The Atlanta Hawks boast a great deal of salary cap flexibility heading into the 2015 off-season, and as a result, some big names could be tied to the organization as potential fits. With that, Portland Trail Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge is garnering a great deal of buzz as a possible defector from his current team, and in a piece from Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN, he is linked as a player who will consider the Hawks in free agency.
In addition to Atlanta, Aldridge will reportedly consider the Spurs, Lakers, Knicks and Mavericks, but in the midst of the report, a source indicated that there is a "99.9 percent change" of Aldridge leaving Portland, creating a potential bidding war across the NBA. Aldridge is a free agent who will almost certainly command a "max" deal under the current collective bargaining agreement, but the Hawks are currently well under the salary cap without long-term commitments to either Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll, providing plenty of room to fit a potential deal with Aldridge.
In terms of fit, the report had this to say about Aldridge and a possible desire to land with the Hawks and Al Horford:
Atlanta also is on Aldridge's list, as he believes he could potentially form a strong frontcourt tandem with Hawks center Al Horford.
Though Paul Millsap has been an extremely valuable piece across the past two seasons, Aldridge appears to be a step up, as the now 29-year-old just completed in a season in which he averaged 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. A potential pairing with Horford in the frontcourt could be devastating given the versatility and length of both players, and it is easy to see why Aldridge, who shoots the ball well from the perimeter, would covet the opportunity to play under Mike Budenholzer.
Regardless, this is a very early report considering free agency does not "open" until July 1, and it should be taken with a rather significant grain of salt. Still, this is an instance where one of the top available free agents has been linked to the Atlanta Hawks, and in a situation where the salary cap makes it a legitimate possibility, there is room for optimism.