Top NBA free agents the Atlanta Hawks should target

Atlanta Hawks Siakam

The NBA Draft is less than a month away, and soon after that free agency will begin. It would seem this offseason will be that of major changes for the Atlanta Hawks, who have consistently underwhelmed each season since their magical run to the Eastern Conference Finals three years ago.

This year’s draft will be a monumental one for the organization, as they won the lottery for the first time in franchise history and own the #1 overall pick. They’re also expected to be heavily involved in trade conversations. Mostly involving their All-Star guards — Trae Young and Dejounte Murray — but other names will be floated like Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

The Atlanta Hawks aren’t typically a team that can attract star free agents, and as of now, they don’t have the money to do so. However, there are numerous avenues for them to shed salary before NBA free agency kicks off.

Over at ESPN, Kevin Pelton recently dropped his list of the top 20 players set to become free agents, headlined by Lebron James. Of course, the Hawks are never going to pry The King out of Los Angeles, and that’s the case with most of these players. But there are some names on this list worth discussing as potential free agent targets if the Hawks create the necessary cap space.

Atlanta Hawks Potential Free Agent Targets

De’Anthony Melton

Calling Melton one of the best free agents in this class might be a bit overzealous. He averaged just 11.0 points on 38.6% shooting from the field and 36.0% from beyond the arc to go along with 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists. However, he’s an extremely versatile defensive player and can play both guard positions effectively. Assuming the Hawks move one of Trae Young or Dejounte Murray, they are going to need another ball-handler they can rely on in the rotation. Melton could prove to be a steal over his next contract, depending on his market.

Pascal Siakam

The Atlanta Hawks were at the forefront of trade rumors surrounding Pascal Siakam for over a year before he was eventually dealt to the Pacers mid-season, helping them to the Eastern Conference Finals. He looked re-energized with Indiana, averaging over 21 points and nearly eight rebounds per game on 54.9% shooting from the field and 38.6% from the three-point line. Siakam just plays winning basketball; there’s no other way around it. However, he’s going to be 30 next season and is in line for a massive contract. Perhaps the Hawks rekindle their interest, but they may want to be wary of potential regression coming as he gets up there in age.

OG Anunoby

Speaking of winning basketball players, ask the Knicks about what OG Anunoby brought to their team after they acquired him from Toronto… or just look at their record. The Knicks won 20 of their final 23 games with Anunoby in the lineup and were well on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals before injuries completely ravaged their team. He’s a tenacious defender who lights out from behind the arc and does all of the little things to win games. Anunoby would be a dream for the Hawks, who desperately need to add defensively, but he’ll probably be too pricey, and I would be shocked if the Knicks let him go.

Tobias Harris

I’m intrigued to see what Tobias Harris’ market looks like this offseason. He rightfully received a lot of flack for essentially not showing up in the postseason this year, especially for someone on a five-year, $180 million contract. He’s also set to turn 32 next season. However, Harris is still a player that can offer 15-20 points on close to 50% from the field and 40% from three. If the rest of the league is down on him, it could make sense financially.

Malik Monk

Monk might not have lived up to the status of an 11th overall pick early in his career, but he’s blossomed into a terrific player, finishing second in the 6th Man of the Year race. He’d be awesome to add a Hawks bench that could use some additional offense.

Gary Trent Jr.

Trent is a microwave shooter who can play both wing positions. NBA teams can never have enough of those, and he would have a field day shooting open jumpers off of passes from either Trae Young or Dejounte Murray. At just 25-years-old, his best basketball could very well be ahead of him.

Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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