The Hawks must seriously consider blowing it up this offseason

egv23012349 atl at chi

The Hawks created a lot of buzz this offseason by swinging a blockbuster trade with the Spurs for All-Star guard Dejounte Murray. The hope was the new addition would be a move that made this team a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they’re just the same old Hawks from a year ago, sitting one game under .500, good for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

The most critical error the Hawks made was going halfway all-in. Murray has come as advertised, averaging 20.7 points and 6.1 assists per contest. However, because Atlanta was fearful of going into the luxury tax, the team also decided to deal Kevin Huerter to the Kings for minimal return. Because of that, the Hawks have lacked depth and shooting the entire season, leading to inconsistent results. Meanwhile, Huerter has played a critical role in guiding the Kings to the 3-seed out West.

Now, Atlanta has a conundrum on their hands. They have a mediocre team capable of making the playoffs, but they are not a serious threat to any of the top teams in the NBA and have decimated their future draft capital. On top of that, they’ve shown they aren’t willing to go into the luxury tax, which will be necessary to better the team, and Dejounte Murray is a free agent after next season. It’s a miserable spot to be in, and it’s why the Hawks must seriously consider blowing it up completely this offseason.

I’m not talking about a re-tool in hopes of making this team competitive; I’m hinting at a total rebuild from the ground up, something I never thought I would be saying so soon after this team reached the Eastern Conference Finals just two years ago.

The Hawks aren’t a coach away from turning things around. Nate McMillan has not done a good job, but blaming him for all of the team’s shortcomings is lazy and foolish. This is a terribly built roster from top to bottom. They feast in the mid-range — a shot that has mostly been eliminated in today’s NBA — can’t shoot it from behind the arc, are abysmal defensively, and severely lack depth. No coach, no matter how good, is going to fix all of that.

If I’m the Hawks, I’m evaluating all of my options this offseason, which includes trading star point guard Trae Young, as well as Dejounte Murray. The situation is bleak, and with Murray due up for a contract extension after next season, I don’t see a realistic way they can overcome all of the mistakes they have made over the last year. They very may well be in the worst position of any team in the NBA. It’s time to start thinking about tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch.

Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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