The Atlanta Hawks’ season came to a gloomy ending this past Friday night in Phillips Arena. After the loss to the Washington Wizards the franchise now faces an important off season which could possibly hinder or progress the team over the course of the next few years. Although this season was not a complete disappointment there was definitely room for improvement. General Manager Wes Wilcox will surely have his hands full this summer as he tries to steer the franchise in the right direction.
This team is missing a true super star which could be addressed through free agency this summer. The Hawks haven’t had a legitimate superstar player since Dominique Wilkins which was decades ago. This isn’t a slight to players such as Paul Millsap as he played great for Atlanta this past season. Quite simply players such as Millsap shouldn’t be the first scoring option on a team with championship aspirations. The Atlanta Hawks will surely attempt to resign Millsap this summer in free agency which is a step in the right direction. If the Hawks manage to resign Millsap they should definitely be looking to acquire additional talent to surround him with. Perhaps key free agents such as small forward Gordon Hayward will be on Atlanta’s radar. Although that may sound like a pipe dream for Hawks fans anything is possible in free agency.
Another route Atlanta may explore is trading for a marquee player. They reportedly explored the idea of possibly trading for forwards Jimmy Butler or Paul George earlier this season. This could be something management attempts to revisit in the upcoming months. If the Hawks managed to acquire either one of those players AND resign Millsap they would instantly soar into the upper echelon of NBA teams. It would finally push the Hawks out of the middle ground they have been stuck in for the past decade which would surely reenergize the fan base. Once again this may be unlikely but it is surely not impossible.
The last and perhaps most likely route Atlanta takes is the dreaded rebuilding stage. If this is what management decides to do Hawks fans can kiss Millsap goodbye. Although this may be in the team’s best in interest in the long run it surely isn’t the most exciting possibility for Hawks fans. The next step in a possible rebuild would be to get younger and acquire as many draft picks as possible. This method would require Atlanta to draft a superstar rather than attempting to sign or trade for one. This is undoubtedly cheaper but also extremely risky as it can lead to longer than expected years of constant losing. In other words the risk is potentially becoming the Philadelphia 76ers who have had to endure years of atrocious teams, which should be Hawks fans worst nightmare.
Gm Wes Wilcox will have his hands full as he navigates the franchise through the off season. The one thing he cannot afford to do is stay in the middle ground. It’s time to end the annual early playoff exits and establish a direction within the franchise. Whether it be tanking or shooting for the stars by getting a superstar, change must come to Atlanta this offseason.