In a score that flattered Atlanta, the Hawks lost 84-74 to the NBA Development League Select team in Game 3 of Las Vegas Summer League. Atlanta’s coaching staff evidently decided to take the idea of position-less basketball to a new level by starting a back court of Glenn Robinson III at shooting guard and guard/forward Lamar Patterson at point guard. When Patterson set up Edy Tavares for an alley-oop dunk in the fourth quarter, it was the first assist of Summer League for a Hawks’ starting point guard after Stephen Holt (who did not play in Game 3) failed to record an assist in the first two games.

Patterson led the Hawks with 15 points after failing to hit a shot from the field or free throw line in Game 2. He was also the Hawks’ leading scorer in Game 1, and added five rebounds, two assists and three steals in this game. Patterson scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter as Atlanta closed the gap after trailing in the quarter by as much as 24.

Tavares had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, but has totaled 17 fouls in three Summer League games. Robinson was the only other scorer in double digits for Atlanta with 10 points and four rebounds. He had a pair of highlight dunks including a break-away 360 in the second half when D-League Select were already firmly in control. Only a 25-17 fourth quarter for the Hawks prevented this game from finishing as the blowout it was for most of regulation. Continue Reading…

Glenn Robinson III hit one of two free throws with 25 seconds remaining to give the Atlanta Hawks a 71-70 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Lamar Patterson stole an Aaron Craft pass intended for James Michael McAdoo and found Robinson in transition, where he drew the foul that provided the winning free throw. LaDontae Henton’s potential game-winning three rimmed out at the buzzer.

With 1:14 to play, Craft hit one of two free throws to tie the score at 68-68. Dominique Sutton then stole Patterson’s pass to Muscala at the top of the circle, but couldn’t make the ensuing layup. Patterson collected the defensive rebound but was called for an offensive foul for swinging his elbows, although replays showed there was no contact with McAdoo. The referees reviewed the play to determine if there was a flagrant foul, but could not overturn the initial foul call.

On the subsequent play, Ognjen Kuzmić was fouled in the high post by Edy Tavares and hit both free throws to put Golden State in front 70-68 with 52 seconds remaining. Hawks point guard Stephen Holt then beat Craft off the dribble and made a left-handed runner in the lane to tie it at 70-70 with 42 seconds to play. At the other end, McAdoo got deep post position on Mike Muscala, who played straight up defense as McAdoo missed from close range. Patterson got the defensive rebound and was fouled, but missed both free throws at the other end, setting up Henton’s final miss. Continue Reading…

The Hawks got off to an inauspicious start at the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, falling to the Nuggets 86-71. Denver was led by Gary Harris, the 19th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, who scored 15 points and added four rebounds and three assists. The Nuggets also got 11 points, five rebounds and four assists from 2015 seventh pick Emmanuel Mudiay, who shot just 5-for-15 from the floor and missed all four 3-point attempts.

The Hawks were led by 2014 second round pick Lamar Patterson, a 6-5 guard/forward who scored a game-high 16 points with four rebounds and three assists. Patterson played last season for Tofas Bursa of the Turkish Basketball League and joins the Hawks for Summer League again, doubtless hoping to secure a camp invite. The other double-digit scorers for the Hawks were Brandon Ashley (15 points, five rebounds) and and Terran Petteway (11 points, two rebounds and two assists).

Ashley went undrafted after a junior season at Arizona during which he was named Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-12 Tournament. He bears some comparison to Austin Daye as a player with great length and a smooth shooting stroke who doesn’t make much of an impact on the defensive end. At 6-8 in shoes, Ashley is undersized for a stretch power forward until you consider his 7-3 wingspan. Continue Reading…

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, 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…