The Hawks crashed to earth in the conference finals after the high of a 60-win joy ride through the regular season, but a sweep at the hands of the Cavs hasn’t shaken the faith that coach and acting GM Mike Budenholzer has in his team. Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll, Pero Antic, Elton Brand and John Jenkins will become free agents this summer, when the Hawks have only about $39MM against a projected $67.1MM cap. Budenholzer wasn’t anxious to talk about the future so soon after Tuesday’s loss, but he made it clear that he’s not dreaming of changes, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays.
“I will say that this is a hell of a group and to bring them back would be a huge priority,” Budenholzer said.
Here’s more from Atlanta:
- League sources tell Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com that Carroll is liable to see $50MM on a four-year deal this summer, with a chance for that figure to come in even higher if a front office is particularly enamored. The expectation is that Millsap will command the max or close to it, Arnovitz adds. Previous estimates for Carroll have come in at $8-9MM annually and $9-12MM a year.
- The tight-knit fabric of the Hawks will be a lure to re-sign with the team, Millsap admitted in the wake of Atlanta’s elimination Tuesday, notes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (on Twitter). “This team is family, this team is close and that will play into the decision,” Millsap said.
- Purpose and well-defined roles helped Carroll ascend from journeyman to sought-after free agent, as Eric Weiss and Kevin O’Connor of DraftExpress examine.