On Friday, LeBron James announced he will rejoin Cleveland next season , the big question of course is where Carmelo Anthony will end up playing next year. While the Hawks have created the necessary cap space to sign Anthony if he chooses Atlanta, it's unlikely that scenario will happen. With that in mind, these are the players that Atlanta would have a better chance courting (pun not intended) as welcome additions to the team.
The Hawks have already signed Thabo Sefolosha to a three-year contract so there isn't much work to be done here. Jeff Teague should still be the starting point guard and both Kyle Korver and Sefolosha can play either shooting guard or small forward. If Atlanta wants to add another deep shooting threat, Jimmer Fredette has yet to resign with Chicago. On the flip side, if the Hawks are looking for a seasoned guard to play sparingly, Jameer Nelson, the all-time Magic leader in assists, has been waived by Orlando.
Atlanta certainly hit a home run last year with the signing of Paul Millsap as he set new career numbers in points, assists, steals and was selected to his first All-Star game. So with scoring taken care of from Millsap's side, strengthening up the Hawks defense makes the most sense.
As of writing this, Luol Deng is still a free agent but there have been reports of Deng talking with the Hawks. The only downside of Deng is his age. At 29 years old, he'll be playing in his 11th NBA season. With his known physicality, the question of how much tread left on his tires is a valid one.
Trevor Booker, while not a huge name, has a habit of pulling off some very impressive blocks. The benefit of Booker is two-fold: he's relatively young (26 years old and just four seasons in the NBA) and with the limited playing time means he should be a relatively cheap signing.
The injury to Al Horford last season derailed the Hawks season. At one point Atlanta had the third-best record in the Eastern Conference but following Horford's season, Atlanta finished in the eighth spot, with a losing record. The hope of course is that Horford doesn't succumb to any more injuries.
If the Hawks are just looking for someone to fill in 15 minutes a game to give Horford a breather, Glen Davis would be a good option. While he played a supporting role for the Clippers last season, Big Baby did start in nearly every game his last two seasons playing with the Magic.
Another possible signing would be the Birdman, Chris Andersen. He's been a career backup, but that's not a bad thing. When you realize that he averages 1.5 blocks a game coming off the bench, it's impressive. The big concern is age as Birdman has been playing professionally since 1999. But if he continues to be a backup next season, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Of course it remains to be seen if Atlanta signs any or all of these free agents. But with a good core of players and Mike Budenholzer as the coach, the Hawks are in good hands. It's just a matter of how good once free agency concludes.