The Hawks started their offseason on Thursday night with the NBA Draft. Atlanta traded their first round pick Kelly Oubre in a three way trade with the Wizards and Knicks and received two second round picks and Tim Hardaway Jr.
Now that Atlanta have made the moves they wanted during the draft they are now looking forward to free agency. The Hawks first priority is to looking into their current free agents DeMarre Carrol and Paul Millsap. They are both coming off of career years and both played major roles for Atlanta’s best season as a franchise. It will be a challenge to sign both players to deals, as Atlanta only has $23 million in cap room, but they are capable of re-signing both. Carrol could receive a four year deal up to $50 million, while it is expected Millsap could command a max deal. Both players feel loyal to Atlanta but they would listen to other offers this offseason.
After dealing with their current free agents contract talks, Atlanta will look into other options outside of Atlanta. Many players have been linked to being interested to bringing their talents to Hotlanta, such as, Monta Ellis, Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge. Ellis just opted out of a deal worth $8.72 million with the Mavericks, so the chances that Atlanta will sign him are slim given the cap room. Marc Stein of ESPN, has reported that Atlanta is high on his wish list of teams to sign with this offseason. Chances of signing Aldridge depend solely on whether Millsap or Carrol sign deals with other teams.
Marc Gasol has mentioned coming to play with Horford and the boys, saying, “The city isn’t so important like it was in Pau’s case. My brother had other needs. People with sons knows how this works. I don’t have time to go to the opera, or to the theater. New York is nice but it was very cold during the All Star Game. San Antonio, L.A, Atlanta… there’s good things everywhere.” Gasol has had a career year earning his first year on the All-NBA first team and also finishing in the top ten votes for the Defensive Player of the Year award. He would be an excellent fit for Budenholzer’s system, as he can shoot the ball, rebound and play tenacious defense. If in fact Gasol does bring his talents to the dirty south, he most likely will be the starting center, while the shorter Al Horford would make a shift to power forward.
Atlanta has a lot to consider in free agency and the end of the draft marked the start of the rest of the offseason for them Will the Hawks shell out the cash to their impending free agents Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carrol, or will they look for outside help such as LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol or others to come and challenge the rest of the Eastern Conference? These questions will be answered in the coming months so stay tuned!