The NBA offseason was underway Monday, and two teams come to my mind when I think of offseason winners. The Lakers, and the Hawks. Maybe Phoenix. Los Angeles added Trez Harrell, which was surprising considering that Harrell is a former Clipper. But, L.A. is a city of defending champions, so their moves may not be of as much importance as the moves of Atlanta. After this offseason ends, analysts and reporters will all start to talk about how the Hawks made great moves to put themselves in playoff position.
After a strong draft in 2019, many expected the Hawks to be better than what they were. Injuries stopped that, but Atlanta was also a very young team, who couldn’t find rhythm night in and night out. The most recent campaign wasn’t a good one, but one positive thing that Hawks fans can take from it is finally seeing the cornerstone of this team. Trae Young, who was selected to the All Star game, averaged a stellar 29.6 points per game, and also shot 43.7% from the field. After seeing this dominance, Atlanta decided to start building around Young, and they started out right. Cam Reddish and DeAndre Hunter could pan out to have great sophomore years, along with the new acquisitions from the offseason that will be mentioned.
Danilo Gallinari (3 year, $61.5 million)
After being traded from the Clippers to OKC, Danilo Gallinari put up a solid 2019-20 campaign. He averaged about 18 points, and shot 40% from beyond the arc. He was a reliable target on offense to help get a bucket, and is one of the more efficient players in the NBA. Surrounding a veteran like him around Trae Young could be useful in more ways than people would believe. In my opinion, I believe Gallo will be averaging about 20-22 points in ATL, giving the Hawks a consistent option offensively. The contract itself may surprise people, but with Atlanta being a young team on the rise, Gallinari is in the perfect situation to contribute, while teaching the younger teammates.
Rajon Rondo (2 year, $15 million)
After helping the Los Angeles Lakers win their first title in 10 years, Rajon Rondo was looking to go to a team where he could contribute more, and still be a contender. Rondo obviously hasn’t been putting up jaw-dropping numbers, but he will still be a solid role player when Trae Young needs a breather. Like Gallinari, Rondo brings veteran presence to this team, as well as some playoff experience. Now, given that he will be making over $7 million this year, you should expect better numbers from his last few seasons, but not by a whole lot. Rondo should fit the Hawks’ scheme pretty well, which could lead to impactful minutes down the stretch. Overall, I feel that this acquisition is great in the sense that now, Atlanta has a solid guard to back Trae Young up.
Bogdan Bogdanovic (4 year, $72 million)
After the Sacramento Kings were unable to match the Hawks’ offer for Bodan Bogdanovic, Atlanta received yet another solid player for this young team. Coming off a career best in points per game, Bogdanovic is another reliable defender, and shooter for this Hawks team. Bogdanovic can work his mid-range game, and is also a solid three point scorer. The contract looks pretty big, but the Hawks needed at least one more piece, and paying Bogdan $18 million a year is what they had to do. We will see how this will play out with Gallinari in the same lineup, but Bogdan played with Nemanja Bjelica, who has a similar playstyle to Gallo, and it wasn’t bad at all.
This Atlanta team will surely be better than last season, and I believe that they are most likely going to end up a playoff team. With Clint Capela putting on his Hawks uniform for the first time next season, it makes the starting 5 that much more lethal. Trae Young might not be able to put up the same crazy numbers as he did last year, because of the other offensive assets the Hawks acquired this off season. But, he still will be this team’s go to man. Who knows what kind of plays head coach Lloyd Pierce could draw up for his Hawks squad that will be putting up some big offensive numbers.
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