Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Atlanta Hawks (Last Year: 48-34)
2016-17 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Tiago Splitter/Walter Tavares
PF: Paul Millsap/Mike Scott/Mike Muscala
SF: Thabo Sefolosha
SG: Kyle Korver/Tim Hardaway Jr./Lamar Patterson
PG: Jeff Teague/Dennis Schroeder
NBA Free Agents:
C-Al Horford (UFA)
SF-Kent Bazemore (UFA)
PF-Kris Humphries (UFA)
PG-Kirk Hinrich (UFA)
C-Mike Muscala (TO)
2016-17 Team Salary: Approximately $52.4 million
NBA Offseason Team Needs:
With Al Horford hitting the free agent market this summer, the Hawks have a decision on their hands; either offer him a massive deal or look elsewhere to fill their center position. Horford should be highly sought after and might look to end his career elsewhere. If a bidding war breaks out, Atlanta would probably be better off letting Horford walk.
2. Small Forward:
Kent Bazemore stepped in at small forward for the departed DeMarre Carroll and had a breakout season. His emergence should net him a pretty payday this summer, and the Hawks need to figure out how much he is worth if they want him back. A contract in the $10-plus million range appears to be in Bazemore's very near future and I'm not sure he's worth that.
With Horford a free agent and Millsap, Teague, Korver, and few other players entering the final year of their contracts, the Hawks might be best served blowing up the ship and re-building. Teague's name has already come up in trade rumors this summer. If Atlanta can sell high now and acquire some younger assets and picks instead of risking losing them next summer and getting nothing in return, it is something management should seriously consider.
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