The Hawks could look to build back a veteran bench
When this Hawks core was at its best during that ECF run, it had a plethora of veteran options it could call upon if needed. This past season, the bench was still capable, just far less reliable amid some rough patches as the front office and coaching changes would indicate.
Still, it ranked eighth in net rating on the season.
They could strengthen it, either directly or indirectly, by doing a 2-for-1 deal with the Brooklyn Nets, and they could land a player who has familiarity with head coach Quin Snyder.
Former Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale, 30, spent five seasons under Snyder and shot no worse than 37.7% from deep after his rookie season including 38.5% or better in each of the last three seasons.
He averaged career highs with 8.8 points and 3.7 assists this past season adding 5.1 boards and is heading into the final year of a four-year, $36 million contract. Both he and Dorian Finney-Smith have experience starting and coming off the bench giving the Hawks lineup flexibility and keeping them from having to rely on young players who may not be ready yet.
Finney-Smith, 30, averaged 8.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists.
He shot 33.7% from deep this past season, split between the Nets and Dallas Mavericks, but shot 39.5% from outside over the previous two seasons and has been linked to Atlanta.
“There is still a lot of speculation that Atlanta could bring back a John Collins offer for the Nets,” an anonymous GM told Heavy Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney in May. “And DFS is a guy they want to bring in.”
This deal would add more than $3 million in salary but could help with floor spacing, depth, perimeter defense, and more. That includes the potential for some room for those Bey and Okongwu deals sooner than if Hunter’s salary was still on the books, though Finney-Smith is just heading into the second year of a four-year, $55.5 million pact.
There are a lot of possibilities still for this roster and organization.