In the apparent culmination of what has been an underwhelming offseason, the Hawks signed former Warriors shooting guard Justin Holiday, the brother of Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans’ former All-Star point guard. That’s not to say that Holiday’s signing is underwhelming … it has sneaky-good value addition written all over it. But taken in aggregate, Mike Budenholzer’s first offseason as President of Basketball Operations and Wes Wilcox’ as GM has not been nearly as impressive as it needs to be.

The AJC’s Mark Bradley does a great job of summing up the stakes. Could the recently-concluded 60-win season and run to the Eastern Conference Finals be as close as the current iteration will come to championship contention? Prior to losing DeMarre Carroll in free agency, it was possible to imagine the Hawks salary dumping enough of its under-performing bench to keep the starting five intact and give it another run. With Carroll, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver under contract, the Hawks might have entered the summer of 2016 with max cap space and the ability to re-sign Al Horford with Bird rights after spending it.

And that’s why this offseason needed to be more impressive than it has been. In 2016, almost every NBA team will have max space as the cap jumps by an estimated $20 million. There will be more teams with max space than there will be free agents worth spending it on. When every team has the same money to spend, what differentiates one destination from another? For these Hawks, the answer needs to be sustained contention, something that became much harder when Carroll bolted for Toronto. Continue Reading…

According to RealGM and other outlets, Paul Millsap has re-signed with the Atlanta Hawks.

Outlets are also reporting that the third year on the deal is a player option, which would allow Millsap to opt out and seek even more money in free agency under the larger salary caps with the new NBA television deal. The AJC’s Chris Vivlamore tweeted out what Millsap’s salary figures are likely to look like:

This move was a must for the Hawks after DeMarre Carroll opted to sign with the Toronto Raptors with a four-year, $60 million contract. Carroll’s absences will likely force Thabo Sefolosha, Kyle Korver, and Kent Bazemore to step up in the small forward spot. but the Millsap re-signing — combined with the trade for Tiago Splitter — gives the Hawks one of the best three-man big combos in the NBA.

In a deal that nobody saw coming, the Atlanta Hawks have received Tiago Splitter in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

This trade caught a lot of people off guard as nobody really expected Splitter to be going anywhere, let alone to an Atlanta team that has a top five center in Al Horford. That said, this gives them a little flexibility the recent departure of DeMarre Carroll. With Carroll gone, the Hawks were looking to replace his defense, and finding a perimeter defender to the level of Carroll was going to be difficult to say the least. Atlanta also had to take into consideration their lack of rim protection last season. With Splitter, the Hawks managed to address two issues with their roster at the same time.

Not only that, but should Paul Millsap leave, Atlanta could have a gaping hole at power forward in their rotation of bigs. With the addition of Splitter, the Hawks can just slide Horford over to his more natural position power forward and fix that hole. Although the loss in depth would be very noticeable.

DeMarre Carroll’s short time with the Atlanta Hawks has come to an end. In an announcement on Twitter/Instagram, in really the most DeMarre Carroll way possible, he announced that he will be joining the Toronto Raptors.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports had details on the deal.

This is a big moment for Carroll, whom spent the early parts of his career very injured. When the Hawks signed him, he was mainly expected to be a perimeter guard that could add depth to the wing spot. Nobody predicted him turning into a major 3-and-D threat that could punish defenses for not paying attention to him. Throughougt his time in Atlanta, the Carroll has gained the reputation as not only one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders, but also one of the most versatile players on the roster. His box score numbers may be low, but anybody that watched Atlanta knows how important he was to the Hawks success. Fans will miss him.

As reported by Eurohoops.net, Pero Antic will be leaving the Hawks to return to Europe. The deal is expected to be finalized within the next week.

Despite not starting, Antic was an important part of the shift in the Hawks’ offensive philosophy under head coach Mike Budenholzer. Antic’s 3-point threat spread out opposing defense and often allowed for the Hawks offense to be more efficient. If Antic is gone, the Hawks will likely look to Mike Muscala to fill the role that Antic had been filling over the last two seasons.

The Hawks were originally supposed to have the 15th pick in the 2015 NBA draft. When they were on the clock at 15, they traded the pick to the Washington Wizards, who selected Kelly Oubre. In return, the Hawks received the 19th pick and two future second-rounders.

But the Hawks were not done making moves. When 19 came up on the clock, the Hawks again made a trade, sending the 19th pick to the New York Knicks for Tim Hardaway Jr.

The move is a weird one for the Hawks, but there is some sense to be made from it. With the move, the Hawks will save at least $500,000 in cap space from not having to pay the required rookie salary for the 15th pick. Hardaway also has some value in that he’s an above-average shooter.

However, the weaknesses with Hardaway are clear. Despite his 6′-6 size, Hardaway has not been a good defender at the NBA level. Hardaway also has few established skills other than shooting, and he has a tendency to chuck the ball at an inefficient rate.

Considering the Hawks made two moves to get to this point, they may not be done. And just in my opinion, I hope they are not done, because this is not a good move, especially if the front office did it to save money; they could have just completely traded out of the first round, which would have saved them nearly $2 million in cap space instead of only a quarter of that.

In the summer of 2013, at the suggestion of former TrueHoop Hawks blogger Bret LaGree, I started writing an NBA Draft depth chart for the Hawks. The idea was to list, in order of preference, a number of players equal to the Hawks’ draft position. The depth chart is not a mock draft, as I am uninterested in the needs or intentions of other teams.

In 2013, the Hawks owned the 17th and 18th picks, so my depth chart consisted of 18 players. The Hawks traded up to select Lucas Nogueira, my highest-rated available player, with the 16th pick. The Hawks then took Dennis Schröder with the 17th pick while my highest-rated available was Gorgui Dieng.

The next year, the Hawks selected Adreian Payne with the 15th pick. Payne was not listed among the 15 players on my depth chart. My highest-rated available was Rodney Hood, who went 23rd to the Utah Jazz. Also in my top 15 were Mitch McGary (21st to the Thunder) and Jusuf Nurkić (16th to the Nuggets, the pick after Payne).

Naturally, this leads to the “what if” game. In my season postmortem, I posed the question to LaGree: Would the Hawks be in a better position if the organization had drafted Nogueira, Dieng and Hood (my picks) instead of Nogueira, Schröder and Payne (Danny Ferry’s picks). LaGree replied that of course the Hawks would have been helped by Dieng, who would have provided the third big man Atlanta has needed for years. He qualified, however, that Schröder is the better long-term prospect and there’s presently not much difference between 20 minutes of Kent Bazemore and 20 minutes of Hood.

Here I must respectfully disagree. Hood produces an additional four points per 36 minutes with fewer turnovers and more assists. Hood and Bazemore shot over 36% from 3-point range but this could be an outlier for Bazemore, who shot only 60% from the free throw line. Hood’s 76% free throw shooting makes him more likely to sustain his 3-point percentage. Continue Reading…

The NBA Board of Governors has officially approves the sale of the Atlanta Hawks to the group led by Tony Ressler.

From the NBA’s press release:

“We are pleased that the NBA’s Board of Governors has approved the purchase of the Atlanta Hawks by principal owner Tony Ressler,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Tony and his diverse and experienced ownership group will bring tremendous energy and passion to the Hawks and the team and its fans will greatly benefit from their commitment to the Atlanta community.”

The sale was approved unanimously by the Board of Governors. The new ownership group includes former NBA star Grant Hill, Spanx founder Sara Blakely and her husband, Jesse Itzler. The Hawks will officially introduce the group — with Ressler and Hill representing — during a media session on Thursday at 11AM.

hh-logo-DRAFTFor the fifth HawksHoop draft profile, we take a look at Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker, who generated a lot of buzz with his play and shooting in the NCAA tournament.

Bio:

Small Forward, 6’9, 219 lbs. Junior, University of Wisconsin, 21 years old

2014-15 college stats:

31 minutes, 13.9 points, 52.5 FG%, 33.1 3P%, 70.8 FT%, 1.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 25.5 PER.

Strengths:

Sam Dekker, the small forward out of Wisconsin, has been projected to go anywhere from 12-20. The Hawks, however, are one of his likely landing destinations. The 6’-9 forward can bring a lot of versatility to whichever team picks him on June 25. His size allows him the ability to play both the small forward and power forward positions, especially given the way the NBA has gone towards smaller lineups, as showcased in these NBA Finals. Dekker has the height, athleticism, and post game to play power forward in the NBA; however, he should add some more muscle to his 220 pound frame. He shot about 64% on 2-pointers, which is only two percent lower than Jahlil Okafor, who many say was the best offensive big man in the country. Continue Reading…

hh-logo-DRAFTWith the fourth draft profile, HawksHoop will take a look at another Kentucky freshman, Trey Lyles. He has been mocked as high as sixth, and there are plenty of rumors that the Knicks could be trading down to grab him, but he could also slip to the Hawks pick.

Bio:

Forward, 6’10, 241 lbs. Freshman, University of Kentucky, 19 years old

2014-15 college stats:

23 minutes, 8.7 points, 48.8 FG%, 13.8 3P%, 73.5 FT%, 1.1 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 19.8 PER.

Strengths:

Trey Lyles is another forward the Atlanta Hawks could look to draft with the 15th pick. While Lyles was put in an odd position at Kentucky as the third best big man and relegated to play small forward, there were flashes of what he could be in the NBA. Lyles size is probably his biggest advantage right now. He’s 6’10 with a 7’1.5 or 7’3.5 wingspan — depending on if you go by Nike Hoop Summit’s or the NBA Combine’s measurements. Lyles also weighs 240, which should allow him to bang down low with the big guys. With that size, Lyles was able to pull down about five rebounds in 23 minutes a game, or about eight per 36 minutes. Grabbing that many boards while competing with Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein is pretty impressive. Continue Reading…