In a recent interview with Atlanta Hawks President of Basketball Operations and head coach Mike Budenholzer, he was asked some questions about the offseason and the decisions that the team made during free agency.
One of the most important questions Coach Bud was asked was how important was it to bring back Paul Millsap. Coach Bud believes that “having Paul come back was critical to our summer and critical to us in free agency.” The Hawks have acquired many young players the past couple of years and Coach Bud “feels great about hopefully continuing to grow and improve with him (Millsap).”
Coach Bud was also asked about the DeMarre Carroll situation. When asked if the Hawks had to choose between Carroll and Millsap, Budenholzer stated “I don’t know if I would characterize it that you had to choose one or the other. It may just be word play, but ultimately there is not enough for everybody. I think we value DeMarre, and he was a big part of our success. We will miss him. But sometimes you have to make hard decisions. I guess it’s part of the NBA of having a good team and having players who play well and deserve opportunities. I don’t like to think of it as picking one over the other. I like to think of it as sometimes there is not enough for everything that you want.”
The last question in the interview related to the DeMarre Carroll vs Paul Millsap choice was how does the team plan to replace Carroll. The Hawks have not done anything to address the small forward situation in the offseason. However, they have signed multiple shooting guards that are capable of playing small forward. Coach Bud’s input on the situation was “having Thabo (Sefolosha) having played for a year with us and having him know how we do things defensively and offensively. He’s played on really good teams and on teams in the Finals and on teams that have had really good success. I think we are very hopeful that he gets healthy and ready. That gives you some confidence that there is a start. I think Kent Bazemore’s growth and development as the season progressed, including the playoffs, (gives us another option). He is a unique player with his length and everything. Then adding Tim Hardaway Jr. and Justin Holiday gives us what we feel like is a lot of depth.” Most of these players are listed as shooting guards, but are capable of playing small forward. Another rumor is that Paul Millsap will play small forward, Al Horford will play power forward, and newly acquired Tiago Splitter will start at center.
Personally, I believe that the Hawks should have re-signed Carroll rather than Millsap. My reasoning behind that is that Carroll is younger and can still improve. I thought Horford could play power forward with Millsap gone and Splitter could start at center. We will see what the Hawks have planned for this upcoming season.
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