I think the Hawks had one of the best offseasons in the entire NBA, and Sports Illustrated agrees with me, giving them an A-:
NBA offseason report cards for every team in the East ⬇️ https://t.co/a6bOAa2ZX4
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 26, 2021
Atlanta’s primary tasks this offseason were to take care of John Collins, give Trae Young a max extension and upgrade at backup point guard, where the Hawks still need some type of offensive punch when their franchise player has to rest. On those fronts, mission accomplished.
Collins got his five-year, $125 million extension after a breakthrough postseason. Young was paid, handsomely, for being awesome. Then, the Hawks dealt Kris Dunn, Bruno Fernando and a second-round pick to the Celtics in a three-team transaction that landed them Delon Wright, a crafty 29-year-old journeyman guard who’s on an expiring $8.5 million deal.
The Hawks then re-signed Lou Williams and can still reach an agreement with Kevin Huerter, their extension-eligible playoff hero, before opening night. And after losing Onyeka Okongwu—their most recent lottery pick who momentarily went toe-to-toe with Giannis Antetokounmpo in the Eastern Conference finals—for six months, as Okongwu recovers from a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Atlanta also used part of its mid-level exception to bring in Gorgui Dieng, another veteran who will add more frontcourt depth to a team that’s biggest issue is the fact that NBA games last only 48 minutes.
Can everyone be happy with Nate McMillan’s rotation? That’s the biggest question. (Ripping the interim tag off McMillan’s job title and giving him a four-year contract was as obvious as it was bright.)
Sacrifice will be critical for a Hawks team that’s skilled and flexible enough to make another conference finals run, though don’t be shocked if they find themselves bundling several contracts for an established star sometime in the future (which is a possibility Hawks GM Travis Schlenk recently addressed in a wide-ranging interview). Right now they’re almost too deep.
I agree with the points Michael Pina made, but he’s underselling a few key factors. If you consider how well the Hawks did in the NBA Draft, you can’t give them anything less than an A. Still, without adding the draft, the addition of Delon Wright will be huge. I’ve highlighted multiple times that I think he’s an absolute steal, and he’ll continue to add good depth to this Hawks squad.
I do like Pina’s comment at the end, saying the Hawks are “almost too deep”, which may be true in a vacuum. However, we’ve seen what can happen to a team when injuries strike, so I’ll take all the depth I can get. This is a pretty good analysis, but I’m biased, so I probably would have given the Hawks an A+.