The Peachtree Hoops staff continues an offseason roundtable series. Today we look at the state of the Atlanta Hawks and the
Have the Hawks done enough with Dejounte Murray trade and other offseason moves to leap into the “contender” tier of the East with the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, etc with their moves this offseason?
Zach Hood: The path to Atlanta being a contender in 2023 is not a difficult one to envision, even if it’s not super likely to all come together perfectly the way it probably has to for the Hawks to compete with the upper echelon East teams. If the addition of Murray results in the Hawks having a top-10 defense or so somehow while also maintaining their prolific offensive attack under Trae Young, the Hawks have a chance to be among the best teams in the East.
Malik Brown: The Hawks are a formidable team now, but I don’t think they’re good enough to be in the conversation of those top Eastern Conference teams yet. If everything goes perfect for the Hawks, I can possibly see them jumping into the fold, but there still needs to be some things done with this team. Offensively they took a step back, and we’ll have to see how much they really improved on defense.
Graham Chapple: Even in a best case scenario for the Hawks I don’t think so. I think they can contend for the 4 or 5 seed if things go well but in terms of the top tier of the Eastern Conference I don’t think so. I’m worried about the Hawks’ bench depth compared to last season and I don’t think the Hawks’ overall shooting is as strong as it was last season either. And the Hawks need both Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter to be healthy and I’m concerned that one, possibly both, may not be healthy because neither have shown of late that they can stay healthy over a full season.
Wes Morton: As it currently stands, I don’t think so. I do think there’s a chance the Hawks field both an average to above average offense and defense, but to get to the usual benchmark of top-10 in both categories will be perilously difficult. Even in a best case scenario where Murray and Young replicate their All-Star campaigns from a season ago and the young collection of talent on the team takes major steps forward in production, it will most likely leave them anywhere from the 4 to 6 seed in the East in my estimation.
Glen Willis: No. At best, they are one tier below that group in my view. Maybe we will be surprised at the amount and type of lift Murray brings. I trust that they will still function as a top-5 offense. But I am not sure if they can get to consistently being a league average defense, which is what they would need, at a minimum, to have any chance at getting into that top tier.
Rashad Milligan: I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes. The Sixers remained in the world of “what exactly are we doing here?” The Nets are…you know. The Heat lost PJ Tucker. Milwaukee is still legit and Boston are motivated. I think the East is fairly open this season.