NBA Previews: Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have had an eventful offseason so far, to say the least. They brought in a new GM, Danny Ferry, who within days of arriving shipped off Atlanta’s franchise player, Joe Johnson, to Brooklyn for expiring contracts. Then he traded Marvin Williams for Devin Harris’ expiring contract. The team is starting a new chapter.

Jeff Teague, Al Horford, and Josh Smith are the Hawks “Big Three.”

Key Free Agent Acquistions

Good:

Lou Williams– Williams was brought in to replace the scoring void left by Johnson. Williams is a streaky player but when he is on, he is on (remind you of a certain Sixth Man, Hawk fans?). He is a good off the ball player and will help the Hawks whether he is coming off the bench or starting.

Bad: None

Key Losses to Free Agency

Good: None

Bad: None

Re-Signings

Ivan Johnson– If you are a Hawks fan, you should be ecstatic that this man is returning. Coach Larry Drew did not play him consistently, but when Ivan Johnson was on the court, he was one of the hardest working guys. He scrambles for the ball and does the dirty work for the Hawks. He is their “tough” guy and a great spark off the bench. Drew just needs to utilize him more and consistently.

Draft/Trades

John Jenkins– Atlanta’s first round pick has been called the best pure shooter from this year’s draft. At the time of this pick, the Hawks could have used some three point shooting. Since the pick, the Hawks have stacked up on three point shooters. Regardless, Jenkins was a solid pick by the Hawks who could see decent minutes.

Mike Scott– Atlanta’s second round pick was a top ACC talent in Virginia. I like this guy a lot but whether he gets any playing time is something to question. The Hawks did sign him so we will see how Scott does.

Joe Johnson to Brooklyn- Joe Johnson was traded to Brooklyn for Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams (waived), Jordan Farmar (waived), and a 2013 protected first-round pick. None of the players are outstanding, but they can be used as solid bench players. Also, it does not hurt that their contracts are expiring.

Marvin Williams to Utah- Williams was traded to Utah for Devin Harris and his expiring contract. Harris had a down season last year, but he can still prove to be valuable as a starting two guard next to Jeff Teague. He is a former all-star and has been to the NBA Finals. His experience will help the Hawks and he can mentor Teague.

Prediction

The Hawks are going to be a run-and-gun team this season. They are stacked with shooters and have gotten a bit bigger in the front court. Some expect the Hawks to drop to a lower playoff seed. It is possible, but do not be surprised if they end where they were last season or maybe a little higher. I have them finishing second in the Southeast division and fifth in the Eastern Conference.

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Comments

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13 Comments

  1. Sorry, don’t see it.

    Big Al is going to have to score more, taking away from his energy on defense, Jeff has been needing to breakout for a while and I’ve never been a Josh Smith fan. They got squat for JJ, and while I like Devin Harris and Lou Williams, neither scares me.

  2. The Hawks have other options to score. Williams, Teague, Smith, Morrow, and Harris. Any of these guys can go off. Can they do it consistently? Not necessarily, but since they have options they can pick each other up. Horford does not need to force anything. Teague and Harris are both good at attacking the paint, and Horford is good at those mid-range corner jumpers.

  3. I could see the Hawks second in the Southeast. Miami wins it (of course) but Atlanta is better than what’s in Orlando, Washington, and Charlotte. However, the Atlantic Division is stacked and the Central has a couple good teams too. I just can’t see that 5th seed. I like your points but I just can’t see it.

  4. I think the Celtics take a step back this season. Yes, they drafted some talent with potential and made some smart signings but I don’t think it’ll be enough. I know the past couple of seasons a lot of people say this about Boston, but I think their time is over. I’m not sold on the Knicks either.

  5. I believe that Washington outranks Atlanta at this point.
    Ferry has pushed the reset button with expiring contracts for next offseason entering the Paul/Howard sweepstakes. Ferry will try to re-sign J-Smoove in addition to one of them.

    Agree with Menua on the Celtics. It will be a while before their rooks get adjusted and I only see Garnett with 1 maybe 2 seasons left. Rondo will CONTINUE to go off in the meantime. I always enjoy watching him play.

  6. The Hawks haven’t really added much outside of Williams. The Bullets/Wizards added 3 starters in Okafor/Ariza/Beal. That alone is enough to beat out the Hawks and get them into the playoffs this year.

  7. Okafor/Ariza isn’t exactly James/Wade. They don’t have that kind of talent to propel a team to the playoffs. As for Beal, he hasn’t even played an NBA game yet.

  8. I agree that they had some good signings and a good job drafting Beal, but they will not be beating out the Hawks. I might consider them an eighth seed team. I will look deeply into them before making that call.

  9. Ouch. No John Wall for two months. He will miss about the first month of the season. That does not help the Wizard’s cause.

  10. Just read about John Wall. STILL think the Wizards will finish better than Hawks in playoff race, though it will take some time for all the chemistry to develop. Slide over Mr. Beal.

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