By now everyone knows the direction the Hawks have intended to go by the news that Millsap has signed with the Nuggets for 3 years at 90 million. The Atlanta Hawks also made a deal to receive Clippers G Jamal Crawford, F Diamond Stone and a 2018 1st round pick in sign and trade with Nuggets and Clippers.
Travis Schlenk has been extremely busy in his debut as general manager, trading contracts for future assets and shaping the roster into a new Atlanta Hawk era. Seems as if Schlenk is doing what the organization should have did last year, but he refuses to call it a “rebuild”. Overall, the move allowed both sides to sign their respective players to their accepted deals, in a cap space clearing move from both teams and the Hawks come out better than they did a day ago.
Meanwhile during the free agency frenzy our veteran, two-time all-star Paul Millsap became an unrestricted free agent and this is what he had to say about the situation with Schlenk,
“It was pretty simple,” Millsap told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday. “Denver, they came and they’ve been wanting me for years. They made that known. The presentation that they gave me, it felt comfortable, it felt real. At the end of the day it was going to be the team that I felt most comfortable with and Atlanta. Atlanta decided to go another direction. They didn’t want to make an offer. So it was pretty simple. Denver was the team.”
He further spoke on the end of his relationship with the Hawks,
“Definitely disappointing,” Millsap said. “I thought I meant a bit more than that to them. But it is what it is. I’m happy with the decision I’ve made. I’m happy with the team I’m with. I’m ready to get it going with them.”
Moving forward according to multiple reports, Jamal Crawford will eventually be bought out to become a unrestricted free agent. The Hawks could also flip his contract for another pick as well if the right team shows interest. It will all depend on how much the buyout will cost and how bad Crawford wants to leave. He is returning to Atlanta where he played from 2009-2011, and won his first NBA 6th Man of the Year award. Crawford averaged 16.1 points per game as a Hawk, being the team’s notable spark plug off the bench.
The Warriors were mentioned as a possible destination before they agreed to a contract with Omri Casspi. ESPN’s Chris Haynes also reported that Cleveland and San Antonio, among others, are interested.
As of now the roster is not filled out, with multiple restricted free agents and trades happening. There are reports of possible free agent signings with the market becoming dry after most teams with salary space have made their moves. Names include CJ Miles, Jae Crowder, Willie Reed and other second tier level free agents.
Over the next couple of years we will see great development with young assets, draft picks, and overall culture change. Schlenk has accumulated at least five picks for the next two drafts already, three for next year (Minnesota, Own, Rockets) and two the following year. These picks could not only be used to draft in this upcoming loaded 2018 draft but they can also be used as trade assets when the time comes and the right deal is out there.
With development on the Hawks’ mind this is a great time to take advantage of the summer league team, seeing what you have and how to develop them. The new D-League affiliate team will be located in college park next summer for the first time in franchise history so it seems as if things are working out at the right time.