The Zazilla has been a ferocious competitor on the Atlanta Hawks teams that have made the playoffs for six straight years. With unrestricted free agency looming, Zaza Pachulia has more options than just the ATL. Luckily for us, he has made it known that he would prefer to stay with the Hawks.
Thanks to a report from Hoopsworld’s Lang Greene, we now know that he will also look at other options, just in case the Hawks decide to not offer him a contract. This section from Greene’s piece helps you understand both the Hawks’ and Zaza’s thought process during free-agency:
Pachulia believes the Hawks will reach out to him once some of the bigger names in this year’s free agent class start agreeing to terms, but also says he has had positive conversations with Hawks’ front office and new head coach Budenholzer on potentially working together in the future.
“The front office hasn’t told me anything specific,” Pachulia said in regards to re-signing him to a new deal. “But the good thing for me is I had an excellent exit interview with Danny Ferry at the end of the season and I also had a short conversation with Coach Budenholzer. Obviously coach heard some good things about me from Danny and the conversation was all good. So I wouldn’t take it personal if it doesn’t happen.”
Zaza dealt with a nagging Achilles injury that held him out of 30 games and all of the playoffs, but, according to the report, he says he should come back close to 100%.
Zaza posted another zolid zeason in the ATL, averaging 5.9 ppg and 6.5 rpg. He’s embraced the “aggressive bench big” role well during his time in Atlanta and he hasn’t been afraid to get feisty with other players.
Many teams in the league would be wise to look for someone with the skillset of Zaza. Teams like the Heat and the Spurs are always looking for quality big men to continue their dominance.
Be on the lookout for Dwight Howard to sign his deal, because it will likely have a large impact on where Zaza ends up.