Atlanta Hawks: Free agent targets

The Atlanta Hawks entered this free agency period as one of the most flexible and financially-well constructed teams in the NBA. Atlanta wasn’t content with that and made a trade earlier this week to clear up cap space.

The Hawks sent Lou Williams and Lucas Nogueira to the Toronto Raptors for John Salmons and a future second-round pick in a trade finalized on Monday. Nogueira, Lucas (usable)

Lou Williams had fallen out of rotation late last season and was likely to spend the majority of next season on the bench. He was owed $5.45 million for next season.

Giving up Nogueira isn’t a big surprise even if it has only been one season. Once the Hawks took two big men on draft night, the frontcourt got crowded and a move was needed.

Atlanta is expected to waive Salmons by the July 10 deadline. If Salmons is waived by the deadline they only have to pay him a $1 million buyout, as compared to the $7 million he is owed if Salmons is not waived.

Many claim this move was made to attract Lebron James to Atlanta, but that’s just not going to happen. This move helped set the Hawks up as one of the most flexible and financially stable teams in the NBA entering free agency.

The Hawks have over $15 million entering free agency, so here are some possible targets:

Loul Deng:

Reports suggest that the Hawks have targeted Deng and that they might be seriously close. Deng is likely to receive $10-12 million a year and he would be an upgrade over Demarre Carroll. Deng is 29-years old and has plenty left in the tank. He has proven to be a great defender and an underrated scorer. At the price he’s predicted to get, it would be best if the Hawks signed him to a two or three year deal rather than a long term deal.

Greg Monroe:

I really don’t understand the Hawks interest in Monroe. If Atlanta does land Monroe, it is an obvious step in saying the Hawks are giving up on the possibility of resigning Paul Millsap. After the Hawks drafted Adreian Payne, signs pointed to this year being Millsap’s final season in Atlanta, as after the season he had last year he is set to receive a hefty raise. The Hawks likely won’t pay Millsap what he wants which makes Monroe a possibility to bring in.

Nick Young:

Los Angeles Lakers

Nick Young (Photo credit: Ben Margot/AP)

Atlanta has shown interest in Swaggy P, and the idea of him coming to Atlanta is an intriguing one. There is no doubt Young can ball, but it’s his personality that could keep him from Atlanta. Surely coach Mike Budenholzer doesn’t want to bring distractions into the locker room, but Young’s on court production might be enough to persuade Budenholzer and general manager Danny Ferry to sign him. Plus Young would provide much needed wing depth for the Hawks.

As always I want to hear from you all, so feel free to comment below who you think the Hawks should bring in. Also feel free to let me know your thoughts on twitter @Briangarcia0724!

Related Articles:

Atlanta Hawks: Draft reaction and last night’s trade

Atlanta Hawks: Grading the draft

Atlanta Hawks: Possible free agent pick-ups