With the NBA finals at the forefront of the NBA today and with only two teams actively competing, that leaves the rest of the league wondering about the new CBA, the draft, possible free agent targets, and all things that the Off-season brings. As far as the Hawks, well it looks to be another dull summer and minor roster upgrades. As most of the Peachtree Hoops viewers may know by now, Michael Cunningham over at the AJC recently had a Q&A with GM Rick Sund. That interview was full of "staying the course" type language, which means the Hawks probably won't be making really major moves this off-season.
With that, comes my third installment of Summer 2011 possibilities for the Hawks. By my count, the Hawks have 3 holes to fill this summer to add depth and create a solid 9 or 10 man rotation. Those holes are: A backup SG (considering JC may not be in uniform), a starting center that allows Al to play PF on a more full time basis, and a back up PF that can play some valuable minutes.
Using free agency and the draft the Hawks should be able to address depth at the Center position. I think Zaza should be put back into the starting lineup at center and the Hawks should re-sign Jason Collins, and sign Joel Pryzbilla. Collins and Pryzbilla are veterans that with Zaza and Al, hard-nosed and valuable play at the Center position won't be hard to come by. Along with those moves, the Hawks should look to get a youthful big man with potential. The player I have in mind is Jeremy Tyler. His acquisition would have to come with the Hawks trading up in the draft to get him (late first, early second). The Hawks could possibly get Chicago's pick at 28 for the Hawks 2012 1st Round Pick and this year's 2nd Round pick.
As far as SG, Rip Hamilton would do a great job in JC's old role. (He could become available if a rumored 3-way trade would send him to Cleveland where his contract would then be bought out). Rip is better defensively, much more reliable and consistent on offense, and is a proven winner. Also, the Hawks should bring over Sergiy Gladyr to develop in the system.
SG - Joe Johnson, Rip Hamilton, Sergiy Gladyr
PF - Al Horford, Troy Murphy
C - Zaza Pachulia, Joel Prysbilla, Jason Collins, Jeremy Tyler