Atlanta Hawks are hiding in plain sight for the summer of 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26: Kent Bazemore
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26: Kent Bazemore /

The Atlanta Hawks are in the midst of a full on tear down.

With Dwight Howard being sent to Charlotte and Paul Millsap finding residence in the Mile High City, Travis Schlenk and the Atlanta Hawks have clearly chosen young over old.

Yes our rebuild is obvious but I think Atlanta is hiding in plain sight for the summer of 2018.

Next season will probably be brutal. Trotting out a starting lineup of Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon doesn’t invoke fear in anyone.

But, Atlanta is equipped with 3 possible (almost guaranteed) first round draft picks in a top 3 protected Houston pick, lottery protected Minnesota pick and our own.

Atlanta Hawks
ATLANTA, GA – MARCH 1: Dwight Powell /

That is why the Hawks need to trade Kent Bazemore. This is much less of an indictment on Bazemore and more of an attack on his contract.

Baze was really fun in 2016 and 2017 up until the NBA playoffs. With an insane spike in cap space hit last summer it’s hard to attack the Hawks giving Kent such a large contract when others *ahem* the Los Angeles Lakers *ahem* made much worse moves.

But and its a big but, Kent might stop Atlanta from becoming a superstar destination.

As almost everyone knows by now, franchises and their GM’s are coming back down to Earth when it comes to the insane over spending of 2016’s off-season.

Atlanta Hawks
CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 1: Taurean Prince /

Contracts from that Christmas in July are really starting to hurt everyone who bet their house money on the spike. A projected 10 teams are going to be in the luxury tax for 2018 and even less are going to have cap space with 9.

The Atlanta Hawks are one of the lucky few with cap space, and finding a way for Bazemore and Plumlee to get of our books can make Atlanta a desired destination for upcoming.

Atlanta can afford one max contract without getting rid of anyone but the NBA has turned into a superteam league and even then I don’t know if Atlanta has enough luster to attract just one superstar.

We’re a big city with a fanbase that falls in love with success (hello Falcons), and is waiting for that savior or two.

Atlanta Hawks
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APRIL 02: DeMarcus Cousins /

Getting rid of these contracts leaves us championship caliber pieces in Schroder and Prince. Exciting rookies in Collins and Bembry and 3 possible first round picks, with the ability to sign 2(!!) max level superstars.

With players like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Paul George, Demarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant all becoming free agents next year, getting rid of Bazemore and others might make Atlanta a dark horse destination for the next superteam.