Are the Atlanta Hawks tearing it down?

Since bringing former Cleveland Cavalier’s GM Danny Ferry into the organization, the Hawks have been ultra aggressive. They’ve been a key team in the midst of the beginning of Free Agency and have been considered as possible players in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.

The Atlanta Hawks did the impossible and dealt two contracts that were thought to be immovable. They dealt Joe Johnson to the Nets as what could be considered a plan B for the Nets if Williams doesn’t resign or if they can’t obtain Dwight Howard’s services. The Nets sent Jordan Farmar, Jordan Williams, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, and a 2013 lottery protected pick from the Houston Rockets in return. How Ferry worked that out, I have no idea. He received so many assets in return for what could still be a pretty bad contract.

Ferry wasn’t done there though. He also moved Marvin Williams, who was going to make over 8 mil this season, for Devin Harris who is on an expiring contract, unlike Williams, who had a player option of 7 million for next season. He is also a more productive player than Williams as well so he could prove to be a very valuable trade chip next season for the Hawks.

All of these aggressive moves have left me with a sense of wonder really. Is this a move for the long haul or are they doing this for the short term? I don’t think that there’s a direct answer to this question but that’s a great thing for the Hawks.

They don’t point in any exact direction, which is probably the best thing for the Hawks. They’ve now shipped out their go-to scorer who was really making their offense ultra-predictable with an unhealthy dose of isolations and a player who was really a failed experiment in Atlanta. Now they’re working with plenty of flexibility.

The team that couldn’t make it out of the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs is no more. Now the Hawks will need to find a new identity instead of playing through Johnson and all of his isolations. They’ve got some pretty good options to work with in Al Horford and Josh Smith. On the floor they can play through the paint an actually be successful at it. Of course, they’ll need to bolster their roster with some shooting before the season is over. Newly drafted John Jenkins will not be enough.

They’ll likely play at a faster pace as well since the lightning speed point guard Jeff Teague will now be their featured backcourt player. He’ll likely start over Devin Harris because of his familiarity of the offense, but they complement each other extremely well. They both love to play fast and in the open floor. That bodes well for them and Josh Smith as he is one of the best at running the floor as a big. Transition buckets and threes will be key for this team. No longer will they rely on jump shots to win them games. They’ll play a more physical brand of basketball–much like the Memphis Grizzlies.

After shedding over 28 million dollars for this year and next year respectively, the Hawks have presented themselves with the opportunity to work via free agency and many more potential deals. They’ve kept their two best players also and that can’t be understated. Both are All-Stars and provide so much flexibility on the floor. Also, if need be, you can use them as trade pieces and get potential future assets for them. They both provide so much value on and off the floor.

What the Hawks have done has been undervalued throughout NBA circles and needs to be brought to the light. Maybe Danny Ferry isn’t as inept as a GM as I thought that he was.

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One Thought to “Are the Atlanta Hawks tearing it down?”

  1. Ferry, coupled with new ownership, a new front office guy from San Antonio and unloading two of the worst contracts in the NBA (Johnson’s anyway) to find that the Hawks might actually try and do something. I believe these changes are for the presence of whose going to be free agents in the next 18 months —- the short term goals. But trading Johnson & Williams are decisions that with prove as positive benefits as a result in the long term. Even if they don’t get one of those big free agents, they have enough players, incentives (draft picks, cap room, a little extra money) and playable pieces to involve in trades on either side of the time frame. Great article, man.

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