Atlanta Hawks: Maxi Kleber Listed as Surprising Free Agent the Team Needs

Maxi Kleber Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)
Maxi Kleber Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images) /

A look at a current Dallas Mavericks player that the Atlanta Hawks should prioritize signing this offseason. Spoiler alert: It’s not Luka Doncic.

After the surprising Taurean Prince/Allen Crabbe trade last week, the Atlanta Hawks cut into their salary cap space by bringing on the final year of Crabbe’s mammoth contract signed in the fateful summer of 2016 (4 years/$75 million).

As such, the Hawks are likely not in the running for a big-name free agent anymore (specifically Klay Thompson), though you never know what will happen.

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However, according to a story by Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, there is one unorthodox choice in free agency that would be a huge boon for the Atlanta Hawks: Maxi Kleber of the Mavericks.

Kleber has been a popular choice for the Hawks on this very site, and he will be a restricted free agent this offseason, meaning the Mavs can match any deal for Kleber if they so choose. But the Mavs will likely want to get their names in with multiple big-name free agents such as Kemba Walker and D’Angelo Russell, which will require ample cap space. Will Kleber be a casualty of the Mavs’ lust for a star?

If so, the Hawks would gladly scoop up the shot-blocking and three-point shooting that Kleber can provide as a floor-spacing big. According to Favale’s story, “[Kleber] can bang with most towers on the block, and opponents shot 55.7 percent against him around the rim—a top-25 mark among 165 players who challenged at least 150 point-blank looks.”

Certainly, the Atlanta Hawks could use a pick-and-pop threat as a combo big to pair with John Collins’s rim-rolling brilliance and Trae Young’s passing mastery. Toss in a bevy of draft picks, and you have the makings of a terrific core going forward (though Kleber doesn’t particularly fit the age range of the others at 27 years old).

Next. All 6 Hawks Draft Picks After Nets Trade. dark

Stay tuned for plenty more offseason coverage of the Atlanta Hawks as we sit exactly one week until the 2019 NBA Draft and two and a half weeks until the start of free agency.