Atlanta Hawks: Potential Free Agent Targets to Improve Depth


Yesterday, I listed some high-profile free agents that the Atlanta Hawks may pursue during the NBA Free Agency period. Here are some more, slightly lower profile players that the Hawks could target this offseason.

-= Related: Atlanta Hawks: Primed to Make a Free Agency Splash? =-

Monta Ellis

, SG:Monta Ellis is high volume shooter, lacking the efficiency that the Atlanta Hawks crave. Though he averaged 18.9 PPG last season, he only made 28.5 percent of his three-point tries. Though Ellis can provide great scoring to a team, his inefficiency and inability to create chemistry between himself and his team has been a knock on him for his entire career. Though there are rumors that both he and the Atlanta Hawks share mutual interest, it is difficult to see how he would fit into Mike Budenholzer’s system given his predilections to not gel with a team or its system over the course of his career.

Apr 24, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler (6) blocks a shot from Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza(1) in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. The Rockets beat the Mavs 130-128. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

  • Tyson Chandler, C: At 32, Tyson Chandler is not the offensive threat that he was earlier in his career, averaging only 10.3 PPG last season. Despite his age, Chandler would provide needed size and defense to the Atlanta Hawks front-line for a fraction of the cost of a Gasol or Aldridge. He still managed to block 1.2 shots per game last season, and his veteran experience would benefit the Hawks clubhouse. There is a possibility that Chandler could be a part of the Atlanta Hawks plans if they are unable to re-sign Paul Millsap or land LaMarcus Aldridge.
  • Brook Lopez, C: Brook Lopez torched the Atlanta Hawks in the First Round of the 2015 postseason, averaging 19.8 PPG and 9 rebounds per game against Atlanta. During the regular season, he put up similar numbers with 17.8 PPG and 7.4 rebounds per game. Though pundits expect Lopez will re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets, his skill-set would be a great fit for the Hawks system. He possesses an excellent mid-range jump shot, and would provide needed offensive and defensive rebounding to the front-line.
  • Tristan Thompson, PF/C: Even at 6’9’’, Tristan Thompson showed his naysayers during the postseason that he can anchor a front-court. His rebounding skills are superb, demonstrated by his 10.8 RPG during the 2015 postseason. His physicality demolished the Atlanta Hawks bigs during the Eastern Conference Finals, securing vital offensive rebounds for the Cavaliers. Thompson is a Restricted Free Agent, meaning that the Cavs can match any offer given to him. If the Atlanta Hawks are looking to become a more physical and better defensive team, it would not hurt to take a look at Thompson to see if they can pry him away from the shores of Lake Erie.
  • Wesley Matthews, SG: An un-drafted sharpshooter, Wesley Matthews flourished as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers last year, averaging 15.9 PPG while shooting 44.8 percent from beyond the arc, before a tear to his Achilles’ Tendon ended his outstanding season. Matthews skill-set would fit Mike Budenholzer’s system like a glove, giving the Atlanta Hawks yet another three-point threat. The risk with signing Matthews is that he most likely will not return to action until at least the All-Star Break in 2016, and it is unclear how well he will recover from his injury.

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    • Arron Afflalo, SG: A former UCLA standout, Afflalo has spent time in Orlando, Denver, and Portland during his tenure in the league. He is an excellent scorer, averaging 13.3 PPG last season coming primarily off the bench for the Nuggets and the Blazers. Afflalo has a good stroke from long-range, and is also able to create his own shot. Though the Atlanta Hawks just traded for Tim Hardaway, Jr., Afflalo would provide an immediate increase in bench depth, and an impact scorer of the bench. Look for the Hawks to vet him this offseason.
    • DeAndre Jordan, C: I know I said I was listing lower profile free agents, but there is almost no chance Jordan comes to Atlanta. An impact rebounder and dunker extraordinaire, Jordan will sign with either the Lakers, a Texas team, or will remain with the Clippers — but a Hawks fan can dream, right?
    Tobias Harris

    , SF: Atlanta Hawks fans may remember Tobias Harris from his infamous buzzer beating shot that sunk the Hawks 9 game winning streak in December 2014. Harris averaged 17.1 PPG for the Magic last season as a starter. Though a good scorer at the professional level, his offensive skill-set would not be a good fit for the Atlanta Hawks or their system. He averaged under 2 assists per game last season and is a below-average defender. Pass.

    Mar 24, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (14) during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Spurs 101-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    • Danny Green, SG: A pupil of the Popovich school of shooters and championship pedigree, Danny Green could be the best fit of all free agents this offseason for the Atlanta Hawks. He comes from the Spurs system where Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer learned the ropes from San Antonio HC Gregg Popovich. His transition would be smooth and the value of his shooting ability alongside Kyle Korver would benefit the Hawks greatly. Could Bud and Danny Green reunite in Atlanta? I could see it happening.
    • Khris Middleton, SG/SF: Middleton could be the most undervalued free agent on the market this offseason. An excellent defender as well as three-point shooter for the Milwaukee Bucks last season, he possesses a skill-set similar to DeMarre Carroll, and could improve his game even more under the watchful eye of Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. He averaged 13.4 PPG last season while shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc. Because he will not cost nearly as much as other players this offseason, his addition to the Atlanta Hawks could be one of the savviest moves the team has made since signing Carroll and Millsap two years ago. His skill-set would allow him to immediately fit into the Hawks system on both ends of the court, whether his signing is a move to provide depth coming off the bench or as a potential replacement if DeMarre Carroll bolts.

    Expect a flurry of moves this offseason by the Atlanta Hawks that will aim to continue to improve the club. Keep it here for ongoing updates on the NBA Free Agency period.

    Next: Dennis Schroder: Sacramento Kings Interested in PG?

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