The Atlanta Hawks have been dissected by the entire NBA world for what amounted to a strange and undoubtedly interesting offseason. However, Sports Illustrated's NBA team took to the internet to hand out offseason grades for the Southeast Division on Tuesday, and the Hawks received a relatively strong B-minus mark for their efforts.
In terms of the high end, Atlanta was credited with "giving Dennis Schröder the keys" and Jeremy Woo had this to say:
For better or worse, the most important player on the Hawks’ roster is Dennis Schröder. Though he can be tough to rein in at times, the 22-year-old German guard has shown jaw-dropping flashes off Atlanta’s bench the last couple of years and has the type of athletic ability that suggests he’s capable of more. Frankly, the organization needs to see exactly what it has here. Dealing Jeff Teague to pave the way for Schröder came out of necessity as the Hawks chart their future. This will more than likely be a year of discovery, and that starts with figuring out exactly what Schröder looks like as the starter. It’ll be good theater.
Pegging the 2016-2017 season as a "year of discovery" for Schröder is spot-on, as the young point guard must illuminate what the future will hold for his game. Atlanta is betting big on the former first-round pick, but the decision was undoubtedly made with Teague's (lack of a) future with the organization in mind, and the Hawks have only one season in which to decide on Schröder's next contract as a restricted free agent.
Elsewhere, the team's offseason plan received relatively mixed views in this space, but Ben Golliver did highlight that Atlanta's decisions could be couched in that the previous core wasn't going to grow into a championship-level outfit:
It’s hard to blame the Hawks if they reached the conclusion that their current core, which took a step back last season, wasn’t worth the long-term mega dollars that Horford commanded this summer and that Millsap and Teague could soon command. But it’s also hard to truly celebrate an off-season that will likely produce some transition pains and that didn’t pull the Hawks meaningfully closer to the Cavaliers.
Until the season begins (and well beyond that start date), the moves executed by Wes Wilcox, Mike Budenholzer and company in June and July will be scrutinized heavily. Once there is basketball to consume, the discussion will shift away from Dwight Howard vs. Al Horford toward "is Dwight Howard working?" and so on, but for now, fans that took pleasure in the overhaul can deploy this in-depth look at the offseason from a national outlet as a strong basis for their previous thoughts.