Atlanta Hawks: 4 Realistic Options Hawks Could Sign in Restricted Free Agency

Thomas Bryant Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Thomas Bryant Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Maxi Kleber Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Maxi Kleber

The Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks will forever be linked due to last offseason’s seismic trade that sent Luka Doncic to the Mavs for Trae Young, which also allowed the Hawks to pick up a future first round pick in the process.

Though the outcome of that deal has yet to be decided, as the Mavs’ pick is protected 1-5 in this year’s draft, there is one player on Dallas who is a pending restricted free agent that the Atlanta Hawks should target: Maxi Kleber.

Sure, it seems likely that the Mavs would love to hold onto the 27-year-old second-year player due to his German origins – especially with Dirk Nowitzki maybe retiring (?) – but Kleber would be an excellent fit as a defensive substitution at the four spot for the Hawks going forward.

Though his offensive game is pretty solid in its own right as a rim-runner and spot-up shooter (35.2 percent shooting from deep on a 56.6 percent three-point attempt rate), it is his defense that would be more useful for an extremely poor defensive team in the Hawks.

Kleber is 10th overall in the NBA this in block rate at 4.5 percent, and he leads the Mavericks with a 1.8 Defensive Player Impact Plus/Minus, according to BBall Index. His overall PIPM of 1.7 is second only to Dwight Powell on the team. That 1.7 PIPM is also higher than Doncic’s.

Beyond that, Kleber grades out as the 9th-best power forward in ESPN’s Real Plus/Minus metric with a 2.15 DRPM, and his RPM of 1.52 is in the top 20 among all power forwards.

The Atlanta Hawks will have plenty of cap space with which to play around with this offseason, so we shall see if they make Kleber an offer he can’t refuse.