The Hawks currently sit at 22-19, good for the third seed in the East. That seeding could hold up, but they are far from secure as a playoff team. Al Horford is gone for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, and the Hawks are only five games away from the nearest non-playoff team at the moment.
The Hawks own the better pick between theirs and the Nets for this upcoming draft, with the worse of the two picks heading to the Celtics. The Nets have been turning things around of late, and that pick (obtained through the Joe Johnson trade) is looking less like a lock for the lottery with every Brooklyn win. The Hawks very well could stay afloat in the dreadful Eastern Conference and gain playoff experience for a fairly young roster, with a chance to advance against atypically weak playoff competition in the East. If they slip, though, it could become tempting to unload some talent to a contender in exchange for assets and a better shot at a premium pick for this year’s hyped draft.
Some players worth a look:
- Paul Millsap: Millsap is working on one of the most tradable contracts in the league, with a modest $9.5MM cap hit each season of a short two-year deal, for a highly productive 28-year-old big man.
- Jeff Teague: After expressing a desire to leave the Hawks after an extended restricted free agency, the Hawks wound up matching the Bucks’ offer sheet to secure the point guard for $32MM over four years. The Hawks are developing rookie point guard Dennis Schröder, and former Sixth Man of the Year, Louis Williams, is playing his way back from an ACL injury as a point/shooting guard combo.
- Kyle Korver: Korver’s contract also stretches over four years, but the cap hit shrinks incrementally from $6.8MM this year to, eventually, $5.2 in the final year. Korver is a historically good three-point shooter, and there are usually contenders in the hunt for a scoring rotation piece as the season progresses.
- Al Horford: Horford has three years and $36MM left on his contract, and is sitting out this year due to the aforementioned pectoral injury. The Hawks had also turned away all trade proposals for the center at last report.
What do you think? Will the Hawks make any significant moves before the trade deadline, or hang on to their current foundation?