Atlanta Hawks Off-Season 2020: New Playoff-Ready Team

The Atlanta Hawks have not made the playoffs since the 2016-2017 season when they lost to the Washington Wizards in the first round with coach Mike Budenholzer. The following season, they brought in new general manager Travis Schlenk, and two years after that they added new head coach Lloyd Pierce. However, they have not had over 30 wins in three seasons. Last season, they were one of eight teams not invited to the NBA playoff bubble with a 20-47 record. But, after the Atlanta Hawks off-season, they put together a team that could bring them to the playoffs this season.

Player Acquisitions

The Atlanta Hawks’ off-season moves came from their roster-building through free agency, trades, and the 2020 NBA draft. Trevor Schlenk built a solid team around current players Trae Young, John Collins, Cam Reddish, Deandre Hunter, and Clint Capela. Check out who the Hawks brought onto their squad in the offseason.

Draft

Onyeka Okongwu: The Hawks drafted Onyeka Okongwu with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. The tall big man out of USC averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks while shooting over 60% from the field in college. He is an athletic big man that can play in the post and defend multiple positions on defense. The NBA is still awaiting his anticipated debut with the Hawks, as he suffered an injury that has kept him out of the beginning of the NBA season.

Trade

Danilo Gallinari: Danilo Gallinari was acquired by the Atlanta Hawks via a trade with the Thunder. The Hawks gave up just a 2025 second-round pick for the veteran and cash. His contract is hefty, earning north of $15 million per year over the next three years. But, his three-point and mid-range shooting add a lot of value to the spacing of the Hawks team with facilitators like Trae Young and Rajon Rondo. He averages a career 16.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and two assists per game. Last season, he played a major role in the Thunder making the playoffs, averaging 15 points per game in 30 minutes per game.

Free Agency

Rajon Rondo: The Hawks signed Rajon Rondo out of the free agency to a two-year $15 million contract. They signed Rondo as one of the backup point guards to their franchise player, Trae Young. Rondo is one of the most effective passers in NBA history, and he played a big role for the Los Angeles Lakers in their championship run last season. He averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.6 assists in the playoffs. Two years ago, with the New Orleans Pelicans, he averaged an astounding 12.2 assists in nine playoff games. Rondo is a great addition as an NBA veteran on a team with a young starting lineup.

Bogdan Bogdanovic: Bogdan Bogdanovic was placed in an awkward situation in the off-season, where an original trade to the Milwaukee Bucks fell through. This allowed the Hawks to offer him a four year, $72 million contract that the Kings refused to match. Last season, Bogdanovic had a much improved season with the Kings, averaging 15.1 points per game, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. He shot 44% from the field and 37.2% from the field. Sadly, he recently fractured his knee while landing awkwardly and will be out an extended time from the team.

Kris Dunn: Kris Dunn signed a two year $10 million deal with the Hawks after his contract expired with the Chicago Bulls. Dunn struggles shooting the ball, considering he averaged just 7.3 points per game last season and shot 25.9% from behind the arc. But, in two different seasons with the Bulls, he did average six assists per game. His biggest asset is perimeter defense. Last season, he recorded an average 3.1 defensive box plus/minus and two steals per game (second in the NBA).

Solomon Hill: Solomon Hill is not the best offensive player. He averages a career 5.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game. He shoots a career 36% from the field and a better 39% from three-point range. But, there is only one season out of his career he has recorded a negative defensive box/plus-minus.

Outlook

The Hawks and their front office brought in a haul of talent and experienced players to mesh with their young draft talent. The current issue with the Hawks lays within their injuries. Onyeka Okongwu and Kris Dunn have yet to make their debuts for the team. Bogdan Bogdanovic could miss a healthy amount of time with his knee injury. Rajon Rondo and Danilo Gallinari have played, but are also currently sitting out with injuries. If the Hawks team can get healthy, they will have a shot at turning their franchise around as quickly as this season.

Liked it? Take a second to support Upside Hoops on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Upside Hoops