Atlanta Hawks' Future Outlook
The Hawks have had a pretty rough couple of seasons, especially since the departure of former head coach Mike Budenholzer. They do have quite a bit of hope going forward, though, since despite an awful record of 17-42, they had an All-Star starter in point guard Trae Young. They also have a pair of solid big men in John Collins and recent acquisition Clint Capela, and a couple of young wings on rookie deals. With three of their four players over the age of 26 heading into free agency as well, they have plenty of youth moving forward. In other words, optimism is what Hawks' fans should be feeling.
WHO'S GONE: PG Jeff Teague, SG Vince Carter, F/C Skal Labissiere, C Damian Jones, G/F Treveon Graham, G/F DeAndre Bembry
The Hawks will be opening up about $30 million with the departure of these players, with more than half of that from Teague. Teague could be useful as a backup, but he would have to accept that role and take less money therefore. The rest of these guys can have roles on a team, but they wouldn't likely be more significant than their current roles with the Hawks. I'd also like to shout out to Vince Carter here, after playing in four decades and still having a desire to play basketball even if it means he's on a losing team. He's full of class and is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
C-Clint Capela, Dewayne Dedmon
PF-John Collins, Bruno Fernando
SF-DeAndre Hunter, Cam Reddish
PG-Trae Young, Brandon Goodwin
The Hawks' have a pretty good group of seven here, with Capela being the oldest and most expensive at 26 and $15 million. Young is looking like a perennial All-Star, and Collins has been posting a 20 & 10 season since his return from suspension. Huerter, Reddish and Hunter all have been having solid sophomore and rookie seasons as well, and will be taking up the majority of wing minutes. Center is the most interesting piece of the puzzle, with veterans Capela and Dedmon both wanting to start. Capela is clearly the better of the two, but Dedmon needs to realize that or he will get traded again.
Right now, all the Hawks really need to do is develop their young talent. Out of all of the teams in the East that won't be making the postseason, the Hawks have the best player in the conference in Trae Young (although I'll take the argument for Bradley Beal), with five of the six best players under the age of 23 at this moment. They also will be adding another high level pick, and have enough cap space to add some (better) veterans around the young team. Making it back to the playoffs in 2021 is not by any means crazy, especially since two of the eight playoff teams in the East might have losing records. This team is on the rise, and are doing a turnaround the right way.