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Is the perception of the Atlanta Hawks changing?

The Hawks' recent success and unselfish brand of basketball have helped the team attract quality free agents over the last few offseasons, and Atlanta has quietly become an attractive free agency destination.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

A few days ago, Kris Humphries claimed in an interview that he signed with the Atlanta Hawks because he wanted the chance to play in the playoffs again. This is somewhat unsurprising, since one would expect a player of Humphries' age and caliber to look for teams that have a good chance of success. That Humphries would speak so highly of Atlanta is encouraging though, since it shows that players across the league see the Hawks as a team worth considering in free agency.

Humphries' recent comments are just the latest example that the Atlanta Hawks have become an attractive destination for veterans looking for competitive teams. From signing Dwight Howard this offseason to resigning Paul Millsap last summer, the Hawks have been able to market themselves as a team that can give players a consistent chance at success.

The Hawks are attractive to NBA free agents for a number of reasons. Finishing in the top four in the Eastern Conference for two straight years builds a reputation of consistent winning, and Atlanta's brand of team-focused basketball spreads out playing time and opportunities among players. These attributes helped the Hawks this summer, as the team was able to sign Kent Bazemore, Dwight Howard, and Kris Humphries.

Humphries' comments on the Atlanta Hawks being a playoff team aren't unique on their own, as one would expect players to be enthusiastic about teams that they have signed with. However, they show the appeal of consistent success and team-focused play that has brought free agents to the Hawks recently. Humphries (while not an elite player) is a solid rotation-level talent, and the fact that he clearly wanted to return to Atlanta speaks volumes about the image that this team's leadership is trying to build.

The Atlanta Hawks have the longest playoff streak in the Eastern Conference, a statistic that in indicative of the long-term success that is essential for any NBA team to be successful. Budenholzer and his staff have done much to build this team into an attractive free agency destination for many veteran players, and the team's playoff streak should only get longer if this practice continues.