Since he made that statement Dwight Howard has been traded to the Charlotte Hornets, Paul Millsap is in Denver and Tim Hardaway Jr. has gone to the New York Knicks. Jose Calderon – who provided quality minutes off of the bench – is now a Cleveland Cavalier and even Jamal Crawford, the compensation in return for Millsap, has been bought out and decided to take his scoring ability to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
All of this leaves the Atlanta Hawks’ cupboard looking a little bare and Hawks’ fans looking a little concerned.
So now that we’ve established that the Hawks have been stripped down to the bones let’s examine how to rebuild the team into a championship contender.
Seeing how Coach Budenholzer came from the San Antonio Spurs’ system, will Atlanta continue to follow that model?
The Spurs’ model appears to rely heavily on players from overseas and play a pass-heavy brand of basketball that emphasizes the corner three-point shot. If that is the case then Atlanta is behind on its mission because there are hardly any players from overseas on the roster and the Hawks only drafted one with the final selection of the draft where they had three picks.
This does not appear to be the direction that the Hawks are taking. So now that brings up a big question that every Atlanta fan has been wondering since a new general manager stepped in:
Is Coach Bud on the hot seat?
Staying in the area of talking about guys coming from different systems, Schlenk has come east to Atlanta from the Golden State Warriors.
Will Schlenk try to make the Hawks East Golden State?
How do you do that, you may ask – and the answer is fairly simple: First, draft shooters. Bring guys to the team who can put the ball in the basket from deep. That would open lanes for a point guard to penetrate and score or distribute the ball.
Also in the Warriors model you need athletes. These athletes crash the glass, play good defense and run the floor, eliminating the need for a big burly power forward and center.
So far, the Hawks don’t seem to have any shooters. They let Hardaway leave for New York and they let Crawford get away without even spending the night in the ATL.
They did, however, draft Tyler Dorsey in the second round and he is known for getting buckets. The Hawks already have some good athletes currently on staff with Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry. This may be the way of Schlenk, only time will tell as the roster fills out and more drafts come along to build up the team.
Being in rebuild mode, one has to wonder if the Hawks are going to use the 76ers method of team building?
This method, as you have seen, is basically to be a bad team and draft the best talent that comes your way regardless of if he is injured or not. It doesn’t matter if the player is injured because you want to be a terrible team again next year so that you can get another top 5 pick and repeat this process until you have a team that you believe has a bright enough future where you can really start to compete.
I HOPE that this is not the new plan. I’m almost certain that it wouldn’t be, considering the Hawks’ front office are afraid to stink too bad because they know that Atlanta’s fans will simply refuse to show up to the games regardless of the halftime concerts and courtside bars.
The last possibility to rebuild the team for the Atlanta Hawks would be to try to form some sort of “Super Team”?
This model means that the Hawks would have to either trade for a big name player or convince a star that this is the place to be to win a ring. After that is done, other trades or acquisitions have to take place until you have a squad that can contend for a championship.
If you’re looking for an example see the Boston Celtics’ Big Three, the Miami Heat’s Big Three or the current Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster. If Atlanta is going to attempt this model then there would have to be a major trade in the works because there doesn’t seem to be any free agents that feel like Atlanta is the place for them.
Whichever method the Hawks choose to use, we all have to sit back and watch together. My only advice to you, as a fan, is to continue to ride with the team. Support the Hawks and don’t be a fair-weather fan because if it works and Atlanta wins a championship you’re going to look crazy talking bad about the Hawks one day and the next using “we” in a sentence when talking about the team the next.
Stay tuned for my next blog when I tell you which team being put together has the best shot at beating the Golden State Warriors. Here’s a hint: it’s not the Cleveland Cavaliers.