Millsap is locked in. Splitter will be coming via trade. Tavares is coming from overseas. The message is clear: the Atlanta Hawks want to get bigger, and that has been accomplished, but in today's 3-and-D NBA, wings are more valuable than ever. DeMarre Carroll flourished during his time in Atlanta, but the wings of the Hawks have gotten thinner with his departure. It's hard to imagine the Hawks taking flight without them (to complete this heavy-handed metaphor). Here are the remaining wings left out there that Atlanta could land in free agency.
The evaluation was made using certain criteria: since DeMarre was so useful as a 3-and-D player, I valued those attributes highest along with affordability. The Hawks are very close to the cap (read this excellent piece on the cap situation for Atlanta) and have limited cap space plus a room mid-level exception (MLE).
Leandro Barbosa (re-signed with Warriors)
It's no mistake Barbosa tops this list having spent last season with the team that is most similar to the Hawks in style. He comes from a comparable system that would allow him to slot in our systems quickly, shoots solid numbers from three, is a good defender, and is on an affordable contract. He may be due for a bit of a bump due to his play this season, which might take him out of Atlanta's range, but as it stands he's definitely a target. Don't expect Golden State to let him walk easily.
2. Rasual Butler
3. Dorell Wright
Like Barbosa, both Butler and Wright have found resurgence with their current teams and like Barbosa have shot well from three (both were over 38% last year) and are very reasonable defenders. Their value for the Hawks could be an absolute steal. Wright has had some injury history and could be taken out of play due to that fact, but it could also help get him on a very palatable contract. Butler could fit easily into the MLE and have more room left.
Anderson, Jefferson, Gee, Ingles, and Copeland have all proven themselves to be very serviceable wings in the NBA and could be slotted into Atlanta's offensive rotations and would probably succeed. Anderson has a bit more ability to score on his own than the other four, but Jefferson is the better three-point shooter, making 42 percent last year with the Dallas Mavericks. The other three are practically the same person. This entire fivesome will struggle to defend at times, which could definitely be a limiting factor with the complicated switching defenses the Hawks utilize. Still, all are very affordable. Ingles is restricted and may be due for a raise.
Taking one of the four in this group implies the Hawks think that they can pull some untapped potential out. Johnson is a solid wing shooter, but is surprisingly poor on defense considering his length. McDaniels has shown flashes of ability and is a good defender, but needs to improve his shooting. Calathes is an excellent defender and can handle additional point duties, but also needs to improve shooting. Datome really improved his shooting under Brad Stevens after being dealt to Boston, but his defense is still a work in progress. Despite all of their flaws, these are all reasonable gambles on cheap contracts. All but Johnson are restricted contracts.
13. Justin Holiday (Your newest Hawk!)
14. Ian Clark
Holiday and Clark are very similar to the four above. Both have some levels of promise, can shoot and defend, but haven't really demonstrated an ability to stay on an NBA floor. Proceed with caution here.
These four players are all plagued with the same issue -- a lack of consistent NBA defense. Both Gerald and Willie Green can even create off the bounce, but their defensive issues have kept them riding a lot of benches over the years. Babbitt proved he can really shoot in New Orleans, but none of these five had a defensive rating below 109. Even with that issue, you can bet the Hawks are taking long looks at each one.
19. Quincy Acy
Will Barton (re-signed with Nuggets)
21. Jeff Taylor
22. Tayshaun Prince
Each player in this group is a reasonable player, but may not attract a lot of attention in the offseason. They do most things decently, but not any one thing particularly well. Taylor has also had some personal problems off the court, which has soured his suitors. Prince is getting old but still shoots the three well, and his veteran presence could drive his price out of Atlanta's range. Barton is restricted. Edit: Reports say there is mutual interest between Acy and the Hawks.
Dante Cunningham (re-signed with Pelicans)
Cunningham is similar to the above group, but he does rebound well for his position, which seems to be something the new Hawks are looking for. Unfortunately, his inability to shoot the three will probably keep him off the radar.
Nice Options But Unlikely
Manu Ginobili (re-signed with Spurs... duh)
25. Danny Granger
I can't imagine Ginobili signing with anyone but San Antonio and Granger is only rumored to be waived by Detroit, so I don't truly believe they're on the market.
All four here are nice pickups for whatever team gets them, but their production will be paid for and will be out of the Hawks' price range. Williams is already being tied to Sacramento.
Derrick Williams (signed with Knicks)
31. Michael Beasley
32. Jason Richardson
These three have the dubious honor of being priced out of Atlanta's range and also not being as good as advertised.
33. J.R. Smith
Smith is always a case unto himself. Depending on what J.R. you get, he could be a real steal on a reasonable contract or a locker room problem. Cautious teams like Atlanta don't go for guys like this.
34. Ray Allen
35. Carlos Delfino
36. Mickael Pietrus
Allen, Delfino, and Pietrus could all be excellent pickups if they returned to previous form, but it's difficult to imagine them returning to the NBA.
People I didn't consider while writing this article initially
--. Gerald Wallace
Wallace may be waived since he's being traded to Golden State for David Lee in a cost-saving move. He's kind of long in the tooth these days, his jump shot is leaving him, and he's a mediocre three-point shooter. He can still play defense, so he's not without value, and he's been around the block to know how to play his game. I wouldn't recommend him, but it wouldn't be the worst thing to get him. EDIT: I'm hearing that the Warriors are looking to keep Wallace, though it's not a guarantee.
Probably not worth pursuing
37. John Jenkins
38. Dahntay Jones
39. Jordan Crawford
Jenkins, Jones, and Crawford have proven they don't belong on a Hawks roster.
40. Robbie Hummel
41. Travis Wear
42. Glenn Robinson III
43. Vander Blue
Hummel, Wear, Robinson, and Blue have proven they don't belong on any roster. Hummel is restricted. Edit: The word is that the TWolves have rescinded their qualifying offer to Hummel.
Alexey Shved (signed with Khimki Moscow in Russia)
45. Jimmer Fredette
Shved and Fredette have proven that they don't belong on an NBA roster either, but also that someone will continue to pay them to be.
Caron Butler (signed with Kings)
47. Ben Gordon
48. Hedo Turkoglu
Butler, Gordon, and Turkoglu have proven the same, but that someone will consistently give them even more to play. Okay, that's a bit of an overreaction. They can all shoot, but are stuck on the ends of NBA benches due to aged talents and an inability to play any D.
Not Gonna Happen
Ha! Sorry, I just had to put that on here, but man, I think LeBron would love playing with this Hawks roster.
50. Matthew Dellavedova
Even Bud's popularity wouldn't keep him safe from the Atlanta faithful if he signed Delly. He's restricted and probably going back to Cleveland anyway.
51. James Jones
Seeing Jones more than 20 feet away from LeBron would be more surprising than Manu not playing for the Spurs.
Josh Smith (reportedly signing with Clippers)
No one wants to imagine a world where we bring back Josh and encourage him to shoot threes.
This will be updated as free agency continues until the Hawks have their wings. If I made an error, please let me know and I will correct it.