7 Free agents the Atlanta Hawks signed past their prime

Atlanta Hawks, Dwight Howard. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, Dwight Howard. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks, Wesley Matthews
Atlanta Hawks, Wesley Matthews. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

This offseason has been interesting for the Atlanta Hawks as their moves have seemingly set them up for something larger, though that has yet to come to fruition. There have even been some who have called them out for failing to do more. But activity for the sake of activity is not a winning method either, as the Hawks have found out often in the last decade alone.

Sometimes, signing a well-known player for that reason isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as these seven signings since the 2011-12 season illustrate.

Hawks added a Wesley Mattews in his 15th NBA season

Wesley Matthews joined the Hawks on a one-year, $3.2 million contract this offseason. He is expected to provide some sound defense and capable shot-making as well as veteran leadership off the bench.

Matthews, 36, averaged 16.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists at his peak. But that was during the 2013-14 season. The 6-foot-5 swingman has not averaged double-digit points in the last four seasons and even his three-point efficiency has waned over the last three years, with Matthews sinking just 33.1% of his triples since 2020.

The Hawks are fairly loaded on the wing with Dejounte Murray and De’Andre Hunter starting and Bogdan Bogdanovic and AJ Griffin off the bench.

Whichever of Saddiq Bey or Jalen Johnson doesn’t start at the 4 should play some 3 too.

But Murray also doubles as the de facto backup point guard and Hunter has been mired in trade rumors this offseason, leaving his future uncertain. Matthews won’t come close to matching the production of his prime. But he can still offer some of the veteran leadership the Hawks lacked.

A similar thread can be spun about Patty Mills, though his stellar showing during the 2023 FIBA World Cup has earned him a reprieve from this list. Still, both his and Matthews’ respective Hawks stories are yet to be written but the others on our list certainly were not at their peak when they

finally suited up for Atlanta.