Here’s what I’d do with the Hawks’ roster, Horford included

Here’s what I’d do with the Atlanta Hawks’ roster. (How’s that for a snappy lead?)

Jeff Teague: Trade him. An easy call. He’s a year from becoming a free agent, which means he has value. He’d have less at the 2017 trade deadline. He’d have none for the Hawks a year from now. With Dennis Schroder close to ready  — and Mike Budenholzer choosing Schroder over Teague at the end in Games 1 and 4 of the Cleveland sweep — there’s no reason to keep Teague, whose assertiveness waxes and wanes and whose numbers declined this season.

Kyle Korver: Keep him, but only as a sub. Korver has lost a lot — he’s 35, after all — but could still be effective playing against second units. It would be harder for opponents to plan for Korver when the planning involves him being guarded by another substitute. (Team defense tends to slip when the reserves enter — because they’re reserves.) And he’d be useful at the end of games. That’s how Chicago deployed him before he came here: He didn’t start, but he finished.

Atlanta Hawks players watch from the bench in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 2 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cheer up, guys. Some of you I really like! (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Paul Millsap: Leave him alone. He’s the best thing about the Hawks.

Kent Bazemore: Let him leave. As Jeremias Engelmann of ESPN Insider notes, Bazemore’s Real Plus-Minus was the 30th-best among small forwards. (There are 30 NBA teams.) According to Basketball-Reference, Bazemore’s VORP (value over replacement player) was 1.2. By way of contrast, DeMarre Carroll’s VORP was 2.7 in 2014-15. If Carroll wasn’t worth what he was asking, Bazemore won’t be, either.

Al Horford: Keep him, but not for max money. As noted in today’s AJC, this is a question without a satisfying answer. If he leaves, the Hawks won’t be as good. If he stays, they probably won’t get any better because they’ll have spent most of their money on maintaining a status quo that isn’t quite good enough. I’m guessing the Hawks will try to persuade Horford to take less money over less time, but that could offense him. (Lots of other teams — Boston, to name one — would love to have him.) So what happens if the only way he’ll stay is for the maximum contract ($145 million over five seasons)? Then I’d take a very deep breath and offer a very reluctant, “Thank you for your years of distinguished service.”

Dennis Schroder: Take another deep breath and hand him the keys to the offense. He’s the biggest talent on this team. He’s 22. He’s cheap. It’s time.

Tiago Splitter: Hope he heals and has more left than he showed. He’s 31. He’s coming off hip surgery. He averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds as a sub before he got hurt. If Horford leaves and the Hawks can’t hook Andre Drummond or Hassan Whiteside or Dwight Howard, Splitter will become a big man, literally and figuratively, on this roster. If his decline continues, he could be dumped at the deadline as an expiring contract.

Thabo Sefolosha: Don’t try to make him a starter. Because he’s not. He doesn’t shoot well enough or score enough to warrant heavier minutes, and the Hawks’ offense, as has been noted, fell off a cliff this season. (From tied for sixth in efficiency in 2014-15 to 18th.)

Tim Hardaway Jr.: Hope he improves — for real. He had two DNP-CDs and four other games of single-digit minutes in the playoffs, an indication that Budenholzer — for all his talk about how Hardaway had “bought into” the system after a halting start — still doesn’t trust him. That’s a major concern, given that Bazemore is a free agent and Korver is 35. Remember when the Hawks couldn’t have too many wings? Where’s Billy Knight when you need him?

Mike Scott: Hope for consistency. When you see him go off on one of his 3-point sprees, you think, “This guy needs more minutes.” When he’s given more minutes, you often forget he’s on the floor. Scott is a strange player, but he has a role here. And, given that he will make $3.3 million next season and has a drug case pending, it’s not as if anybody’s panting to trade for him.

Mike Muscala: If Horford leaves, hope he’s ready for prime time. The Hawks obviously see something in Muscala, even if what isn’t exactly clear. He’s big. He’s energetic. He can shoot a little. The Spurs — stop me if you’ve heard this, but Budenholzer came from San Antonio — are aces at nurturing young players of modest profile into something more. Muscala will turn 25 in July. It’s nearing that time for him to earn serious minutes or find another roster.

Walter (Edy) Tavares: You tell me. He’s 24. He has scored 25 NBA points. He’s 7-foot-3. He last appeared in a Hawks game on March 4. He’s under contract through next 2018.

Kris Humphries and Kirk Hinrich: Let them leave. They’re free agents. Unless you want to keep Humphries around just to foul Tristan Thompson.

Reader Comments 0

75 comments
itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

if the ownership just wants to entertain us , they should just resign the same team and find us another player that plays above the rim, at least make it exciting.

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

if we are going to challenge cleavland we need size at either center or power forward.do something with horford or milsap.

Ryno Lascavio
Ryno Lascavio

The biggest mistake Atlanta made was letting Carroll walk. He was the only player last year to really enjoy taking the game into his hands. Those are the kind of players who win championships.

SebGuy
SebGuy

-Sign Noah to mentor Tavares and add some toughness

-Sign and Trade Al, hopefully for a lottery pick or someone who can score

-Trade Teague to the Kings for Rudy Gay

-Find FA or through the draft, guys that can get their own shot-and make them

-Take a chance on JR Smith?

-I'd trade Milsap in a heartbeat for a young big on the come and draft picks.Milsap, like most of the team, is soft and disappears too often at key moments


tyger
tyger

Winning begins, ends with Horford...


No chips yet, but very competitive...

I like being competitive, in the hunt...

Been on the other side too many years...


It feels good being good...


You don't shift cap from BIG to Small...

Small can be had with excess...

Horford best FA BIG in mkt for 2 years...

So, no equal or better value to be had...


D.Howard wants MAX, but value down...

Is he going to bring more than Horford?

Recent history does not indicate such...


Granted Horford looked a lil' stiff vs. CAVS...

But he was injured, slight groin pull vs. BOS...

Playoff avg. 13.4ppg, 6.5reb w 24pt high...

Tristan Thompson ain't chopped liver - All NBA...


Keep centerpiece, improve supporting cast...

Kayz Russell
Kayz Russell

See if anyone wants to take a pay cut. Bring in a Quote on quote star player. If you give baze all this money, how do get better or star player's.

Robert Weaver
Robert Weaver

Let Horford walk. Did anybody watch his play in playoffs. Hideous.

SnoopyJenkins
SnoopyJenkins

From GM Jenkins to Hawks:


Trade Harford (only if he demands max money) If Horford signs for less than MAX try (REAL HARD) to sign (2) quality reserves from other playoff teams.  Let Teague, Bazemore go.....Corver to bench (he cannot create his own shot and cannot come off screens cleanly for good looks).  If we cannot trade Horford, for another STARTER we develop existing talent in 2017 and wait for a free agent CLOSER to sign in 2018.  Do NOT pay MAX money for any player over 30 

Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler

Keep al but move him to his right position power forward everybody in the league knows that bud lost that series even LeBron hinted at a line up change that scared him Schroder and Teague on the floor at the same time hawks need a rebounding center and a shot making 2 guard that will put us in the finals a star 2 guard will make us the favorites aka Mr Beal the pacers are not letting George get away keep bazemore and Humphries future sixth man and key to the best bench in the league with Korver and sefelosha keep Teague he is the engine before Teague we were not even a playoff team unless we can get Chris Paul yes Teague is an all star u keep all Stars and pray for a superstar to come forth aka Mvp of the league Bazemore has so much upside it's unbelievable but the fact is bud has shown me he is just an average coach he is no pop Teague and Schroder had LeBron nervous why weren't their In the lineup together epic failure speed kills so keep it

Kelly Joyce Sr.
Kelly Joyce Sr.

As usual, I disagree with you. Need to keep Baze and let another team make the mistake of paying Al.

William B Carnegie
William B Carnegie

Sell everybody and get a SUPER STAR if were going to loose atleast give me a reason to go to the game..

CoronaGT
CoronaGT

The word is "lose" not "loose".  Either learn to spell or learn the proper word to use.

Dale Flowers
Dale Flowers

Trade Horford. Not worth franchise money. Good role player somewhere. Who said he was a 6'10 three point shooter? Come on. Teague looks unhappy. Get an even barter. Korver is a glorified spot up shooter. Bazemore and Schroeder got heart. Bottom line, we have no bonified super star. So don't pay them as such. Pay a bonified super star as such and pay role players what they're worth! Otherwise, we will forever be contenders.

moboman
moboman

Baze has shown more improvement, and higher energy level than Hardaway.  Keep him but at the right price.  I like Teague, but time to get something of value for him.    

suave61
suave61

Trade most except Milsap and schroder. Truth is the Hawks need a superstar to get to the next level!

Adrain Webb
Adrain Webb

Look you got to keep Al but not at max money.Teague is under contract thru next year. I wouldn't make Schroeder the starter yet. Now the free agent pool is week this summer but there are guys that could come in and help. Bradley Beal would make great 2 guard Korver would come off the bench or Nicholas Batume would be serviceable 2 guard again Korver is coming off the bench. Now come draft time is where the can wheel and deal for a center or draft one

tyger
tyger

Beal, Batum are intriguing but also expensive. You cannot shift money from BIG to Small. BIGS much harder to find.

Abhi Arora
Abhi Arora

Keep baze, drop horford because he isn't taking a cut. Drop splitter (old and trash) and trade teague while he has value. I'm a teague and horford fan, but I want the Hawks to succeed. Grab a superstar and supporting cast, we're good to go.

Adrain Webb
Adrain Webb

Where are you getting this superstar.KD aint coming Lebronaint coming so where he coming from

Abhi Arora
Abhi Arora

Demarcus cousins? Paul George? Demare Derozen? All are free agents that can be enticed with a lot of money.

lowlow
lowlow

Keep Teague - he and Schroder are heart of team.  Let Hortford and Bazemore go. Korver has to go to the bench.  Milsap must stay but needs a big man to give him some relief in battling down low. This team just got beat by a team playing at a very high level.  Don't totally break them up but just can't see paying big money for Bazemore or Horford.  Bazemore's shooting is not good enough and Horford age, rebounding and inability to make plays down low don't warrant a contract that most seem to believe other teams will pay.  Teague's inconsistency is troubling but he has tremendous speed and quickness that can't replace.  Teague's value depends on what you can get for him.  I question if his trade value is that good right now.  Schroder is a future star.  So go get a shooter who can create his own shot at times -doesn't have to be an all-star.  And a battler/tough guy rebounder and rim protector down low.  Doesn't have to be a great scorer.  Small forwards are also available if Bazemore costs too much.  


Earl Tucker
Earl Tucker

Let Teague walk and hand the keys to Schroeder! Al has to take the pay cut. I agree with everything else. We do need somebody to guess the paint.

Bart Kimbrell
Bart Kimbrell

This was no suprise to me before the season started i knew they were going to lose to the cavs did'nt see sweep.the hawks are very talented.there just slightly below cavs and maybe a couple teams in the west

JustDaFactsMam
JustDaFactsMam

$145 million over five seasons


What an absolute joke.  Maybe 3-4 players in the league that should be able to command that type of money.

JustDaFactsMam
JustDaFactsMam

People are crazy for purchasing tickets at the inflated prices charged for professional sports today.

Cyclingman
Cyclingman

What a difference a yr makes. The Hawks simply have a lot of mediocre players. Milsap and Schroder are the only ones who stand out. Horford seems to have stagnated. Korver is not really a NBA player - at least not now. Teague has no passion. The Hawks need an infusion of athletes. I would actually like to see them blow up the entire team - that's what's wrong with multi-yr deals. They're stuck. Next yr is not going to be good. 

Wrecker
Wrecker

We can all say "sign Whiteside" or "sign Durant," but what makes anyone think that either player would consider coming to Atlanta?

Adrian Kosinda
Adrian Kosinda

I wouldn't let Baze walk. He brought so much energy to this team. We need players like that.

Jaiteh Malik Stinger
Jaiteh Malik Stinger

I'll trade Teague in a heart beat knowin he still got value.,convince Al to take a pay cut. Then build around Schroeder.

Tim Munsey
Tim Munsey

Good thing Thomas Dimitroff isn't the GM of the Hawks.

suave61
suave61

They would be lost! The Falcons are the laughing stock of the league and received the lowest draft grade AGAIN! Everyone including STEVIE WONDER can see they needed a bonifide EDGE PASS rusher for at least a DECADE! But CHEAP, clueless Arthur Blank prefers to shop at FAMILY DOLLAR for his EDGE PASS rushers!What the Falcons truly need is a new owner.

Darrell Clark
Darrell Clark

You wanna trade Teague, but don't forget he has hit some money shots. The man is an all star for crying out loud.....

GGee
GGee

The entire starting lineup was all stars last year. Hell alot of not so great players have been all stars. Don't let that cloud your judgement. Teague needs to be traded for a SF or a better shooting PG

Harold Jason Rolle
Harold Jason Rolle

Trade Teague to Philly for Covington (sf answered ) Then try to trade Dwight Howard for Horford ... At least Howard can rebound and defend, plus I think Schroader can feed him oops for dunks ... Keep the rest of team ... Bazemore can start at SG with Schroader/Baze/Covington/Milsap/Dwight/ ? Pg Korver/thabo/Scott/Splitter bench at least Howard draws tickets ...

Wrecker
Wrecker

@Harold Jason Rolle Horford is a free agent, so it would have to be a sign and trade for anybody else.  Howard is a free agent as well.  Since the teams do not have rights to the players, no trade is possible.  Howard is a shadow of his former self, while Horford still has value, even if he is not an elite player or superstar.  Even if they were both under contract, such a trade would not make sense.

Ryan Lech
Ryan Lech

It's a good thing this man isn't the GM

ErnestB
ErnestB

Before the trade deadline, there were talks with the 76ers about trading one of our point guards and getting back at least one of their big men as part of the package.  If one of their small forwards (Covington or Grant) could be a part of that package, the Hawks should consider it.