The dog days for the NBA's off season have arrived so we felt like there was no better time for a round table look back at the off season so far for the Atlanta Hawks. This is Part 1 of a two part series where several members of the Peachtree Hoops staff gives their take on many of the story lines that will help shape the 2016 season for the Atlanta Hawks.
What did you think of the Hawks' offseason?
(Kris Willis) I have described this offseason for the Atlanta Hawks as being a perfect storm of events that forced them to make some tough decisions about the future of their club. Atlanta did their best to position itself where it wouldn't have to choose between keeping Paul Millsap or DeMarre Carroll, but when the dust settled, that was the exact situation they found themselves in. Once Carroll agreed to a deal with Toronto, I thought the Hawks shifted into Plan "B" well and think the acquisition of Tiago Splitter will have a big impact on the team next season.
(Josh Lane) We knew coming into the offseason that keeping both Demarre and Paul would be very difficult if not impossible. Adding Splitter really helps the sting of losing Demarre but also adding a scorer off the bench in Hardaway and a project 3 and D player in Holliday also kind of helps fill the void that Carroll has left. Overall I would give the offseason B just because with what was available, the Hawks did a good job recovering from the loss of a starter.
(Patrick Laney) I have mixed feelings. On the whole, I think Atlanta made strong moves. Are we better than 2014-15? No. The Hawks are now wholly dependent on getting a healthy season from Thabo Sefolosha. While I understand the reasoning for the draft day trade for Hardaway, I still struggle to see how he helps until he can defend. While bringing in Splitter resolves several issues, the hole on the wing is a bigger problem. I loved the last two summers but feeling like this one has been a push.
(Phil Naessens) All things considered I would give the Hawks an A-. They lost DeMarre Carroll but retained Paul Millsap and convincing Edy Tavares to leave Europe and give the NBA a shot was no small feat. Acquiring Tim Hardaway Jr. probably wasn't the worst move the Hawks have ever made nor was acquiring Tiago Splitter via trade. Very good offseason.
(Brad Rowland) I feel as though the organization made the best of a difficult situation. Because of the lack of bird rights for DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap, it was always unlikely that both would return, and given what Toronto paid (or overpaid) to retain the JYD, letting him go was the right move. I'm perfectly fine with Millsap at his admittedly giant cap number, and the upgrade from Pero Antic to Tiago Splitter is immeasurable. Also, I liked all of the auxiliary additions (especially Justin Holiday) with the exception of the Tim Hardaway trade, and even then, it is defensible when considering Atlanta's great recent track record in player development.
Which offseason acquisition will have the biggest impact?
(Kris Willis) The easy answer here is Splitter, but I am going to look a little deeper. I think we shouldn't sleep on the acquisition of Justin Holiday. Both DeMarre Carroll and Kent Bazemore were acquired by Atlanta and given the opportunity to show that they could be a key piece on a very good basketball team. I think Holiday fits that mold as well and he's being overlooked by many thanks to the hoopla surrounding the acquisition of Tim Hardaway Jr.
(Josh Lane) It will probably be Splitter just because he brings size and skill to the center position which is something that killed the Hawks the past few seasons. Depending on the lineup, the Hawks can go either big or small. I also think Hardaway will will have an impact just because his scoring ability will look better since he is coming into Atlanta to play instead of New York. I'd imagine he will learn more about taking smart shots from Kyle Korver instead of his former/fellow shooting guard in New York J.R. Smith.
(Patrick Lamey) It will likely be Splitter but I hope it is Holiday. We have to hope Holiday can provide half of what Carroll brought to Atlanta two years ago.
(Phil Naessens) Without a doubt it will be Tiago Splitter. He does so many things really well that it would be hard to see any of the other newbies having a greater impact on both ends of the floor than Splitter should have this coming season.
(Brad Rowland) Tiago Splitter. I've been high on Splitter for a long-time, and even in a supporting role, he will bring big-time value. Hawks fans must realize that having three quality bigs is a virtual must at this point in the NBA, and being able to play Splitter 25 minutes a night will change everything for the better when considering what he is replacing. Health has been issue, but when he's on the court, Splitter is a good defender/rim-protector who can rebound and contribute in the pick-and-roll offensively, and it provides additional flexibility up front.
How bad will losing DeMarre Carroll hurt?
(Kris Willis) Losing DeMarre Carroll no doubt hurts, but I think how much is starting to be a bit overblown. Carroll made huge strides as a player during his two seasons in Atlanta. No doubt he embraced Atlanta's player development model and rode it all the way to a mega contract this summer. However, I think it is a legitimate question to ask if he can be as successful in another system.
Carroll was clearly Atlanta's No. 1 wing defender and never backed down from a challenge. Still his 101.9 defensive rating from last season was eighth best on the team among the players that appeared in at least 50 games. His net rating of 5.7 was sixth best on the team. I'm not saying DeMarre wasn't a great defender, I'm just saying there is a good chance that he can be replaced.
(Josh Lane) It hurts and there is no way around it. We are going to miss his defense and his energy that he brings to the team. Fortunately the Hawks seem to have brought in guys to help replace some of his output and defense. Also, the Hawks were able to improve the bench which will hopefully take less pressure off on the guys starting.
(Patrick Laney) It is a killer. He was the most valuable Atlanta player in the playoffs without needing the ball. While many players are labeled as 3-and-D guys, few actually bring those gifts at a high level. DeMarre deserved the Toronto deal and Atlanta had no way to match but his impact is not replaceable.
(Phil Naessens) I think losing Carroll will definitely hurt the Hawks. How could it not? I personally believe the Hawks don't win 60 games last season without Carroll and I've gone on the record that I believe Carroll was the Hawks MVP for 2014-2015. Of course it's going to hurt. Fortunately the Hawks now have a veteran in Tiago Splitter to handle the dirty work on defense so Millsap and Horford can expend less energy there and more on the offensive side of things.
(Brad Rowland) This all depends on Thabo Sefolosha. There is no question that there is a dip from DeMarre to anyone the Hawks plug in, but if Sefolosha is healthy and effective, that drop-off will be mitigated to some extent. I'm high on Thabo as a defender and he was effective before the injury in 2014-2015. In addition, Justin Holiday should see real minutes as a 3-and-D option, and provided Budenholzer can avoid playing Hardaway and Korver together, there is enough depth to get by, especially if Bazemore takes a step forward.