The Atlanta Hawks had a blockbuster trade this offseason, but are they done upgrading their roster?
This offseason, the Hawks hit it out of the park. They acquired Dejounte Murray before the start of free agency in a trade with the Spurs. They also shipped out Danilo Gallinari and a number of first-round picks. The Hawks then followed it up by moving Kevin Huerter for Maurice Harkless and Justin Holiday and signing Aaron Holiday in free agency.
The biggest fish, of course, was Murray. At 25 years old, he is a young talent approaching his peak, and the Hawks did fairly well by acquiring him. There is no doubt that his pairing with Trae Young will be among the most explosive and entertaining in the league.
Can't wait for this duo to hit the court pic.twitter.com/yQklW9iPgD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 10, 2022
With these moves, the Hawks should have plenty of depth at every position. They are arguably nine or 10-man deep right now. In addition, they also have tradeable players to pursue another star if they so choose somewhere down the road. These “tradeables” include John Collins, Onyeka Okongwu, De’Andre Hunter, and AJ Griffin.
As such, the Atlanta Hawks starting five for 2022–23 will likely be composed of Young, Murray, Hunter, Collins, and Clint Capela. Keep in mind, though, that with the removal of Huerter, this starting five is remarkably similar to the one from the previous season.
That should be good enough for at least a play-in spot in the Eastern Conference, but if the Hawks truly want to soar, then they’ll need to address two areas of concern.
Let’s take a closer look at these two crucial needs the Hawks still need to deal with if they want to make a significant improvement in the 2022–2023 NBA season.
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2 biggest needs Hawks must still address to win 2023 NBA Finals
2. Veteran shooter
The backcourt troika of Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, and Aaron Holiday is mighty promising. It’s also quite young with no player older than 25 years old.
On the other hand, losing Huerter and Delon Wright and having Bogdan Bogdanic still injured means the Hawks could use a true 3-and-D wing to complement their high-powered backcourt and their solid bigs.
In an ideal world, the Hawks should target a veteran 3-and-D guy who can also provide locker room stability and preferably playoff experience. Too bad Bruce Bowen is no longer available, eh?
Some possible options include Wayne Ellington, Avery Bradley, Kent Bazemore, or rolling the dice anew with former Hawk Lou Williams.
1. Upgrade a big
Over in the frontcourt, the big question is — is this as good as it gets with the duo of Clint Capela and John Collins?
Collins was playing the greatest basketball of his career before last season’s injuries. The Hawks’ official stance is that they still think highly of him. They ought to.
John Collins will be on the Atlanta Hawks roster come Opening Night, and that is great news.https://t.co/SUoXTLOPAC
— Pat Benson (@Pat_Benson_Jr) July 15, 2022
He is one year older than Young and one year younger than Murray. There were concerns about Collins’ playoff capabilities, but he rebutted them forcefully in 2021. If this scenario can be saved, it would be worthwhile to do so unless a fantastic trade offer materializes.
But let’s say it does materialize. At this point who should go? Collins or Capela?
As crazy as it may sound, Collins may make for the more enticing trade bait. He’s younger, more athletic, and is a much better scorer. A lot of teams would want someone like that at the 4-spot.
As for Capela, it makes more sense for him to stay. His skill-set is more complementary to the scoring we will expect from Young and Murray. In addition, Capela is less likely to be the target of a major trade compared to Collins.
Having said that, if Collins does go at some point, the Hawks better get a potential double-double machine who can really provide a lot of toughness to complement Capela in the paint.