The Atlanta Hawks have made plenty of changes from the old guard but now find themselves with a sudden lack of veteran leadership.
Their two most experienced players – Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela – achieved their greatest NBA success in Atlanta. What the Hawks need is veteran leadership and experience at the highest levels of this league.
“Salary-dumping John Collins onto the Utah Jazz gives the Atlanta Hawks access to the bigger mid-level exception ($12.4 million)—though, in that scenario, they may also need to trim slightly more money to remain beneath the tax,” wrote Dan Favale of Bleacher Report on June 28. “Sticking to free agents who will cost less remains the way to go.”
Favale’s solution: Jae Crowder.
Crowder, 33, averaged 6.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists while shooting 47.9% from the floor and 43.6% from beyond the arc.
His efficiency from deep could make him particularly attractive to a Hawks team that finished 28th in three-pointers attempted last season and will have Quin Snyder at the helm from the outset of next season.
Snyder’s Utah Jazz squads routinely finished in the top 10 in three-point shooting including in 2018-19 when they finished ninth and Crowder was on the roster. The Jazz led the league in three-point attempts in Snyder’s final season at the helm while Crowder averaged 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in his tenure.
Interestingly enough, though, that was before Crowder even became a shooter.
The Villa Rica, Georgia native just finished a three-year, $29.1 million contract in a stint with the Milwaukee Bucks that left him without much of a role.
But Crowder has been on a playoff roster every season since his rookie season (2012-13) and has averaged 10.4 points, 5.3 boards, and 1.9 assists when he gets there – a line close enough to his regular-season number to illustrate that he is unphased in big moments.
The Hawks created $13-plus million in breathing room under the tax and a $25.3 million trade exception with the John Collins trade.
Part of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception or the Collins exception could be used for Crowder.
Atlanta Hawks made ‘contact with various teams’ about De’Andre Hunter
“The Hawks…have made well-known contact with various teams about De’Andre Hunter, wrote Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report on June 28 mostly summarizing his own reporting from the days leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft when Hunter was linked in trade rumors to the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers.
Part of the reason for the calls on Hunter, Fischer previously reported, was to clear a path to more minutes for 2022 No. 16 overall pick AJ Griffin.
But the Hawks also have financial concerns, even after moving off Collins’ contract.
They still have to take extensions for Saddiq Bey, Onyeka Okongwu, and most importantly Dejounte Murray who is the least likely to agree to a contract extension due to league rules limiting how much he could make.
With all that still simmering beneath the surface, do not be surprised to see the Hawks remain staples in the rumor mill this offseason.