The Atlanta Hawks have a fascinating situation this offseason. They made the massive trade last offseason to get Dejounte Murray. Some would say they mortgaged their future with the number of draft picks they gave up to get the star guard. Unfortunately, for the Hawks and their faithful, last season did not end as they would have hoped.
The Hawks, thanks to a better performance in the play-in tournament, made it to the seventh seed, instead of the eighth seed that they attained last season. However, they still exited in the first round on a gentleman’s sweep. What is more concerning is that in the game that they won, Murray was sidelined due to the suspension that he received in Game 3.
However, unless they trade Murray, which is unlikely, they are going to rely on Quin Snyder to have a full offseason with his All-Star backcourt. This means that unless the Hawks trade John Collins or someone else whose contract is a similar size, it is going to be the depth pieces that are the most crucial. This is where a player like Vit Krejci comes into the equation.
So, where do the Atlanta Hawks stand with Vit Krejci and his contract?
When he was with the OKC Thunder, Krejci signed a four-year, $6.3 million contract. The Hawks chose to guarantee last season, which saw the 22-year-old earn just under $1.6 million. So, what did the Atlanta Hawks get for their investment?
Well, apart from being the second-best hype man on the team behind John Collins, Krejci played 29 games, averaging 1.2 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.6 steals in 5.7 minutes per game. His numbers regressed from his rookie season but that is to be expected going from the rebuilding Thunder to the playoff-bound Hawks.
So, what should the Hawks do with the 6’8″ combo guard from the Czech Republic? Well, in this scribe’s humble opinion, they should guarantee his contract for the season. Why is that? Well, it is due to the way that the Hawks have the rest of their contracts set up. They have four starters earning over $20 million with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Murray not far behind.
This does not leave a lot of wiggle room for the Hawks front office, particularly with the new CBA coming into effect. Krejci is only due $1.8 million next season which will allow the Hawks to help the young guard improve and he will be a bargain, or they can include him in a trade package.
He is also going to have a full offseason working under Snyder and this will certainly benefit him. The veteran head coach will have spoken to Krejci about what he needs to do over the summer. If the young player can come close to these expectations look for him to have a bigger role next season.