The Hawks season is now over and in the next couple days we can speculate how this team can get to the next level. It seems quite clear that with the current nucleus this is not an NBA Championship team. The question then becomes, what will the front office do now? Do they try and add a free agent or 2 and use their 1st round pick or do they make a major trade involving their draft pick and part of their nucleus?
While this is a deep draft, there are not many impact players. There is probably not anyone at #19 that will make a major impact next season. It will be a tough sell to the fans if an identical team is brought back after getting destroyed in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
There are some creative strategies that could be instituted this summer. Sign and trades with ZaZa, Bibby, or Murray are a possibility. Trading draft picks and players for veterans is also an option. Further, if Amare Stoudemire is available, I say do what you have to do to get him in Atlanta .
This is one possible summer that I think could lead to the Hawks to somewhere they have never been, the Eastern Conference Finals:
Trade Smith/Law/Future 1st to Phoenix for Amare
Draft Tyreke Evans
This addresses two of the Hawks biggest weaknesses that have been exposed this post-season. 1) No inside presence and 2) No dribble penetration threat
Amare would give the Hawks an inside presence they have never had before and T. Evans is a physical guard that can defend and get to the basket or drive and dish. Getting T. Evans and Murray in the game at the same time would give Atlanta 2 options that can drive and help to create open shots for Joe, M. Evans, and Marvin.
Bibby / T. Evans
Johnson / Murray / West
Williams / M. Evans
Horford / Solo
Amare / ZaZa / Morris
If you can’t get a Wade/Kobe/Lebron, it is necessary to have a dominant inside force if you are to compete for championships. If Amare is indeed available this off-season, do what it takes to get him here. With Boston aging and Orlando not having a lot of salary cap space to improve, I think the team listed above could earn the #2 seed in the East next season. But, knowing the ASG, we will take BJ Mullens in the draft and have a similar season to this one.