Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings drives for the basket against Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Well, the Hawks missed out on Dwight Howard, and I’m not disappointed about that to be honest. They brought in Paul Millsap at a great value and, according to my math, the Hawks still have around $11 million or so available to spend (after renouncing a few free agents), including the mid-level exception and after taking Teague’s salary cap hold into consideration. But what should the Hawks do with this money?
There are a few rumors floating around that the Hawks are in the running for Andrew Bynum, and that the Hawks may be in talks with Milwaukee involving a Jeff Teague/Brandon Jennings sign and trade. It looks like the Monta Ellis rumors have died down a bit, and I am most excited about that development. I would like to see the Hawks get some guys on one-year deals to round out the roster and then have some money to spend on next year’s loaded free agency class. If the franchise is going to do this, then I would prefer that they bring Teague back at point guard and forget the sign and trade talks. That being said, if the Hawks want to spend the money this year, then I don’t mind them going after the players they are rumored to be going after because these are the guys who have superstar upside.
Andrew Bynum is a superstar player who can dominate a game in the post if he is healthy, but that is a big “IF”. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Hawks grab him if they can set parameters up in the contract to protect themselves in the event that Bynum is too injured to play.
The other player I wouldn’t mind seeing them make a move for–if we are looking strictly at superstar potential–is Brandon Jennings. While Jeff Teague and Jennings are roughly equal at this stage in their careers with Teague being a bit more efficient and Jennings being a slightly better scorer, Jennings is a year younger and has more potential to grow into a superstar caliber player. Additionally, if he is in Atlanta, then he will likely have better talent around him than he did in Milwaukee, which will allow him more opportunities to showcase his skills in a setting where he doesn’t necessarily have to do it all. This combined with coaching under a head coach who coached Tony Parker may lead Jennings to play better than he had in Milwaukee.
Jennings and Bynum are guys who have the potential to be franchise cornerstones, but don’t miss the keyword in that sentence: potential. These guys aren’t superstars at the current stages in their careers and my not reach that level during their careers. This is all just to say that out of the options the Hawks have in front of them this offseason, these are the two players who may have the highest upside. If nothing else, they can be decent players on a team that will make the playoffs, but they could bring more to the table. In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait and see what the next scene holds in the Highlight Factory.