Atlanta Hawks: Did the competition catch up in free agency?

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Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks had a really solid offseason. They started by landing a lottery talent in the NBA Draft in Jalen Johnson with the 20th-overall pick. They doubled down on taking advantage, nabbing a first-round talent in Sharife Cooper with the 48th pick.

Both players are set to showcase their wares in Summer League.

Did they do enough in free agency to maintain their place, if not improve their place in the East?

Were the Atlanta Hawks moves enough to keep pace in the Eastern Conference?

It’s a question that has to be asked coming away from a very active first wave of free agency that saw several division rivals make meaningful changes to their rosters. Of course, as a team that was two wins from the NBA Finals, the Hawks could say they need less than those teams.

Atlanta was active early on in free agency, but a year after spending big in free agency and the trade market, they essentially went bargain hunting.

Don’t be mistaken, though. Delon Wright and Gorgui Dieng are terrific adds for this group and should provide some of what was missing even when last year’s squad was healthy.

Lou Williams’ return speaks to the type of culture they’ve established and their handling of Trae Young and John Collins’ contract situations shows it.

But winning the court of public opinion is different than winning games on the court and the Hawks would have to get a ‘B’ at best. Time will tell if the Collins deal will pay off and they will face similar quandaries with other players soon.

They’ll also be without Onyeka Okongwu until January and trade rumors continue to swirl around Cam Reddish.

Okay, those last two things are out of the Hawks control.

Still, we can’t deny that other teams in the East improved as well. The question is whether or not they improved more than the Hawks. Let’s focus on the Southeast division once again. It was one of the more active in the NBA and had three playoff teams last season (and Charlotte making the play-in game).

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