Atlanta’s roster underwent some major changes this offseason, with longtime Hawks Al Horford and Jeff Teague departing and Dwight Howard among the incoming additions. However, the team managed to re-sign Kent Bazemore, and may end up undergoing even more roster turnover in 2017 — only five of the Hawks’ 17 current players have guaranteed salaries for the ’17/18 season.
One of those players who enters this season on an expiring contract is Thabo Sefolosha, who spoke to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about a handful of topics, including the club’s outlook for the coming year, and some of his new teammates. He also addressed his contract, though he’s trying to avoid thinking about 2017 free agency at this point.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t in the back of my mind,” Sefolosha said. “Once it is basketball season, I believe that if you take care of what you have to the rest will take care of itself. I’m going to focus on what I can control, play my game and take it from there.”
Sefolosha acknowledged that it will probably take the Hawks a little time to get used to the roster changes, including Horford’s and Teague’s departures. He also pointed out that the addition of Howard will alter the team’s style of play, particularly on the offensive end, since D12 doesn’t have the same shooting range that Horford does.
“On the offensive end, we have a style of play that we move the ball so much,” Sefolosha said. “I think what Al was doing – catching the ball up top and swinging and going to the pick-and-pop – now it’s going to give us some different options by rolling to the basket a lot more, bringing some force to the basket, maybe giving guys open shots on the outside. It’s going to be interesting.“
Finally, Sefolosha praised the Hawks’ rookie additions, suggesting that first-round pick Taurean Prince should be able to “provide some minutes fairly quickly,” while calling the signing of veteran rookie Malcolm Delaney “a big plus.”
What do you expect for the Hawks this season? Will the team take a step back, or is this still a solid playoff team in the East? Will this be Sefolosha’s last season in Atlanta? Weigh in below in the comment section.