Earlier this season, it was reported the Hawks had an interest in Wizards stretch four Davis Bertans. Atlanta has found their rim protector now in Clint Capela, but this may not sway them away from trying to acquire Bertans this offseason.
According to Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report, the Hawks are a team to keep an eye on for Bertans’ services in free agency.
The Hawks are a team to keep an eye on for Bertans this summer and have the most cap space to spend in the league. Young and Bertans’ ability to stretch the floor would form a deadly pick-and-pop combo and provide a talent upgrade for the Hawks point guard.
At first glance, this may not make sense. The Hawks already have John Collins, and they just traded for Clint Capela, right? Another big man? But if you take a deeper look, Bertans still provides something the Hawks are missing. This is not so much about adding a big man as it is adding a sharpshooter to Trae Young’s supporting cast. And Chris Kirschner of The Athletic agrees:
Now that the Hawks have a starting-caliber center on the roster, their main focus this summer should be to acquire as many high-end shooters as possible, starting with Washington’s Dāvis Bertāns and Brooklyn’s Joe Harris.
Bertans is in the midst of a breakout season. Many may remember him from his days as a role player with the Spurs after they plucked him from the EuroLeague, but he has been one of the surprises in the NBA this season after being dealt to the Washington Wizards. In a more featured role, he’s averaging 15 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Most importantly, he is shooting 43.6% from beyond the arc, catching the attention of the Atlanta Hawks. However, the Hawks would have to figure out how they would divide up the playing time if Jabari Parker were to opt-in to his player option worth $6.5 million for next season.
While defense is by far the most substantial area in need of improvement for Atlanta, outside shooting is not too far behind. While Trae Young and Kevin Huerter have gifted abilities from beyond the arc, the Hawks are actually dead last in 3-point shooting, at 32.4% as a unit. We will see what sort of price range Bertans prices himself into. But at the very least, the Hawks should be looking to add the best possible outside specialists on short-term deals to keep their financial flexibility intact while surrounding Young with talent that will allow for his already high assist total to skyrocket.
This may be Bertans’ one shot at a lucrative contract in the NBA, so he will be sure to go to the highest bidder, but not many teams have cap space this offseason The Hawks will have the most — one of six teams currently projected to be under the cap. However, they will still have to evaluate the price-point, and most importantly, the length of the deal, as star free agents such as Giannis Antetokounmpo may hit the market in 2021. The Hawks need help, but they shouldn’t go on a Knicks-Esque shopping spree, either, if they want to pair their young core with a max contract worthy player down the road.
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