Finding three restricted free agents the Atlanta Hawks could sign this off-season.
The Atlanta Hawks have the cap space to give a big offer sheet to one or a few restricted free agents this summer, and luckily for them, there are a few big names hitting the RFA market.
Here we’ll identify three restricted free agents that would fit in Atlanta, perhaps even better than their current home. They could be able to steal these players from those teams:
Honorable Mention: Brandon Ingram
Brandon Ingram is one of the biggest free agents on the market this season, and even though the Pelicans will have to make some decisions on how to pay all their young players in the coming years, they’ll almost certainly bring him back.
The former 2nd overall pick rapidly improved in the Big Easy, making his first All-Star appearance and scoring nearly 25 points per game in his age-22 season. He’d be a great fit in Atlanta, but New Orleans will be bringing him back, as they should.
Number 3: Kris Dunn
I’ve talked about the potential fit of Kris Dunn and the Atlanta Hawks a few times already on this site, and if the team wants to pair Trae Young with a defensive stud to help Trae’s downfalls on that end, Dunn may be the best option this off-season.
Dunn and Young would have to come to terms, however, as the two briefly got into it last season. They should be able to do that, especially if Dunn will bring that same defensive energy he did this year.
Number 2: Torrey Craig
Torrey Craig could be the next player to break out of Denver and excel with another team, just like Malik Beasley did this past season. Unlike Beasley, however, Craig is not a youngster, he’s 29 years old, making him the second-youngest restricted free agent this off-season.
Despite showing elite-level perimeter defense and solid-enough shooting splits (46/33/64), The Nugs played him just 17.4 minutes per game last season. Atlanta could certainly use his defensive prowess, and Craig could be swayed by the promise of a larger role.
Number 1: De’Anthony Melton
De’Anthony Melton has a ton of free agency buzz around him, for good reason. It’s not often a 22-year-old who flashed as much two-way potential as Melton did this year hits the open market, and his agent will certainly be busy with teams this fall.
Atlanta should be trying to grab Melton as he fits perfectly in what the team wants to do. He’s good enough to play major minutes right away and young enough to slide right into the Hawks’ young core.
Melton is loved by advanced stats, ranking 8th on 538’s defensive RAPTOR metric. He makes all the effort plays and would be a great addition to the Hawks’ backcourt, where he can play backup to Trae or slide over as a small-ball two.
Which restricted free agents should the Atlanta Hawks target this off-season?