The Hawks plan to shake things up this offseason after standing relatively pat last summer. That’s what owner Tony Ressler told the media, including The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner, on Thursday.
Ressler felt the team’s brass may have read too much into the surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, which is why the roster looked much the same this season.
“I think we should have tried to get better rather than bring back what we had,” Ressler said. “That won’t happen again. It was a mistake, in my opinion at least.”
President of basketball operations Travis Schlenk made similar comments during a radio interview earlier this week.
Here are few more notable points from Ressler’s press conference:
- The Hawks’ roster moves will be made with an eye toward finding more creators on offense and better defenders, particularly on the perimeter. “Getting more folks who could handle the ball, create and more defensive-oriented players — or both — that’s an obvious answer,” Ressler said. “When I talk to Travis and (assistant GM) Landry (Fields) about this very subject, which you could imagine happens frequently, I think their view is the league is complicated. You have to use the free-agent view, you have to use the draft, you have to use the development of the players — and, frankly, the availability of what’s out there will determine the decisions we make.”
- Ressler is willing to make the Hawks a taxpaying team, as long as it makes sense to spend for a perennial contender. Ressler has told Schlenk he’s willing to go over the luxury tax threshold as early as next season. “We’re going to pay what we have to pay,” he said. “Sometimes owners set a tone — and I’m trying to set a very clear tone — sometimes we say some things one season that may not pertain to the next. Going into the tax doesn’t scare us. … Our job is to go into the tax when it’s good business, to position ourselves for greatness.”
- Ressler isn’t thinking about a coaching or front office change. “Between Travis, Landry and Nate (McMillan), we have a hell of a team in our front office and coaching staff,” Ressler said. “I have enormous confidence in all of those folks.” However, he felt complacency seeped in throughout the roster and organization. “That’s what this season told me,” he said. “The idea that you have complacency before you win a championship — maybe after we win a championship, I’ll take a breath. We’re not going to have complacency again at any level.”
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34 thoughts on “Hawks Owner Ressler Promises Roster Changes”
Move Trae while people still think he’s worth something.
I’m curious what do you think they could or should get back in return??
Shai, Tre Mann, a 2024 1st & maybe a 2nd or a pick swap to send Trae back home to OKC… Trae, Giddey, Maledon, Lu Dort, (top5 pick), Bazley, Kenrich, Roby, JRE is a very strong young core for the Thunder with a bona-fide superstar homestate legend as the face of the franchise
Hawks trying to win. Sga has been injured every year in the league plus trae is the better player. They’re not doing that trade.
Collins and gallo and capela are the pieces they look to move
Never move Trae huh???
Ben Simmons makes this team complete. John Collins + picks for Simmons sounds like a good deal
Why would the hawks trade a useful player and picks for Ben Simmons and he just had back surgery and hasn’t played basketball in over a year. We don’t even know if he really wants to play anymore. He just wants the money
Lol I think he’s a Nets fan trolling you bro.
On a serious note, I think the Hawks should move Trae to the Mavs for Brunson and a 2nd round pick.
Now that’s a troll
Brunson is a free agent
Nice troll job
As the last/only Philly fan that still sees the value of Ben and the wasted opportunity we never got with him, I think he would be a great addition to the Hawks. Not sure Collins is enough or even the right fit for the Nets? But if I am Atlanta I would be calling, even if it’s not the popular take among the media and fans.
Don’t understand the Trae hate. Yes he sucks defensively but I mean that’s pretty normal among point guards.
His offence makes up for it, he become only the second player ever to lead the league in total points and total assists this season.
Last year he lead them to the ECF where they challenged the bucks who eventually won.
Doncic is great but he’s had little post season success and didn’t have the season Trae did.
I understand they made the play in and just made it to the playoffs and lost in the first round and I understand that his defence is probably the worst in the league but honestly I’d say he’s top 15/top 20 in the league.
He loves Atlanta and the city loves him, you’d be an absolute idiot to trade him
Would you do a swap of Lillard for Trae?
No fake is in his thirties and Trae is early 20’s
I agree with everything except that trading him would be idiotic. It’s very possible to improve the team by trading him. Losing Trae would obv be tough he’s the most beloved athlete in the city, but getting SGA plus guys like Roby, Mann &/or Dort for Trae would probably make the Hawks better overall. I wouldn’t even mind something like Bron, Nunn, AReaves & LA’s 2027 1st for Trae & Gallo
Both of those would be terrible.
Doubt OKC would make that and Bron is 37.
I’d say it’s idiotic just because of how much potential there is. Compare him to Luka, who everyone loves. Trae has had more post season success and Trae just had a better season statistically.
He defends poorly and doesn’t get as many regular season wins as Doncic but Doncic has a better coach and they’ve built a team specifically around him, I don’t think Atlanta has done that yet. Naturally Trae’s player comp is Curry and he has a team build around him nothing at all like what the hawks have around Trae.
Trae in order to reach that next level can’t do it all by himself as he just proved. (Leading the league in total points and assists for only the second time ever.) Right now I’d be looking at Zion Williamson. Might not result in regular season wins straight away but long term wise this duo would be insane. Trae and Zion could be two top 5/top 10 talents who’s games complement one another. Trae doing work on the outside which spaces the floor for Zion. Trae getting Zion the ball in great areas for easy points. Zions athleticism helping get last minute covering blocks.
That would be my plan.
Now in order to do that just a guess by I’d try:
Hawks: Zion Williamson and DeVonte Graham
Pelicans: John Collins, Jalen Suggs, Hawks 2022 first round pick, Charlottes 2023 first round pick (owned by the hawks), Hawks 2024 first round pick, Hawks 2023 second round pick and Pelicans 2023 second round pick (owned by the hawks)
Magic: Kevin Hueter, Garrett Temple and Hawks 2022 second round pick
To simply Pelicans get John Collins, Jalen Suggs, 3 first round picks and 2 seconds for Zion Williamson, DeVonte Graham and Garrett Temple. Magic give up Suggs and get Heuter, Temple and a second and Hawks get Zion and Graham.
From there trade Graham for KCP and in FA bring back Dennis Schroder.
1. Trae. Schroder
2. KCP. Bogi. Lou Will
3. Hunter. Johnson
4. Zion. Gallo
5. Capela. Okungwu. Deing
Trae and Zion are the offence giving you 25 each with Hunter getting another 15-20. Off the bench Schroder and Bogi would be lethal and Gallo gives you threes. Defensively KCP is a great addition next to Trae and really helps, Hunter is strong, Capela owns the paint and Zion gets blocks. Schroder and Bogi off the bench again both defend the perimeter well, big chance for Okungwu to get minutes and impress. Overall I’d say aim for 7th/8th seed and a playoff run but as you develop you’ll be looking at being a top seed and eventually a champion
I think both can be true. Trae had a really, really poor performance this postseason. But he’s also still a top 15 guy in the league, based on what he did last postseason and this regular season.
I think the questions around Trae and Luka are both warranted and kind of the same? They’re both super high volume dominant one man offenses – but neither can do it alone, and both will need to adjust their games if/when reinforcements are brought in.
Personally, I would give the slight nod to Luka – I think he’s a little less easy to hunt defensively (unless of course you’re Chris Paul…) and I think his size offensively will ultimately make him a little easier to build around.
But both are 100% franchise guys though, to me.
Well if the Nets want out of BEN Simmons… Theres Gallo and Bogdan. Makes sense. Ben has less than zero trade value. And idk if anyone is lining up for Gallo and Bogdan.
Would help their defense if he ever plays again. And he wont fight Trae for shots.
I can hear the “Ben Simmons feels like he should be more involved in Atlanta’s offense” grumblings already
But seriously … at least Gallo and Bogdan will play. They’d definitely be upgrades over Kessler Edwards
Luka was abused on Defence but he is still not as bad as Trae. Steph Practiced hard and now can play some D. Trae has to if he wants a championship.
Owners getting involved is almost never a good thing. It’s nice that Ressler is passionate about winning, but you either trust Schlenk or fire him. And he doesn’t warrant firing yet.
If the Hawks were smart, they would fire McMillan. He’s a decent regular season coach who gets exposed in the playoffs. And there is no hope of change or growth. Some folks will argue it’s too risky to jettison a known quantity in search of a superior replacement, but that is part of a front office’s job description. It’s not just about identifying talent in the draft or signing free agents. And good front offices know what characteristics to look for in a good head coaching candidate.
I’m not saying he’s Red Auerbach or anything but McMillan did coach a very young and flawed team to the ECF last year. The Hawks just ran into a better team sooner in this year’s playoffs.
Agreed I think Nate is a quality coach. Not sure he is top 10, but I wouldn’t be upset if he coached my team…granted we are stuck with Doc right now so it makes it easy to say…but Nate is a solid coach and I would be comfortable rolling next year with him if I was Atlanta
I’m not blaming him at all for the team’s overall playoff performance. Just that when it comes down to it, he struggles with his rotations, timeout management, offensive sets, etc. Those issues get magnified in the playoffs.
Great motivator, middle-of-the-pack coach…that’s okay. But for teams which would like to fancy themselves real contenders in short order, it’s something to think about as a vehicle for improvement.
Granted, in terms of the team’s current needs, I would not put his status anywhere near the top. The Hawks have real weaknesses to address roster-wise.
Agreed in the sense that I don’t think you can blame Nate for what happened this postseason compared to last. If Ben Simmons dunks the ball last summer then Atlanta probably goes home in the second round and the narrative is a lot different.
But I do kind of blame him for their underperformance this season. There were definitely some health issues, but this team was just not good for a large chunk of the season.
I’d probably give him another chance w/ some roster upgrades. But if they come out the gate poorly again next season I think his seat will warm up quickly
So many “I’ statements.
Did you see Gibby in that Gwar movie?
You like Gwar bro?
My dude – you realize that when people subscribe to posts they get notified every time you reply to me THEN edit THEN edit again.
Or when you reply THEN delete. Or use obvious burner accounts THEN delete.
It’s ok man. You consistently lose arguments to someone named buttholesurfer69 on the internet. Does that mean you’re generally unintelligent? Probably.
But look at El Don – it doesn’t bother him this much. He doesn’t spam my inbox with edits of his futile attempts at wittiness. I respect that about him.
Having said that, I’m still proud of you. Enjoy the weekend :)
I mean, the team was young and still had a ton of potential upside after last year. Playoff Reddish and having Hunter back healthy were kind of viewed as two “additions” if you will. Hindsight is 20/20 in sports.
Trae like Lamelo like Damian like D’Angelo are not winning players. No defense, no motivation to defend and only death stares to coaches who preach at least some effort on defense. Their owners are eternal dreamers until it eventually ends in tears.
Lillard and Trae have been in conference finals, not sure how they are not winning players (if so your list must be pretty short and your criteria a little harsh!)? Russell is probably a guy you have to build just right around in order to win (but…pretty much true of any player) and I wouldn’t want him on my team…Lamelo? I think he is going to be good and I enjoy watching him play…but then I like watching good basketball players of any team rather than hating everyone and/or their team. I think Ball will be good, just needs another year or 2. I just don’t think Lillard or Trae fit in the comparison
ATL made a big mistake by keeping Hunter & shipping Reddish,…
Also they need to get more out of JC, he is a 20/10 guy performing at 16/8, they need to play more for him if they wanna win more…
Getting rid of McMillan who for some reason makes JC play like a roll player not an emerging star, just needs to go for the team to do well, a good coach would make a real difference!