The Atlanta Hawks are looking at a quiet free agency period unless they make another trade in the short term. They managed to improve their position by moving John Collins’ salary off the books, which is going to be more beneficial in the coming seasons than this offseason.
It did free up some playing time for the other big men on the Hawks squad. However, if the Hawks could sign a proven performer at a low price then this would improve their roster. The Phoenix Suns are planning to pull their qualifying offer to Australian big man Jock Landale.
This is a strange decision for the desert franchise as when their premier big man, Deandre Ayton was struggling during the playoffs, Monty Williams turned to the Australian Boomers center. Landale gave the team some really high-energy, high-quality minutes. However, they need to save money on the rest of their roster after the Bradley Beal trade so that may have something to do with why they pulled their qualifying offer.
Why should the Atlanta Hawks look at signing Jock Landale?
The 6’11” center played 69 games last season, averaging 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in just 14.2 minutes per game. He is a solid perimeter shooter, despite only shooting 25.0 percent from deep last season. He shot the ball at 32.9 percent from beyond the arc in his rookie season which is a decent number for a first-year player.
Still, with Landale, it is not about the numbers that he produces, it is about the effort that he puts in when he is on the floor. If you look back at the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Denver Nuggets, Landale showed why he is in the league. The energy and effort that he displayed when he hit the court were infectious.
In the six games that Landale played in this series, he had a positive plus/minus in five of them. The only game that he had a negative plus/minus was the game that he played five minutes. Given that he played over 20 minutes twice and over 30 minutes once, this is impressive, considering he was matched up against the eventual Finals MVP, Nikola Jokic.
The Hawks have two big men in Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu who are not great shooters. Bruno Fernando, who is not a major factor in the rotations, struggles on offense, let alone as a floor spacer. Landale is a player who can play a role and fit with what the team needs.
The Hawks actually had him on the books last season but traded him to the Suns for cash. It is good that they did as Nate McMillan is not good a using young players in the rotation. However, with what Landale produced against the Nuggets, there is a good chance that he would be used with the second unit if the Atlanta Hawks can sign him for the right price.