably be a lower cost. He doesn’t offer much in terms of shooting, but his defense would be valuable.


6. F P.J. Washington (Restricted)

It will be difficult to pry Washington away from Charlotte, especially if the Hawks don’t move John Collins or Clint Capela’s contracts. Washington is a versatile defender who can shoot and distribute, although his rebounding leaves a bit to be desired. He’d be an interesting fit, but I doubt the Hornets let him go.


5. F Rui Hachimura (Restricted)

The Lakers basically stole Hachimura from the Wizards, who has really made an impact as a defender and spot up shooter in these playoffs. I doubt the Lakers let him go, but if the Hawks have the cap space, he’d make for an interesting John Collins replacement.


4. C Naz Reid

A bit undersized, Reid isn’t much of a defender, but he’s a great shooter and floor spacer. He’s tough to guard because of his quickness, and he certainly would give the Hawks a much different look on the offensive side of the ball. He would be a very interesting pick-and-roll partner alongside Trae Young.


3. C/F Dario Saric

I love Saric at his potential price point as a bench option; he can do a little bit of everything and can guard multiple positions. He’s also good passer and hit 39% of his threes in 2023.


2. C/F Drew Eubanks

In terms of price and fit, I would love to get Eubanks on the Hawks, even if they retain Clint Capela. He’d be in a bench role, but the Hawks need someone alongside Onyeka Okongwu who can space the floor. Eubanks can protect the rim and rebound, and he cashed 39% of his threes last year.


1. C Brook Lopez

Brook Lopez offers the Hawks almost everything they need at the center position. He’s a bit older, but he’s a high-quality rim defender who’s simply aging like a fine wine. Additionally, Lopez shot over 37% from three last year. He’s the perfect modern center, which is crazy considering the player he was a decade ago. If the Hawks trade Clint Capela, Lopez is the perfect fit for this team.

Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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