Atlanta Hawks: Ranking the 12 Best Fits in Free Agency

Malcolm Brogdon Klay Thompson Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Malcolm Brogdon Klay Thompson Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Patrick Beverley Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

#2. Patrick Beverley

We have previously outlined why Patrick Beverley should be the Atlanta Hawks number one priority this offseason despite not being particularly youthful.

What he is, however, is a complete beast on defense – often claiming the toughest assignment on any given night such as during this year’s Playoffs when he specifically asked for the tall task of guarding one of the most unstoppable scorers in NBA history: Kevin Durant.

Beverley’s defense is truly his calling card, and he is also just an intensely focused on-ball defender with a penchant for getting under the skin of his mark – sometimes leading to technical fouls and snappy back-and-forths with who he is guarding.

Per ESPN’s real plus/minus metric, Beverley was 6th in defensive real plus/minus among point guards during the 2018-19 season – notably ahead of both guards that were named to First Team All-Defense: Marcus Smart and Eric Bledsoe.

Beverly would make for one of the best fits on this entire list on the Atlanta Hawks due to being far more effective as an off-ball threat who can expend much of his energy on defense. Beverley’s shockingly low usage rate of 13.9 percent per Cleaning the Glass placed him in the 3rd percentile among guards.

However, his assist to usage ration of 1.32 was in the 87th percentile, showcasing Beverley’s ability to make the right play every time.

Beverley’s presence on the Atlanta Hawks would mean Trae Young wouldn’t have to worry about facing off against him on the opposing team, too, which is certainly something that Ice Trae should be happy about.