NBA 2021 offseason review: Atlanta Hawks
Hoops Rumors breaks down the 2021 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting summer free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll assess each team’s offseason moves, look at what remains to be done before opening night, and look at what the 2021/22 season has in store for the 30 franchises. Today we focus on Atlanta hawks.
Designation of free agents:
Note: Offers in Annex 10 are not included here.
- John collins: Five years, $ 125 million. Fifth-year player option. Re-signed as a restricted free agent using Bird rights.
- Lou williams: One year, $ 5 million. Re-signed using Bird rights.
- Gorgui Dieng: One year, $ 4 million. Signed using a mid-level exception.
- Solomon Hill: One year, minimum wage. Re-signed using the minimum wage exception.
- Skylar Mays: Two-part contract. Bidirectional qualification offer accepted as restricted free agent.
- Young Traé: Five years, maximum salary. Projected value of $ 172,500,000. Projected value can reach $ 207,060,000 if Young wins All-NBA honors in 2022. Includes fifth-year player option and 15% trade kicker. Starts in 2022/23.
- Clint Capela: Two years, $ 42,881,280 (base value). Includes $ 4 million in incentives. Starts in 2023/24.
Other offseason news:
- Retained Nate mcmillan as permanent head coach.
- Onyeka Okongwu has had shoulder surgery and will miss the start of the 2021/22 season.
- Added Joe prunty, Jamelle McMillan, and Nick van exel supervisory staff; Melvin hunt and Marlon Garnett the coaching staff is gone.
Salary ceiling situation:
- Remained above the cap and below the tax line.
- Wearing approx $ 133.1 million in salary.
- $ 5,536,000 mid-level exception for non-taxpayers still available ($ 4 million used on Gorgui Dieng).
- Full semi-annual exception ($ 3,732,000) still available.
- One traded player exception ($ 1,782,621) available.
Persistent pre-season issues:
- The Hawks have 14 players with guaranteed contracts, so they could still add a 15th man.
- Kevin huerter is eligible for a rookie-wide contract extension through October 18.
- Delon wright is eligible for an all-season veteran contract extension (extension and trade limitations are in place until December).
The Hawks’ offseason:
A year ago, the Hawks’ offseason priority was to use their significant heading ability to add veteran players who could complement the team’s young core. Not all of these signings were successful (Kris dunn and Rajon Rondo didn’t last long in Atlanta), but the approach paid off overall as the team made a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals.
This time around, the Hawks’ offseason goal wasn’t to keep adding outside talent to the roster, but rather to hold onto the franchise’s most important pieces for the long haul.
First of all, it meant locking up the top scorer Young Traé to a rookie scale extension. The Hawks offered Young a five-year max salary deal as soon as they were cleared to do so, and now have the former No.5 overall pick under the team’s control until at least 2026.
Shortly after making a deal with Young, Atlanta agreed to terms with John collins on a five-year contract. This negotiation was trickier – Young was still a year away from free agency, but Collins became a restricted free agent this summer, meaning he could have asked for an offer from a rival suitor. And while negotiations with Young essentially amounted to handing over a blank check, Collins’ talks revolved around finding a lower than maximum number that was satisfactory to both sides.
That number ended up being $ 25 million a year, which seems like a reasonable price for a versatile frontcourt player who is a force on offense and still has room to develop in defense. The Hawks left these negotiations happy to have locked Collins for less than the maximum, while the fifth-year option in his new contract will see the big man return to the free market at 27, as he could be online for even greater pay.
After making long-term deals with Young and Collins near the start of free agency, the Hawks waited a few weeks before closing an extension with Big Man. Clint Capela also. NBA teams no longer invest in the central position as before, but some players still deserve significant commitments, and Capela showed in 2020/21 that he fits that bill – he anchored the Atlanta defense and was sixth in Defensive Player of the Year Vote.
Adding on to the remaining two years of Capela’s current contract was a steal for the Hawks, who now have the center on the books for around $ 83.7million over the next four years (various incentives could change that total slightly. one way or the other).
The Hawks’ final key retention wasn’t a player at all – it was the head coach Nate mcmillan. The team’s trajectory changed dramatically in the middle of the 2020/21 season when McMillan replaced Lloyd Pierce on the sidelines. The veteran coach led Atlanta to a 27-11 record the rest of the way and won two playoffs, showing that his lack of playoff success in four years in Indiana didn’t mean he couldn’t. win in the playoffs.
There was no doubt that the Hawks would offer McMillan the permanent position at the end of the season – luckily for the franchise, he accepted that offer rather than exploring the open market, where he surely would have garnered a lot of interest from from some of the seven teams looking for new coaches.
While the new signing and expanding their internal talents was the primary focus of the Hawks’ offseason, their work around the roster should not be overlooked. Atlanta hopes Delon wright can give the team the kind of backcourt production Rondo and Dunn didn’t – Wright is a versatile defenseman who is able to reach for the basket and take the pressure off Young from the ball.
The addition of free agent Gorgui Dieng was another solid decision from the president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk and its reception. Dieng was not a great value on his previous contract (four years, $ 63 million), but at one year and $ 4 million he should provide a solid ROI, especially with Onyeka Okongwu is expected to miss the start of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
The Hawks’ next season:
Expecting the Hawks to return to the Eastern Conference final may be overly optimistic. Milwaukee and Brooklyn are probably the top two teams in the East, while Miami, Boston, Indiana, New York and others will be looking to claim spots in the top tier.
Still, even if the Hawks don’t make another playoff run in 2022, we shouldn’t necessarily be counting on a major regression. Atlanta was successful in 2020/21 despite the absence of key players like De’André Hunter and Cam Reddish for most of the second half of the season, and Bogdan Bogdanovic for a good part of the first half. Young and Collins have room to continue improving, and this will be the team’s first full season under McMillan.
I think the Hawks are still a step away from the rightful title fight, but they are a deep and talented team capable of competing for a top-four seed in the East and making out. noise again in the playoffs.
Basketball Insiders salary information was used in the creation of this position.