May 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) dunks the ball during the first half of game two in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE
SB Nation's Tom Ziller forecasts the free agent class of 2013 and several current Atlanta Hawks land in the Top 50. Josh Smith is the top ranking Hawks player for good reason but remember Atlanta will have lots of cap space and can be a major player in free agency. Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are the top two players on Ziller's list but there are a lot of other talented and likely cheaper options that will be available as well.
Current Hawks players listed in SB Nation's Top 50 Free Agents of 2013
No. 5 Josh Smith
The ace defender and versatile scorer-passer-facepalm creator will be an unrestricted free agent, and he will be popular if trade rumors are any indication. He's an 18-9 player who adds three assists, almost two blocks and a steal, and though he's terribly inefficient he has shown that he canstay within the confines of an offense if the coach pushes hard against all of the long twos. He's also versatile to play at small or power forward on both ends, something perhaps only LeBron James and Shawn Marion can also claim. Smith will be getting paid very well in free agency.
No. 26 Jeff Teague
Like Collison, Teague is a low first-round pick from 2009 who will be hitting restricted free agency in 2013, barring an extension with the Hawks before Oct. 31. Teague's in the interesting position of having to compete with Devin Harris for the starting point guard job in Atlanta. Teague started all 66 games last season, and kept his numbers in line with his previous per-minute production in a larger role. That resulted in about 12 points and five assists per game on better-than-average efficiency. He's not quite the bombastic scorer or aggressive shooter we imagined he would be, but with Joe Johnson gone, that could still come through.
No. 31 Devin Harris
Harris, a one-time All-Star, bounced back from a nightmare start to the season to be OK for the Jazz. He's now with the Hawks, and will apparently compete with Jeff Teague for the starting point guard spot. He's a scorer who can pass (a lot like Teague, actually) who has seen his points production suffer a bit lately. Atlanta's going to be in a real fix, though, as none of the players traded for Joe Johnson are heavy scorers and Al Horford and Josh Smith will struggle to get to 20 per night apiece. A guard will need to step up. That could be Harris. (We'll see Teague on this list soon enough, by the way.)
No. 39 Anthony Morrow
We had two three-point specialists -- Kyle Korver and Daequan Cook -- in the 40s. Morrow's different in that he goes off the dribble quite a bit, too: less than half of his career field goal attempts are from deep. Morrow also happens to be a career 42 percent three-point shooter, and for the past three seasons he's taken more than four per game. (Fantasy players know he's one of the more reliable three-point shooters you can grab.) It should be interesting to see what he does in Atlanta as Larry Drew might be looking for players to take shots; it'll also be interesting to see whether Morrow can reverse the trend toward lower shooting percentages he's seen over his career.
No. 41 Zaza Pachulia
A mix of Al Horford's injury and Larry Drew's desire for a big lineup led to 44 starts for Zaza last season in Atlanta. The Georgian center is a good rebounder, and doesn't make a whole lot of mistakes on offense. He defends well and moves, and he refuses to be intimidated by better foes. (Ask Kevin Garnett.) Also, his name is Zaza. And he's incredibly stylish. And has one of the more hip restaurants in Buckhead. Who doesn't love Zaza?
No. 46 Kyle Korver
Speak of the devil. Korver continues to do what he was born to do: shoot threes well. He's a total minus on defense (Cook has the advantage there) and does little but shoot and decoy on offense, but he shoots really, really well: 41 percent from deep on his career, and at this point well more than half of his attempts are three-pointers. The one thing that could hurt Korver in free agency is that there are more shooters hanging around the fringe of the league, which should drive down demand across the board. We'll discuss new Korver on Tuesday.
Exit Question: Excluding Paul and Howard who among Ziller's Top 50 would you like to see the Hawks go after?