The dream scenario for the Atlanta Hawks’ 2023-24 starting lineup

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Small forward: OG Anunoby

This is where things get interesting. The Toronto Raptors small forward’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors for years now, and for good reason: he’s one of the premier on-ball defenders in the world and also shoots a very respectable 38% from three, along with having the ability to create his own shot on occasion.

Essentially, OG Anunoby is in reality what De’Andre Hunter is in the Land of Hypotheticals. Hunter has games where he looks like an all-star. He is also capable of putting together three-game stretches where you don’t even notice he’s on the court. The “he’s still developing” excuse is no longer valid as Hunter will be 26 years old next season, which will be his fifth in the NBA. At this point, he’s simply not worth the headache his inconsistency incites.

Atlanta should be willing to throw a whole lot on the table to get a player like Anunoby, including AJ Griffin (whose father happens to be on the Raptor’s staff), Hunter, Clint Capela or Onyeka Okongwu, and perhaps even Jalen Johnson or John Collins.

Anunoby would solve so many problems for this heavily flawed roster with his defensive versatility and ability to stretch the floor. For a Hawks team that isn’t brimming with other options, he is worth the assets it would take to get him.

Power forward: Grant Williams

An interesting name on the free agent market this offseason is Boston’s Grant Williams, who has largely fallen out of the Celtics’ playoff rotation after becoming an unlikely hero for them in last year’s playoffs.

But make no mistake, Williams would make a ton of sense for Atlanta.

To start, he’s another elite defender who can guard 1-5 and has shown an ability to at least deter some of the game’s greatest bigs, including Giannis Antentokounpo last year. He’s a world-class three-point shooter at 40 percent and is essentially the anti-John Collins: unathletic and perhaps slightly undersized, but a smart defender and certified floor spacer.

For a team looking to give Young and Murray maximum room to operate, Williams fits in so much better with this roster than Collins.

Center: Brook Lopez

Admittedly, this might be somewhat of a stretch. Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez will be an unrestricted free agent and will likely command a pretty significant raise after posting one of the best years of his extremely unique career.

What used to be a traditional post-up center is now a three-point marksman and defensive player of the year candidate who, even at his advanced age, still alters shots with the best of them and is a devastating option on the offensive pick and roll.

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Assuming Atlanta moves on from either Okongwu or Clint Capela this offseason, Lopez would be a great fit for a team lacking in floor-spacing and interior defense if the Hawks can find a way to muster together the money he will be looking for.