We have already covered the difficult situation that the Atlanta Hawks are faced with if they try to round out their roster without going into the luxury tax. There are a couple of things in the new CBA agreement that are worthy of keeping an eye on that might just convince the Hawks to cross the luxury tax threshold. The real MC delivers the goods in his AJC blog saying that the new system will not be nearly as lucrative for Atlanta to remain a non-taxpaying team as it was under the old CBA.
My educated guess: If it isn't as lucrative for the Hawks to be a non-taxpaying team anymore, that might be the thing that prods them to spend into the tax. And outside of using the amnesty now, which I'm still hearing they won't do, I can't think of any scenario under which they can avoid paying the tax if they add veteran players.
Basically it comes down to this, last season Atlanta received a check from the league for approximately $2.4 million for being a non-tax paying team. Reading from cap expert Larry Coon's new CBA breakdown, under the new plan "no more than 50 percent of the tax funds can go exclusively to teams that did not pay the tax." So Atlanta would seemingly receive far less this season from the league if it stays out of the luxury tax.
The next part of the CBA to keep an eye on is the revenue-sharing plan of which details are scarce. However according to Coon, the new sharing plan "approximately triples" the amount of money that is revenue-shared. At this point we have no idea how big of a cut a team like Atlanta might receive but it might be enough to take the sting out of paying the luxury tax bill.
A word of caution, don't expect this franchise to go crazy into the tax because that is unlikely. However, if they are willing to pay some sort of tax bill then it opens up options regarding sign-and-trades and options such as the mid level, and bi-annual exceptions. Jamal Crawford is drawing a lot of interest around the league right now and if the Hawks decide against bidding for his services, they may choose to pursue a sign-and-trade scenario that would net them something in return.