After three miserable rebuilding seasons in Atlanta, Travis Schlenk finally decided to pull the trigger this offseason, spending the money necessary to build around his budding superstar duo of Trae Young and John Collins. The expectations? Playoffs or bust.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case thus far, as the Hawks sit at 13-18 — a couple of games outside of the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. A primary reason for that? The absence and struggles of their offseason acquisitions.
Schlenk handed out over $150 million in contracts this past free agency period, inking Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanović, Rajon Rondo, and Kris Dunn. Given their track records, it seemed like a successful offseason. But so far, none of them have been more valuable than Tony Snell, which is a testament to just how unimpactful Schlenk’s free-agent signings have been thus far.
Snell was acquired in a salary dump, as the Hawks sent Dedmon to the Pistons for him and Khryi Thomas, the latter of which was waived on the same day. Like seemingly everyone on Atlanta’s roster, Snell missed time to begin the season, and it took him a few games to get his feet under him, but he’s been a sniper from three-point land recently. Over his last nine contests, Snell is shooting a ridiculous 70.4% from behind the arc. And sure, he may only be averaging 7.0 points a game, but that’s still far more productive than all of the players Schlenk handed money to this offseason.
Kris Dunn has yet even to make an appearance this season. Rondo seems to pick and choose when he feels like playing, but it doesn’t really matter because when he’s been on the floor, he has not been effective. Bogdanović has only appeared in nine games and doesn’t have a timetable for a return. But even when he was on the floor, he wasn’t playing well, averaging less than ten points per game on 38.5% from the field. The same can be said for Gallinari. The injury bug bit him early in the season, but he has looked like a shell of himself since returning, averaging the lowest point total since his rookie season (10.4 points per game) on the lowest field goal percentage of his career, 36.5%.
I understand injuries have played a factor, but the fact remains, Tony Snell has been the Hawks’ best offseason acquisition thus far, and he’s probably their best trade chip not named John Collins. Hopefully, that changes, but if not, expect Atlanta to be sellers as we approach the trade deadline — a position I don’t think anybody in the organization imagined a few months ago.