Although free agency has been ongoing for a few days now, the Atlanta Hawks have remained quiet as far as new signings.
The Hawks have been linked to names such as Luol Deng, Pau Gasol, Greg Monroe, Kent Bazemore, and even Nick Young, however no signings materialized. They were clearly after some depth on the wing, and it now appears they have finally made a move.
Shams Charania of RealGM reports that the Hawks have signed former Thunder forward Thabo Sefolosha:
Free agent guard Thabo Sefolosha has reached agreement on a three-year, $12 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks, league source tells RealGM. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 3, 2014
No team or player options on Thabo Sefolosha’s three-year agreement with the Atlanta Hawks, league sources tell RealGM. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 3, 2014
This is a really good move. Sefolosha had a disappointing playoff campaign, but overall he is a solid player. He spent six seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he has developed into an elite perimeter defender. Although Sefolosha shot just 31 percent from beyond the arc this past season, he shot over 41 percent from from three-point land the previous two seasons. He has a reliable outside shot, and he should fit right in to what general manager Danny Ferry and head coach Mike Budenholzer want to do.
Thabo and DeMarre Carroll, the Hawks’ starting small forward last season, have similar skill sets, but this move is all about depth on the wing. This also allows Kyle Korver to go to shooting guard full-time, which can only be a good thing.
At just $4 million per year, Atlanta got a steal. Sefolosha can also play shooting guard — and if he and Carroll can play together, good luck scoring on the perimeter.
Sefolosha has been playing in what can be described as a sub-par offense in Oklahoma City, and in Budenholzer’s offense, he could see a giant leap. DeMarre Carroll had only made 27 three-pointers in his four-year career prior to joining the Hawks, and he ended up knocking down 97 in his first season with Atlanta.
The Hawks have finally started making moves, and the first one is certainly a home run by signing one of the best “3-and-D” guys in the NBA.
Atlanta still has about $11.5 million in cap space after the signing, so be on the lookout for more names to be joining Sefolosha and the Hawks as free agency progress.