Atlanta Hawks: Will changes be made in the offseason?


After being swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second year in a row in the NBA Playoffs, there has been a lot of speculation concerning what changes the Atlanta Hawks need to make in order to be successful going forward.

According to coach Mike Budenholzer, nothing major. He’s happy with the team, and is also already planning to re-sign both Kent Bazemore and Al Horford.

“Losing to Cleveland twice is tough,” said Budenholzer after Monday night’s loss. “But to the fan base, to people who think [about making major changes], if we want to find a way to beat, whether it be Cleveland or whoever the great teams in the league or our conference are, blowing it up is probably not the way to beat a team like Cleveland.”

He’s right. Completely “blowing it up,” wouldn’t be a good idea, nor is it necessary. The Hawks have a good foundation and promising young players in guys like Dennis Schroder or Tim Hardaway Jr.

Overall, the current Atlanta Hawks team is a solid one. But, a few simple changes couldn’t hurt.

The Hawks have two choices: either stick to the same way of doing things and continue to get the same results, or, give something new a shot.

Here are three changes that could have a major impact:

1. Move Korver to the bench. We all love Kyle Korver, but lets’ face it – he’s past his prime. Many are also growing tired of his frequent playoff disappearances. You never really know if you’re going to get a high scoring night or a total bust from Korver.

There were playoff nights when he was the team’s lead scorer or a substantial contributor, and then other nights where he scored a maximum of just two or three points. There’s a lot of inconsistency there.

Towards the end of the Cleveland Cavaliers series, coach Bud took Korver out of the starting line up, and put Thabo Sefolosha in. It was highly effective, as he contributed 16 points in Game 4.

2. Find a star player. What do other teams have that the Atlanta Hawks don’t? They lack a star player who can step up when things get tough and completely turn the game around.

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Let’s take the Cavs for example. They have LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. What does Atlanta have? Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Al Horford?

While they are all great guys and good players, let’s face it – there’s hardly any comparison there when it comes down to it.

When any one of those guys go off, it’s a good game for the Atlanta Hawks. However, no single one of those players can be consistently relied on to do so.

According to the Hawks, a star player just wouldn’t be “their style,” at least not in the opinion of Jeff Teague, who said, “The way we play a great player would have to fit in. A lot of great players play with the ball and have iso situations. It’s just not the way we play basketball.”

Ironically, Teague would be the perfect trade for that superstar player, especially with the effective emergence of Schroder at point guard

3. It’s okay to let Horford go, really. Horford is on the fringe of entering free agency, and he’s already expressed that he wants to re-sign with the Hawks. He also has a great relationship with Budenholzer, who is eager to re-sign him as well.

Is that really the best idea? While he may be a major face of the Atlanta Hawks, he’s not your superstar either.

Horford, who turns 30 in just weeks, could very well command a maximum contract. Keeping him means both money and losing the chance to make a significant addition to the team.

Next: Atlanta Hawks: Eliminated from Playoffs after Game 4

“Obviously, it’s not enough with what we have,”said Horford. “We’ll see what happens. I think there are a lot of decisions the team has to make. We can’t just rush through anything right now.”

All in all, the Atlanta Hawks know changes need to be made. Now it’s a matter of sitting back and waiting to see what exactly they decide to do.