Newly-appointed Hawks GM Danny Ferry will have to put together a team for next season without much financial flexibility. Atlanta doesn't want to venture into luxury tax territory, but that won't deter Ferry from making upgrades to the roster via trade, writes Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“It’s a crash course, for sure,” Ferry said. “I think we want to make the best decisions possible in the short term. We want to make right decisions, whether it’s a trade, whether it’s free agency. But especially trades.”
Ferry is getting a great deal of interest in Josh Smith but don't expect the high-flying forward to be shipped to Los Angeles for Pau Gasol as the push for the Lakers big man came from former GM Rick Sund. Smith and Al Horford are attractive pieces because of their reasonably priced contracts but Cunningham writes that moving Joe Johnson and his four-year, $90MM would be a major challenge.
The Hawks figure to have between $6.5-$9MM of room below the tax line to sign four to six players for next year. Ferry hinted that he will consider using the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions, which would put the team in tax territory, but will look to use them judiciously.