Coming off of an abysmal 24-58 campaign in which they tied for the third-worst record in the entire NBA, the Atlanta Hawks are positioned well for a complete rebuild.
Not only did the franchise replace Mike Budenholzer with first-time head coach Lloyd Pierce,but the team holds the No. 3, 19, 30 and 34 picks in next week’s NBA Draft.
That presents Atlanta with a variety of options. Of course they could use each pick to draft a young core for their club, but they could also move down, move up or acquire a proven veteran if given the opportunity.
“It’s exciting,” Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said of picking third, per Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Having the four picks (including ) the third pick, we get a lot of phone calls, which is exciting as well. We are going to go through all the different options presented to (us) and make the best decision, hopefully.”
“We are going through all those different scenarios and trying to evaluate whether the players in this draft would be players that we would value over the assets that we have stockpiled,” he added. “And are certainly looking at it through the other lens, where we look to see if . . . moving back to collect more assets would be more advantageous. All of the hypotheticals, those are what we are going through.”
They might already have a target in mind.
A veteran presence
According to Cunningham, the team is interested in acquiring forward Kenneth Faried from the Denver Nuggets. Even though he’s owed $13.8 million in the final year of his current deal next season, the Hawks aren’t expected to make any splashes in free agency and have the cap space required to take on his salary.
Via Cunningham's report, the Nuggets are aggressively trying to trade Faried, who fell out of coach Mike Malone’s rotation last season. The seven-year veteran averaged just 5.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 14.4 minutes over 32 contests last season, well below his career marks of 11.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per contest over 441 total games played.
In return for taking on his salary, the Hawks would likely also ask for the No. 14 pick that Denver owns or either Malik Beasley or Tyler Lydon, two youngsters that the Nuggets recently drafted.
Since next season will be Faried’s final year of his lucrative contract, a move to Atlanta would be the best-case scenario for him. He would almost be guaranteed to see a solid amount of minutes and could therefore have the opportunity to show the rest of the league that he has the same explosive skills that he possessed at the beginning of his career.
The Hawks would also benefit, not only from Faried’s on-court play, but through his documented professionalism in the locker room and on the practice floor. He would be a candidate to mentor second-year forward John Collins as well as any other frontcourt player that Atlanta drafts next week.
And, on the other end, the Nuggets would be able to shed Faried’s salary, which is one of their offseason goals. Although trading away the 14th pick or either Beasley or Lydon would hurt, the team's core is already in place moving forward. Therefore, everyone would seemingly win.News Now - Sport News