The Atlanta Hawks are in for a very interesting offseason. Despite the trades that they made and the free agency signings that they completed over the past 12 months, they were still a play-in team. This is not good enough when the team went within two games of the NBA Finals just a couple of seasons ago.
They have an All-Star caliber backcourt in Dejounte Murray and Trae Young. They have a wing who was top-five in his draft and a frontcourt who could be anything. So, why are they not toward the top of the Eastern Conference standings every year? Well, the answer is that they have not found the formula that is able to engage all players on the court yet.
The game where Dejounte Murray was suspended is a prime example. It was the only game of the playoffs where John Collins looked like the player we know he can be. However, with everyone on the court, Collins gets lost as he does not have a defined role within the starting group. This means that the franchise is going to need to make some moves this offseason. One of these needs to be a decision about Saddiq Bey.
Why it is important that the Atlanta Hawks’ decision on Saddiq Bey is no decision.
While Bey is due for an extension this summer, the Atlanta Hawks should not actually give him one. Bey is a tremendous floor-spacer who can pour in the points on any given night. However, Bey does not bring what he has to the table often enough to warrant a long-term deal with a team that he has only been with for a few months.
On top of that, if the Hawks can trade Bey to help improve their chances at a title, it is so much easier to do if they have an expiring deal. If they added four years and a large sum of money, there is the potential that the deal will not get done. The Hawks need to give themselves the best chance of a trade that they can.
Also, when Bey’s deal expires he becomes a restricted free agent. This means that the Hawks can test where the rest of the league values Bey. If he is offered a good deal, then the Hawks will move on. If they have the chance to bring him back at a reduced rate that helps the team, then more power to them.
The Hawks are in a position where they are locked into their current core barring a major trade and with the new CBA, the star trades that we have seen will become rarer. The Hawks may need to lower their expectations of what some of their players are worth on the trade market in order to step the franchise forward.
While Bey will not trigger a significant trade with another team, his expiring deal may help one get across the line. This means that the best move that the Atlanta Hawks can make on Bey’s contract situation is not to make a move at all this off-season.