The Hawks offseason is just getting underway, but several members of the team are already looking ahead to what their future with the team may be.
Several members of the team addressed the media on Monday as they cleaned out their lockers and Mike Scott was asked about his future with the team as he enters restricted free agency in July:
Hawks RFA Mike Scott: “I’m just going to leave that to the GM and the coaching staff but of course I want to come back.” #ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) May 5, 2014
Mike Scott was a key part of the rotation for the Hawks throughout the 2013-14 regular season and into the playoffs.
The second-year forward out of Virginia was tasked with proving his worth to the team as the front office had the option to part ways with him back in January and save around $600,000. Mike managed to prove he was more than worthy of a guaranteed contract and saw a bump in playing time in comparison to his rookie campaign with 18.5 minutes a night where he averaged 9.6 points and shot roughly 48% from the field. His appearance of the national stage in the first round against the Indiana Pacers was positive for the most part and his Game 5 performance, where he had 17 points and made 5 three out of 6 attempts, will likely push his name into the equation for a possible target in free agency for many teams.
Atlanta will be expected to issue a qualifying offer for the 25-year-old, which will be just under $1 million, and the front office will have the ability to match any offer sheet Mike agrees to in doing so.
Mike Scott will likely be looking for a multi-year deal as he enters the prime years of his career and as long as no other team attempt to overpay the forward, the Hawks are expected to bring Mike back next season.
Scott will be seen as a largely scoring focused player that teams can bring off the bench for production on the offensive end. He made several strides over the past season to try and find more success on the perimeter and is expected to continue to work on this aspect of his game, in hopes of possible seeing more minutes in the small forward role in the future.
Its hard to gauge what teams will offer for Mike’s services, but some examples may point toward an estimate as he hits the market.
Chris Copeland hit restricted free agency last summer after his first year with the New York Knicks and signed a two year deal with the Indiana Pacers for two years $6.14 million. Copeland has a few similar attributes to Scott, but boasts a better ability to shoot from beyond the arc and man the small forward position. The former Knick sported a stat line of 8.7 points on about 48% shooting with a PER of 16.8 as he hit the open market, but is closer to 30 than Mike is as he looks toward free agency.
Mike finished this past season with a PER of 15.3 and slightly lower advanced shooting stats than Copeland with a 56% true shooting and 53% effective field goal rating.
Scott can also compare to a Spurs player in Boris Diaw, who fits into a similar role for head coach Gregg Popovich that Scott has for Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer. Boris signed a two-year contract with the Spurs before the 2012-13 season and earned 4.3 million this past season. The former Hawk has a bit more of a dynamic game with better rebounding numbers, but is a much lesser presence on the perimeter.
With these in mind, a two or three year deal for around four million a year should been in the cards for Mike Scott, and the Hawks will possess plenty of cap space to fit a contract figure like that into the equation as the front office makes moves this offseason.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see Mike Scott suit up in his #32 Hawks jersey when next season tips off.