Luke Babbitt , Marco Belinelli , Nicolas Brussino , Dewayne Dedmon , Miles Plumlee , John Collins (1st Round , #19) , Tyler Dorsey (2nd Round , #41)
Mike Dunleavy , Paul Millsap , Dwight Howard , Ryan Kelly , Jose Calderon , Kris Humphries , Thabo Sofolosha
If proof was ever needed that the Players Union may have dropped the ball when they opting against a cap smoothing process after the TV windfall, look no further than the Hawks, who enter the season with former professional towel waiver Kent Bazemore as their highest paid player. The Hawks appeared to be back on the right track after the messy Danny Ferry saga, but there has been mixed messages from the new ownership group about exactly where the franchise is heading. Mike Budenholzer was given the always problematic dual role of Coach / President of Basketball Operations. Under his watch the Hawks signed Dwight Howard but inexplicably let All-Stars Al Horford and Paul Millsap walk away for nothing. Howard is now gone and Bud is back to being just a coach.
After 10 straight play off appearances Atlanta now looks to be in full rebuild mode. New GM Travis Schlenk has arrived from Golden State but has very little raw talent to work with. Point Guard Dennis Schroder is entering his fifth season with the team but is yet to prove is capable of being an above average NBA player. Despite his quickness, he still struggles to finish at the rim and is not a great shooter. Second year forward Taurean Prince has decent size & should see a big bump in his minutes, as should DeAndre’ Bembry. Despite having a name that sounds like a character from a 1980’s Lenny Henry sketch show , new Centre “Dewayne Dedmon” has yet to show can be effective in extended minutes. This all projects to the Hawks having one of the worst offences in the league.
Atlanta owns all it’s own picks , Minnesota & Houston’s 2018 picks (protected) and a protected 2019 Cleveland pick, none of which figure to be lottery picks as things stand. New GM Schlenk will need to get creative or hope to bag a few high lottery picks. The failure to get anything back for Millsap at the trade deadline for the sake of a first round play off exit, looks more erroneous by the day. The Hawks were in the bottom five in the attendance tables last season and do not have a nationally televised game all season, so there isn’t a great deal to get excited about here. Rookie big man John Collins looked impressive during summer league and should be good for a few highlight reel stuffs. If the Hawks are going to win more than 25 games it’s going to be on the defensive end.