Atlanta Hawks: Would the in-season tournament benefit the team?

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks are in win-now mode given that they were only two games away from the NBA Finals last season. As such, their entire efforts are going to be focused on lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy next season.

They locked in their core long-tern over the past offseason and are ready for a tilt at the title. However, the NBA has announced that they are looking at an in-season tournament for next season with the prize money being $1.0 million per player for the winning team.

This is not a new concept, Woj of ESPN first broke the news in 2019 that the NBA was looking at bringing in the tournament. Shams of The Athletic reported that it was just discussed on a Competition Committee call again.

Would an in-season tournament benefit the Atlanta Hawks?

The Hawks have just come off one of the most injury-riddled campaigns that you could imagine. The fact that they almost made the NBA Finals in spite of these injuries and a coaching change is testament to the ability and character of the franchise as a whole and each player individually.

However, this does highlight the issue of having more games where there are bragging rights, but only $1.0 million per player on the winning team. This could be seen as a distraction for teams going for the big prize and they would not want to risk their players.

However, the Hawks are an incredibly deep team so depending on how the NBA wants the rosters structured, this could actually benefit the team. Players like Jalen Johnson, Sharife Cooper, Skylar Mays and others at the bottom of the bench will struggle to get minutes this season.

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If the Hawks enter the tournament, then they could get some good minutes into these players which they might not get throughout the regular season. They will be playing against middle of the road NBA talent who are looking to get an extra payday on top of their deals.

The Hawks starting five are too well paid to have much of an interest in a $1.0 million purse. It is the same with Danilo Gallinari. We need to wait to see what the league mandates as far as who must play. If it is the whole varsity squad then the Hawks would get no benefit from the concept.