The Peachtree Hoops staff is passing the dog days of August away by discussing the main storylines surrounding the Atlanta Hawks heading into next season. If you missed Part 1 in this series check it out here.
Which off-season acquisition will have the biggest impact?
(Kris Willis): The answer has to be Dwight Howard but we will have to wait and see whether that is a positive or a negative impact. Credit Howard for saying all of the right things since signing in Atlanta and for embarking on a media tour to help revive his broken image. If he is willing to buy in, he can still be one of the best centers in the league today. There will be some growing pains for sure but maybe just maybe Mike Budenholzer is the coach that Howard has needed.
(Brad Rowland): Dwight Howard is the only answer… for better or worse. I’m high on Malcolm Delaney and both rookies, but in terms of the upcoming season, Howard and Dennis Schröder are the two players that can make or break things. At the high side of a reasonable projection, Howard could help this team repeat a 48-win campaign if he buys in on both ends to what he does well and stays “out of the way” in terms of chemistry. On the low side, his body further deteriorates and Howard’s locker room presence rubs everyone the wrong way. The spectrum is wide, but Howard’s impact will be felt one way or the other.
(Harry Lyles): I think the answer has to be Dwight Howard. It’s going to bring a different dynamic on the floor, and Mike Budenholzer will undoubtedly have to make some adjustments. Sure, there’s been many videos of Dwight working on his jumper, but that becomes much, much different in a game situation.
(Josh Lane): Dwight Howard!
(Chris Herbert): Dwight Howard. He will be the only new starter for this Hawks team. He has been named an All Star more times than all the current Hawks combined. Dwight’s rebounding prowess will have an immediate impact on both sides of the floor. As previously mentioned, Howard will change the offense system and defense style significantly.
(Thomas Jenkins): I’d say Dwight Howard. Howard will be the only new face on the starting five, and his style of play should affect the way the Hawks run both their offense and defense. There’s certainly room for Malcolm Delaney to make an impact on the Hawks, but I don’t see that impact being more significant than what Howard should contribute. Whether he plays exceptionally well or poorly, Dwight Howard should have the biggest impact of any offseason signing.