With only six players on their roster right now, the Atlanta Hawks obviously need to make some moves before the start of next season. What specifically those moves will be, however, is anyone’s guess.
Over the last few years, ever since the arrival of Joe Johnson, really, Atlanta has been one of The Association's more fascinating teams to watch. (Judging by their home crowds, though, they’re more fascinating on television than they are live.) Despite the fact that the squad boasts an assortment of athletic, gifted talent – they’ve never actually been able to put it together in the form of a lengthy postseason run.
Part of this is probably due to the fact that the organization is seemingly always mired in some sort of front office/ownership drama, but part of it also has to be attributed to the pieces that have been assembled. For whatever reason, be it chemistry or something else, the Joe Johnson-Josh Smith-Al Horford power trio has been unable to replicate its regular season success in the playoffs. Not even the emergence of one-time assumed bust turned legit player, Marvin Williams, has been enough to change that.
And so, given the team’s struggles despite their unquestionable star power, the powers that be apparently realize that Atlanta’s roster needs tweaking. What sort of tweaks are being considered? Well, as reported by Sam Amico of Fox Sports:
— The Hawks are said to be one team placing calls to improve their draft position. They currently own the No. 23 pick. One GM said the Hawks floated the names of both Josh Smith and Marvin Williams as potential trade chips.
— Don’t be surprised if the Hawks make a run at former Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford, who spent the past season with the Trail Blazers. Ray Allen (Celtics) and Alonzo Gee (Cavs) are also said to be on their radar.
Amico seems to be describing two different routes there.
If the Hawks trade a Smith or Williams to nab a higher draft pick, that’s essentially the franchise’s way of signaling that they’re looking to rebuild. Sure, Smith has frequently been the subject of trade rumors in the past, but usually only for established, legitimate pieces that could help out Johnson. A draft pick, regardless of who it is, ain’t that.
The other route, adding Crawford or Allen, would indicate that the squad is looking to stay the course and simply fine-tune an undeniably talented roster. After all, why bring in veterans if you’re looking press the reset button?
Atlanta will definitely be a team to keep an eye on as we approach the 2012 NBA Draft next week.
(Kudos Fox Sports)