After having a full season to process and see the effects of last years trades and signings, we’re going to revisit all of the moves from last offseason and see how successful they have been.
Signing Dennis Schroder to a 4 year $70 million contract
The Hawks have created a nice young core of Taurean Prince, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dennis Schroder. While Prince and Hardaway will be good, possibly all-star caliber players, Schroder has the potential to be a star. His cocky attitude has made a lot of enemies in other cities but a lot of fans in Atlanta. Coach Budenholzer decided to put the future of the franchise on Schroder’s back when they signed him to this deal and as one would expect, it has come with some growing pains. The 23 year old still struggled with turnovers and frenetic play at times, but that is to expect from a young point guard. The real test will be his second season as a starter, when everyone will expect him to cut down on his turnovers and mistakes.
Trading Jeff Teague for the Jazz’s 1st round pick (12th overall).
Jeff Teague needed to get out of Atlanta for the benefit of himself and the team. He was sick of sharing time with up-and-coming Dennis Schroder, and after coach Bud favored Schroder in crunch time in the playoffs, it was clear which direction the organization was ready to go. Instead of keeping Teague for the last year of his contract, in which case he would certainly leave in free agency, the front office decided to trade their long time starting point guard. The Hawks received the 12th overall pick which turned into Taurean Prince. They got some backlash at the time from many fans who wanted to keep Teague, or who wanted to draft Denzel Valentine, but looking back at it a year later, the Hawks absolutely nailed this trade. By the end of the season
Signing Dwight Howard to a 3 year $70 million contract
The Hawks decided to go with hometown kid Dwight Howard over longtime Hawk Al Horford. This really split the fanbase, for good reason. On the last two teams Howard had been on controversy followed him in quite a few rough seasons. Many fans were worried that the disfunction would once again follow him to Atlanta. On the other side of the coin, the Hawks were always dominated by opposing big centers and Dwight Howard could actually compete with them, unlike Horford who is a natural power forward. The Cavaliers absolutely dominated the Hawks over and over again with Horford at center, and signing Howard solved that problem as the Hawks won the season series 3-1. In the end however the offense really struggled with Howard at center. His offensive game is very limited, unlike Horford who could space the floor with his great shooting ability. With Howard this teams often looked sluggish and confused on the offensive side of the floor, no doubt the biggest downside to this signing. Despite this Howard brings a championship mentality to Atlanta, something the Hawks have lacked for virtually their entire existence. He wants to win a championship for his hometown, and even if that sounds improbable that is the mentality that every team wants in their locker room.
source: Soaring Down South
Signing Kent Bazemore to a 4 year $70 million contract
Kent Bazemore had a very nice breakout year last season right before he became a free agent. The Hawks rewarded the SF for his great play and energetic attitude with a big contract that, when it comes down to it, his play did not warrant. He only averaged 11.6 points per game which is a great accomplishment for a player that was undrafted, but it doesn’t mean he deserved the contract that was given to him. He is also not a young player with a ton of potential as his breakout year was at 27 years old. If he doesn’t improve his game while Taurean Prince continues to develop, the Hawks could be making one of their highest paid players come off of the bench. It will also be difficult to trade him with his heavy contract and below average play. As NBA players go he is about as lovable as they get, so here’s hoping he gets back on track so everyone can get back behind him again.
Featured Image: Wall Street Journal