With NBA Free Agency in full throttle, the Atlanta Hawks have been relatively quiet – at least when compared to other teams.
The Lakers have remade their team (with more moves likely to come) with LeBron James‘s new superteam of “high-IQ” players he’s long coveted – with Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee leading the way (LOL).
The Hawks, on the other hand, have stood pat, and though they have the cap space to make some noise this offseason, possibly by helping out LeBron’s new team by taking on Luol Deng’s gargantuan contract, the team has been exceptionally silent in the early goings of free agency.
However, the team has been linked to a single free agent throughout the early goings of the free agency process: Zach LaVine.
The former Bull and Timberwolf has had multiple injuries in his 4 NBA seasons, culminating in a torn ligament in his left knee 2 seasons ago. Even with that injury trouble, LaVine has shown that he is an explosive dunker and gifted scorer from all three levels – something the Hawks desperately needed last season and something that any team could always use.
Since the Hawks are seemingly one of the few suitors for LaVine, other than his current team (the Bulls) and the Kings, how would LaVine fit on the current Hawks roster?
First off, Lavine is only 23 years old, which is considerably older than the Hawks recent first-round draft picks of Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Omari Spellman and John Collins, but 23 is still quite young, which means LaVine would match the Hawks timeline of steady, methodical development going forward.
Though he would be on the older side of that age window, he could lead by example and become one of the leaders on a Hawks team that will likely be looking for that sort of skill set.
Another area where LaVine excels is his shooting – something the Hawks clearly prioritize under GM Travis Schlenk after the selection of three projected knockdown shooters in the 2018 NBA Draft.
While LaVine isn’t quite the automatic shooter that, say, Huerter and Spellman showcased in limited minutes in college, LaVine is still a career 37.3 percent shooter from distance on 4 attempts per game. Pretty solid numbers for someone who also a freak athlete who can still jump out of the gym for titanic tomahawks and wild windmill dunks.
The Hawks already have an amazing dunker on the roster in John the Baptist, who lived up to his name with some heavenly slams in the 2017-18 season, but adding LaVine to the roster with hopeful highlight machine Trae Young would make the Hawks eminently watchable in 2018-19.
Of course, LaVine has his flaws, and chief among them is his lackluster at best defense. He often gets lost and rarely puts forth a concerted effort on the less glamorous end – as his career 114 defensive rating per 100 possessions would convey.
Still though, if the Hawks were to put in a competitive offer for LaVine, it would not be the worst move. An exciting player that can seemingly score at will should fit quite well alongside Trae – if you don’t mind giving up a ton of points on the other end, that is.
Keep it locked to Soaring Down South for all your Hawks free agency news. The NBA is the best!