NBA Preview 2012 – 2013 Atlanta Hawks
Posted by Jeff Lingard
The Hawks have been the best example of a “second round and out” team since the Milwaukee Bucks of the 80’s. They were buried under the Joe Johnson contract and giving minutes to disappointing players like Marvin Williams who was famously taken before both Deron Williams and Chris Paul in the draft. Danny Ferry was hired this offseason and traded both of these players for cap relief and depth players. Ferry has restored flexibility to a team that has one of the more interesting collections of talent in the East. If the season doesn’t go well then Ferry can trade Josh Smith for more pieces to build around Al Horford. If everything goes to plan this year and Smith signs an extension, his contract won’t cripple the Hawks’ cap situation like the Johnson contract did.
I love the Williams and Korver trades where the Hawks didn’t give up anything of significance. An offence designed around “Iso-Joe” has become an offence that can be built on Horford on the block, Smith slashing and crashing the offensive boards, Williams driving to the hoop and Morrow and Korver spotting up from three. On paper the Hawks don’t look as strong on the defensive end but head coach Larry Drew designed a defence that performed above expectations. The key to the year is having a full year of Horford healthy after missing most of last season.
I think the Hawks stay around 5th in the East this year unless Ferry tries a true rebuild and trades Smith before the trade deadline. Even if Smith is traded this team could be the 8th seed in the East.
2011-12 Record: 40-26, 5th in the East
Key Additions: Lou Williams, Davin Harris, Anthony Morrow, Kyle Korver, John Jenkins
Key Losses: Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Kirk Hinrich
Payroll: $60.5 Million – 22nd in the NBA