The Atlanta Hawks continued their incredible offseason by making another move just as training camp started. The Hawks should see the impact of this trade in both the short and long terms. It may not be that his playing trading for Vit Krejci now gives the Hawks many options.
So the question needs to be asked, what are the Hawks doing in a win-now season trading a veteran away for a player who still needs to develop? Well, the answer is pretty simple and starts our look into the benefits of this trade.
As discussed in the previous Krejci article, the move got the Hawks under the luxury tax threshold. While this benefits ownership in that they now do not have to pay the luxury tax, it also means that the Hawks have options. Getting Harkless’ salary off the books for a minimum means that the Hawks have the chance to sign another player at the veteran’s minimum while still staying under the tax.
The Atlanta Hawks also get clarity of their rotations.
One of the problems that confronted the Hawks coaching staff was going to be the wing rotations. With Bogdan Bogdanovic and Dejounte Murray being the main off-guards there was little room for Maurice Harkless. It is the same with the small forward position where De’Andre Hunter is in the starting role and Justin Holiday is the primary backup.
Adding Harkless into this mix would have only crowded the rotations. The problem is that Harkless’ style of play and veteran leadership demands that he be played. Without him in the rotation, other players will have a much greater chance of being able to settle into their roles.
Krejci simply does not muddy the rotational waters the way that Harkless did. He does not demand to be played. It also means that the players going into training camp have more to play for.
Prior to this trade, with the way that the Hawks roster was set up, it looked likely that the franchise would not make any moves to fill the final roster spot before the season started. However, now that they have some space, they may sign the player who best fits their needs to go into the season with a full roster.