Looking at all the pitfalls the Atlanta Hawks avoided in the 2020 offseason.
Well, the Atlanta Hawks spent all their money.
That’s certainly the glass-half-full way of looking at the Atlanta Hawks’ offseason and while it’s not wrong, it’s better to say something like this: Well, the Atlanta Hawks just won the offseason.
And maybe that’s not wrong either, although it’s certainly more subjective. Selecting Onyeka Okongwu in the draft and signing Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Rajon Rondo, the team put themselves in a great position to make the playoffs next season.
But the biggest win of the offseason is what the team didn’t do. There were many pitfalls the team could have fallen into, given their obvious desire to reverse their losing ways.
I compiled a shortlist of things the team could have easily done, but thankfully did not:
- Trade future picks or a young stud like De’Andre Hunter or Cam Reddish for a middling star (think Jrue Holiday).
- Trade the entire farm for a superstar (think Russell Westbrook or Chris Paul).
- Trade up in a very weak draft class.
- Overpay for anyone in a weak free agency class (Gordon Hayward, Jerami Grant).
I realize those points basically boil down to “don’t overpay” and “don’t make a bad trade” which is obvious (although some NBA GMs still struggle with this).
But no matter how great the Hawks’ offseason did turn out, it’s still easy to imagine a world in which they fell into the listed or similar pitfalls.
Maybe they didn’t add a “star” per se, but they added high-caliber players without losing any of their young assets or future picks. They also navigated their cap space in a way in which they can still make moves at the trade deadline or next offseason.
It was really just a masterclass by GM Travis Schlenk and I’m very glad he avoided making the fatal flaws we often see teams hungry for wins make.
What did you think of the Atlanta Hawks’ offseason?