The Hawks are heavily involved in the trade rumor mill ahead of the draft and free agency, but president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk says the team isn’t looking for a major roster shuffle.
“It’s not going to be a major overhaul,” Schlenk said, according to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic. “I think some people have assumed some things based on some of my comments or (team owner) Tony (Ressler)’s comments after the season.”
As Schultz writes, Atlanta faces an important offseason as a pretty good team that took a step back in 2021/22 — the Hawks made the Eastern Conference finals in ’20/21 but were eliminated by Miami in the first round of the playoffs this season. The Hawks want to compete for championships around Trae Young, but transforming a low-end playoff team into a championship-caliber club is easier said than done.
“It’s a lot easier to become a good team, a playoff team, than it is to become one that contends for a title,” Schlenk said. “We feel we’ve become a competitive team, but now we have to take the next step and these are difficult decisions. If you make a mistake in the draft, you can overcome that. It’s a two-year mistake. If you make a mistake in free agency or in a sign-and-trade, when you’re giving somebody a four-year, $150 million contract, that can be detrimental for a long time.”
Schlenk said he’s talking to five or six teams a day, and acknowledges that “there are four or five paths we can take right now.” He’s adamant that finding the right fit will play a crucial role in whichever path he takes.
“It’s about fit,” Schlenk said, per Schultz. “That’s an aspect of this people don’t appreciate enough. It’s easy to (assess) talent, but these are human beings, and they’re a close-knit group of guys who spend a lot of time together. The right guy or the wrong guy can really affect a team.”
It’s an interesting story from Schultz and worth checking out for Hawks fans who subscribe to The Athletic.