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
Trey Lyles #7 Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Trey Lyles

Trey Lyles, the former #12 overall pick of the Utah Jazz in the 2015 NBA Draft, has had something of a down year with the Denver Nuggets. Though the Nuggets have vastly outperformed their preseason expectations, Lyles has seemingly regressed after a fairly impressive third-year campaign last year.

Last year, in the 2017-18 season, Lyles averaged career-highs in minutes per game (19.1), rebounds per  game (4.8), blocks per game (0.5) and points per game (9.9) on a Nuggets team that just barely missed the playoffs by losing the final game of the regular season to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Even more impressively, Lyles produced a career-high in true shooting percentage (59.1) on 21.1 percent usage. His three-point shot was falling at a rock-solid 38.1 percent clip, and he attempted a career-high 218 last season.

This year, each and every one of those numbers is down, except for his usage, which is up slightly. However, that’s not a good sign, as it means he is using up more of his team’s plays and producing less-than-stellar results.

While it sounds like I might be making the case why the Atlanta Hawks shouldn’t look to sign Lyles, the opposite is true. Because he’s having a down year, and the Nuggets have gotten great play from Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez, their need for Lyles is likely nonexistent.

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Atlanta should be able to swoop in, as Hawks do, and low-ball Lyles with a solid, if not Earth-shattering, offer. Since his value has been diminished after a down year, he will likely want to sign up for playing alongside one of the best passers in the NBA in Trae Young. If his three-point stroke can return to the form he showed in 17-18, the Hawks might have a steal on their hands.