Continuing our series of finding one player the Atlanta Hawks could sign from all other teams this off-season.
When looking at who’s coming off the Nuggets’ books this off-season that the Atlanta Hawks could potentially sign, one name stood out: Paul Millsap. The free-agent-to-be spent his prime years in Atlanta, making an All-Star team in each of his four seasons as a Hawk.
He’s set to hit the open market once again this fall, and while a reunion with Atlanta would be great for the fans and the team, it feels a bit too unrealistic. The 35-year-old forward will almost certainly be looking to join a contender this off-season, and there’s already reports of Miami being interested in him.
So while I’m rooting for it to happen, I decided to look at another Denver frontcourt player the Hawks could sign this October: Noah Vonleh.
Vonleh has established himself as quite the journeyman already, suiting up for a total of six teams before turning 25. The former 9th overall pick has been traded four times, including earlier this year when he was sent from Minnesota to Denver as part of the deal that landed Clint Capela in Atlanta.
He’s likely going to be looking for a long-term home this off-season, if he can find one. After having what looked to be his breakout season with the Knicks in ’18-’19, Vonleh was disappointing in Minny in short bits of playtime. He played just four games in Denver before the hiatus hit.
There’s still enough upside for a team to sign him this fall, but it might not be for his desired contract length. The Atlanta Hawks are in need of a backup four, which Vonleh could help fill if they don’t find one in the draft.
Vonleh’s best attribute is his rebounding, something the Hawks still need help with even after the addition of Capela. This season only three teams had a worse rebound percentage than Atlanta. Vonleh averaged nearly eight per game in 25.3 minutes with the Knicks and 3.7 per game this year, still decent considering he averaged 11.0 minutes per contest.
He’s not likely to space the floor with much success, which the Hawks want in their current scheme, but he can score in the mid-range on occasion and in the paint more regularly.
His defense is effort-based and nowhere near bad, just not game-changing either. By all accounts, he seems like a great teammate and locker-room guy. His coach in Minnesota, Ryan Saunders, had this to say about Vonleh: “He’s very professional and, as a coach, you feel for guys like that, they put the work in.” (via StarTribune)
He’ll be cheap (likely not much more than the minimum, if not the minimum) and at the very least, injury protection for the Atlanta Hawks.
Should the Atlanta Hawks sign Noah Vonleh?