Returning Players- Josh Smith (SF); Jamal Crawford (SG); Marvin Williams (PF); Mike Bibby (PG); Zaza Pachulia (C); Al Horford (PF); Maurice Evans (PF); Jeff Teague (PG)
Team Payroll (8 Players) – $47,630,214
Estimated Salary Cap – $56,000,000
Team Needs- A new coach; Re-sign Joe Johnson or replace his scoring; Guard depth; Big man better than Pachulia
Position Needs – PG, SG, C
Picks – 1st Round (#24), 2nd Round (#53)
Analysis- With another disappointing end to the season in the books, the Hawks made the first move to try and reverse the team’s playoff fortunes and fired Mike Woodson. The next big decision will be to decide whether to attempt to re-sign free agent Joe Johnson or to let him go and look elsewhere to replace his scoring. Drafting near the bottom of each round, hsi replacement most likely will not come from here. But let’s look at what they can get that will make them a better team. The team needs to improve the scoring off their bench and could look to upgrade the center position so Horford can move back to his natural forward position. At #24, it may be a reach to pick any of the remaining big men, so look for them to focus on a shooting guard/small forward to help with the scoring off the bench. Some possibilities include Jordan Crawford, Willie Warren or Quincy Pondexter. Any of these players would bring energyand the ability to score quickly and in bunches. Pondexter would be my choice, as he also adds a toughness and leadership skills to court. At #53, the Hawks could try and shore up their front court and should find A.J. Ogilvie from Vanderbilt or Art Parakhouski from Radford available. Parakhouski would be able to help the frontcourt immediately with good size and excellent rebounding skills, while Ogilvie isn’t quite ready to contribute , but may have more long-term potential, especially on the offensive end. They may also choose to look at an international big man to play overseas for a few years – possibly a player such as Paulo Prestes from Brazil. Whatever they do, the pressure is on for the team to produce in the playoffs.