This offseason many fans were expecting the Atlanta Hawks to make a serious push for a big name free agent like Lebron James or Carmelo Anthony. And just like last year when the Hawks failed to lure in Dwight Howard, James and Anthony have signed contracts and the Hawks were left looking at the second tier.
Again this was not a failure, because the Hawks went out and found two players in the “role player” tier that will give them good value for their contracts.
Sefolosha was signed to a 3yr/12M contract and was brought in strictly for defensive reasons. Sefolosha lost his three point stroke last season shooting only 31.6 percent from long range. The Hawks ability to spread the floor and create open shots should allow Sefolosha to return to his 2011-2012 form when he shot 43.7 percent from long distance. As great as Kyle Korver has been, he is a liability defensively and Sefolosha will provide crucial minutes late in games defending the better wing players in the league. Don’t expect Sefolosha to start, as he will probably come off the bench to start the season.
The Hawks signed Bazemore to a 2yr/4M contract late last week. To me, this could be the steal signing of the entire offseason. Bazemore is a high energy guy, even when he’s not on the court. A lot of NBA fans know Bazemore for “Bazemoring” in which he reenacts plays from his spot on the bench or for his vibrant celebrations. Golden State took advantage of his acts and created merchandize branding “Bazemoring.” Expect the same for the Hawks as the brilliant businessman Steve Koonin will try to make money off the fan craze. Atlanta will likely be able to pay Bazemore’s salary with just his merchandise sales which is a plus for a guy who doesn’t play a ton.
Oh and by the way, he’s a good player too. Once he arrived to a depleted Los Angeles Lakers squad his minutes jumped up to 28 per game and he responded by shooting 37.1 percent from three and scored 13.1 points per game. Defensively he is a hustle player who plays above average defense and could prove to be a secret late game weapon off the bench.
So sure, the Hawks didn’t land James or Anthony, or even Deng and Monroe, but to me that’s a good thing. Atlanta is in a position to have a lot of free cap space going into next season and can make moves then. As for this season they’ve added good defense and shooting off the bench. They drafted big men that will help add depth to a frontcourt that was depleted last season.
Although they haven’t “wowed” many this offseason, I have been impressed.
Offseason grade to date: B+
Agree or disagree? Feel free to vocalize your opinion in the comments below or tell me on twitter @brianM_garcia!