In 2021, the Atlanta Hawks made an unexpected run to the Eastern Conference Finals before coming up short against the eventual-champion Milwaukee Bucks. That run was impressive, no doubt, but it may have done more harm than good in the long run.

It's not a stretch to say that this run caused the Hawks to think they were closer to a title than they really were. Atlanta regressed in 2021-22, finishing 43-39 before losing to the Miami Heat in the first round. The following offseason, the Hawks traded a haul of future draft picks to acquire All-Star guard Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs, forming a dangerous backcourt alongside Trae Young. The 2022-23 season was more of the same though, as Atlanta finished 41-41 and lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round.

After back-to-back disappointing seasons, Atlanta now seems to be at a crossroads. Many Hawks have appeared in trade rumors this offseason, even their supposed franchise player in Young. However, they can't really tear it down because the Spurs have so many of their future picks. On the other hand, it's clear that this team still isn't close to a title yet.

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

To help bridge that gap, the Hawks will have to make some signings in free agency. They must choose their targets carefully though, as they should focus on addressing their weaknesses rather than adding luxury players.

With that said, here are two players the Hawks must avoid in NBA free agency.

Seth Curry

Curry isn't on this list because he's a bad player, far from it. Like his more famous brother, Curry's specialty is as a sharpshooter and especially from three-point range. This season with the Brooklyn Nets, he averaged 9.2 points per game off the bench while shooting 46.3% from the field and 40.5% on three-pointers.

That's all well and good, but it's not what Atlanta needs at all. The Hawks were already a strong offensive team, with the third-best scoring offense in the league at 118.4 points per game. Their struggles were mostly on defense, as they had the fifth-worst scoring defense at 118.1 points allowed per game. Curry isn't exactly known for his defense, so he can't help them much there.

Additionally, the Hawks' two best players are both guards in Young and Murray. They are on the floor for most of the game, so Curry wouldn't see a ton of playing time here regardless. All around, just not a good fit for the player or the team.

Christian Wood

Wood is a big man, so he wouldn't be as redundant as Curry would be in Atlanta. That's about where the positives end here though, as despite his different position, Wood has a lot of the same issues as Curry.

Namely, Wood isn't a great defensive player and thus wouldn't address the Hawks' greatest weakness. Even this season with the Dallas Mavericks, Wood faced heavy criticism for his lack of defense throughout the season. Wood's debut season in Dallas was just a disaster all around, as he only started 17 of 67 games. Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison all but confirmed that Wood would not be back next season, cementing his season as a failure.

Wood will now head to the market hoping to bounce back from his poor time in Dallas. Some teams will likely have interest in the big man, but the Hawks should not be among them.