One of the most common occurrences when a team gets bounced early from the postseason is the speculative overhaul of the roster by the rumor mill.
The Atlanta Hawks are no different coming off their second such playoff exit.
“Whatever they envisioned for the 2022-23 campaign could not have been this,” writes Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report in a piece setting out to identify some trade targets in what should be a pivotal offseason. “So, it’s back to the drawing board for the Hawks, who loom as one of the biggest wild cards of the upcoming offseason. Atlanta has several intriguing trade candidates…but after buying big on Murray, it might be looking to add instead of subtract.”
This season was supposed to be a step forward from last season when the Hawks had a potent offense in the regular season but was hindered by its defense.
Then came last postseason when the Miami Heat honed in on and shut down Trae Young.
Enter Dejounte Murray whose blockbuster trade was supposed to remedy all of that. It was always a lot to ask of a player who had thrived as an off-ball and help defender playing passing lanes and getting chase-down blocks in San Antonio with the Spurs. The Hawks need to build out their infrastructure to support him in a less-effective role as a point-of-attack stopper.
That means more help is needed on the wings to at least slow down some of the dribble penetration and backdoor cuts that saw them give up far too many layups against the Celtics in the playoffs.