Hawks’ Schlenk Talks Free Agency, Draft, Teague, More

After waiting out the first few days of free agency and then making modest moves in each of the last couple summers, the Hawks are in position to be more aggressive during 2020’s free agent period, general manager Travis Schlenk said on Monday, per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Atlanta may have the most cap room of any NBA team this offseason, though Schlenk cautioned that that doesn’t mean the Hawks will spend wildly when the new league year begins.

“If there are guys that we think are good fits, we might be out of the gates a little bit sooner,” Schlenk said. “I think the thing I’m always hesitant of is a lot of the times the first couple of contracts handed out might not be the best ones that look the best on paper.

“I think it’s conceivable that we might make some offers (well) before we have in the past, but whether or not agents or players jump at the offers we make right away or see if there’s something better out there might prevent us from signing someone right away. I do anticipate us being a little more assertive in free agency, but it all depends on the cap and if it shrinks.”

According to Kirschner, the Hawks have a Zoom meeting scheduled for Tuesday in which they plan to examine all 29 other NBA teams, determining which cap exceptions they’ll have and how they might use them. That will give Atlanta a better idea of which of its own targets might be available and how might those players might cost.

As Kirschner details, Schlenk and the Hawks would ideally like to add younger players who can grow along with the current core — Clint Capela, who turns 26 next month, was a player who fit that bill. Schlenk also won’t hesitate to create competition on the roster for young players by adding veterans who can help the team win, since he’d rather have too much depth than not enough.

Schlenk offered up several more interesting tidbits on Monday. Let’s round up a few…

  • The Hawks plan to keep their lottery pick unless “some great offer came our way and it’s something we couldn’t turn down,” according to Schlenk. As Kirschner relays, Atlanta also plans to take the best player available rather than focusing on a specific position. “We’re not in a position when you start picking (for need) that high in the draft,” Schlenk said. “I think it’s a mistake to draft on need unless the talent is equal, but you look for the best talent when you draft that high.”
  • When the Hawks acquired Jeff Teague earlier in the season, they reportedly envisioned him as a player who could re-sign with the team and serve as Trae Young‘s backup beyond this season. It’s unclear how seriously Atlanta is still mulling that possibility. According to Kirschner, Schlenk thought the veteran point guard “struggled getting comfortable” with the Hawks. “I think he was still trying to feel out the situation,” Schlenk said. “I don’t think we saw what Jeff Teague has left in those 25 games that he was here with us. He’s going to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and obviously backup point guard is going to be a position (of need) for us. And we’ll have that dialogue with he and his agent at the proper time.”
  • Asked to evaluate the Hawks’ performance in 2019/20, Schlenk gave the team an incomplete grade, pointing to John Collins‘ 25-game suspension, Capela’s inability to suit up due to injury, and – of course – the NBA’s hiatus as roadblocks that prevented the team from making a complete assessment. “I think the positives are after we got healthy, our most productive group was our draft picks on the floor,” the Hawks’ GM said, per Kirschner. “That’s obviously the exciting and positive part of it all.”
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10 thoughts on “Hawks’ Schlenk Talks Free Agency, Draft, Teague, More

  1. Simmons>Russ

    Trae Young John Collins Clint Capela
    A bunch of young wings

    All they need is a couple vets and 1 star player and they are set for the future

    • BishopL

      No he wouldn’t. Hawks struggles are three point shooting and defense. DD is decent at d when motivated but does not help with threes.

  2. seattlesuperfan

    They’re set if they get a veteran PG to back up young and a star wing

    PG: young, vet PG
    SG: Hueter reddish
    SF : Star SF, hunter, reddish
    PF Collins Dedmon
    C capela dedmon
    Then you got 6 roster spots to fill and two first round picks who you can pick based on best available or ceiling or trade for said star SF

    • ffjsisk

      I’d rather get a 2 then a 3. Hunter is better defensively then Reddish or Huerter and should continue to start. Cam and Kevin need a vet to put them on the bench. No reason either should be starting right now.

      • BishopL

        Lol. That’s not true even remotely. Cam’s defense was one of his best attributes even when he was struggling early on offensively. He became better as the season went on. And out of the three cam is light years ahead of hunter and huerter defensivly.rgey just need role players and defenders period.

      • Have you actually watched the Hawks? Cam’s defense was very good for a rookie. Better than Hunter or Huerter. Hunter was more consistent as far as mistakes, but Cam was better defensively and after the AS break, offensively well.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Disagree that you always draft for talent. This yr there are no star type in lottery. #2 could be as gd as #8. IMO Wiseman should be #1 pick. Some mocks have him as low as 7th. Hawks have solid young core. Best case scenario would be Edwards. He’s not lasting past 2 (Cavs). Would trade u p for him. Warriors are win now mode. Only player I see them taking is Wiseman. He can be in rotation. I’m 90% they trading out for a player or players. Hawks could trade there. Otherwise I can see Mello going there. His D needs work. U think he can improve there. Lonzo is going to be all team defense. Plus he can free up Trae to score. Edwards has great size n tools for SG in NBA. As fans we don’t know their heads, commitment, character. If he’s all good there. I would trade up for him.

  4. Is like for us to get Weismann in the first and Tra Jones in the second. Weismann has the most potential, while not being anywhere near the level that Edwards is right now. But Weismann could be head and shoulders above in a few years. Tra would be an excellent back up to Trea . He’s not a shooter but does distribute the ball well and excels where Young fails, Defensively!
    Our Wings are young, true. However Reddish has flashed star potential in the second half and Huerter can defend above average, catch and shoot, along with create. Hunter who’s the oldest has grate potential to be a 3 and player in the mold of Robert Covington. So while young, potential is here.

    Throwing money at Brandon Ingram, is not a bad idea in FA. Force NO to match. I like Derozen, not sure of the fit here though. With the money we have, even make an offer for AD, doubt he leaves LA, but O think an offer should be made.

    We are in a very good position to only make offers that can dramatically improve our team. If we are healthy, I think this team is a playoff team next year without any new additions. That’s pending we are healthy and Cam is the player he was in the second half.

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