With the Atlanta Hawks using their first-round pick in last week’s 2014 NBA Draft on Adreian Payne — another power forward — a glaring hole on the roster is still at the small forward position. Although DeMarre Carroll played exceptional last year, they still lack depth and a consistent offensive threat at the wing.
After trading Lou Williams, the Hawks will have about $15.5 million in cap space, which means they can nab a nice player in the open market. According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, they have their sights set on Luol Deng:
The Hawks, Clippers and Mavs led the charge in contacting Luol Deng’s reps tonight, league source confirms.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 1, 2014
Deng is a nice player, and he will likely demand about $12 million per year, but he may not be the guy to use most of the cap space on. He is a good defender and a decent shooter (33 percent from beyond the arc in his career), but he doesn’t have the consistent offensive game that is needed. Also, he and DeMarre Carroll are very similar in skill set.
The Hawks contacting Deng shows that they are on the hunt for the top free agents, and we will see how this plays out over the next week.