Despite having tons of cap space, the Atlanta Hawks are not expected to be major players in the Free Agency market.
Atlanta enters the Free Agency period with one of the larger amounts of available cash in the league. However, Travis Schlenk is unlikely to make Tony Ressler open up his check book. With the Hawks deeply rooted in a rebuilding stage, it is just not sensible to go out and spend of Free Agents. This team is not winning much of anything next year and that is okay.
Fans have to realize that it is a process. The Hawks have a slew of young talent and assets moving forward. Anything that restricts our flexibility moving forward would actually be counter intuitive and delay the ultimate goal of building a championship contending team.
Currently the Hawks have 14 players under contract, a two-way contract and two dead weight contracts on their books. This includes our three rookie signees. Depending on how much Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman signed for, Atlanta has anywhere between 20-25 million in cap space.
While this seems like a big amount, it is unlikely that Travis Schlenk uses that money to sign a big name in Unrestricted Free Agency. The more likely route will be taking on bad expiring or two year contracts with draft picks attached. This allows Atlanta to get to the salary floor without jeopardizing their future all while stockpiling even more draft assets.
The most likely example of this would be if LeBron decides to go to LA, the Lakers will need to unload Loul Deng’s massive 16 million dollar contract. The Hawks are one of the few teams with the space to absorb that kind of money, thus we can demand that LA sends us two future first round picks for us basically helping them out.
There have been some whispers however that the Hawks could take a look at Zach Lavine and maybe even Aaron Gordon in Restricted Free Agency.