In Zach Lowe’s super article today on Lance Stephenson, Lowe mentioned the Hawks as a potential landing spot for the unrestricted free agent.
This is not too surprising. After Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll, the Hawks have very little useful depth on the wing. This lack of depth led to Shelvin Mack and Lou Williams playing time at small forward, which represents a huge defensive liability for the Hawks.
Stephenson is a talented player. He can create offense for himself, has decent vision when it comes to play making, plus he possesses the athleticism and body size to be a defensive plus on the wing. Other positives with Stephenson are that he is only 23 and he has yet to play in an offensive system that even comes close to matching the dynamic offense run by Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks.
Of course, the question with Stephenson is not his talent, but his attitude and how much he should be paid. The Hawks could have around $10 million in cap space, which is within the possible range that Stephenson is expected to be paid this summer.
Would the Hawks front office, which models itself after the San Antonio Spurs, be willing to invest that amount of money in an enigmatic player? This front office let Josh Smith and Ivan Johnson, both somewhat volatile players, walk out in free agency. However, Smith and Johnson both filled a position that was not a completely dire need to the Hawks at the time. That is not the case at the wing with Stephenson. Because of Stephenson’s talent and super need on the wing, the Hawks should at least take a cursory glance toward the Pacer shooting guard during the offseason.