What’s Next For The Atlanta Hawks?

What’s Next For The Atlanta Hawks?

The Hawks were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, July 3. Their “Cinderella story” playoff run has come to an end, which poses the question: what is next for this young Atlanta Hawks team?

John Collins

The elephant in the room. John Collins is now a restricted free agent.

A restricted free agent in the NBA is somewhat similar to a franchise tag in the NFL. In this scenario, JC can accept an offer from another team, however, if the Atlanta Hawks match that offer, Collins would be contractually obligated to remain with the Hawks.

John Collins wanted a max contract extension – projected to be worth $125,903,904 if for four years – before last month’s deadline. The Hawks apparently came fairly close. That’s a large extension to reject. Collins‘ four-year rookie-scale deal was worth just $11,059,862.

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Collins believes he is worth top dollar. If Atlanta won’t pay, another club will.

Free Agency If John Collins leaves

If John Collins signs a lucrative deal with another team that Atlanta will not match, the Hawks will be left with a gaping hole at the PF position. Atlanta will be looking for any trade targets that will strengthen the team and put them in a position for another playoff run in 2022.

Notable free agents to target include Lauri Markkannen and Kelly Oubre. Oubre, 25, would add to the Hawks’ young core and would fill the void in the vacant PF slot. Last season, Oubre averaged 15 points and 44% FG in 50 games played. Markkanen, 23, put up 13 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Either would be viable replacements if Collins leaves the team.

Free Agency If John Collins stays

If John Collins stays with the Atlanta Hawks, he would most likely be getting a max contract. A max contract is the most amount of money a team is allowed to pay a specific player and is typically a percentage of the team’s salary cap. In Collins’ case, it would probably be about 25% of the total salary cap for multiple years.

Atlanta Hawks Salary Cap

 Salary 
PlayerAge2020-212021-222022-232023-242024-252025-26Signed UsingGuaranteed
Danilo Gallinari32$19,500,000$20,475,000$21,450,000Sign and Trade$44,975,000
Bogdan Bogdanović28$18,000,000$18,000,000$18,000,000$18,000,000Cap Space$54,000,000
Clint Capela27$16,000,000$17,103,448$18,206,897Bird Rights$51,310,345
Tony Snell29$12,178,571Cap space$12,178,571
Lou Williams34$8,000,000Cap Space$8,000,000
De’Andre Hunter23$7,422,000$7,775,400$9,835,8811st Round Pick$15,197,400
Trae Young22$6,571,800$8,326,4711st Round Pick$14,898,271
Onyeka Okongwu20$5,813,640$6,104,280$6,395,160$8,109,0631st Round Pick$11,917,920
Kris Dunn27$4,767,000$5,005,350Room Exception$4,767,000
Cam Reddish21$4,458,000$4,670,160$5,954,4541st Round Pick$9,128,160
John Collins23$4,137,3021st Round Pick$4,137,302
Kevin Huerter22$2,761,920$4,253,3571st Round Pick$7,015,277
Solomon Hill30$2,174,318Cap Space$2,174,318
Brandon Goodwin25$1,701,593Minimum Salary
Bruno Fernando22$1,517,981$1,782,621Cap space$3,300,602
Skylar Mays23 Two-Way Contract 
Nathan Knight23 Two-Way Contract 
Khyri Thomas25$744,684$744,684
Team Totals$115,748,809$93,496,087$79,842,392$26,109,063$243

Summer League

Summer League will be critical for the Hawks this year. The Hawks have several up-and-coming stars that will be participating, as they look to take their games to the next level.

What is Summer League?

Each NBA team gets several games to try out different rosters before the start of the NBA season. Often, teams will try their youngest players that are fighting for a roster spot. This gives players that are low on the totem pole a chance to compete for minutes, as well as a roster spot the following season.

The 16th annual MGM Resorts NBA Summer League will feature all 30 NBA teams playing five games apiece during the 10-day, 75-game event.  After every team plays four games, the two teams with the best records from the first four games will meet in the Championship Game on Aug. 17.

NBA.com

Why is this so important for the Hawks?

Cam Reddish spent much of the year battling an Achilles injury. The young two-way player was drafted tenth overall in 2019. This summer event gives him more time to develop, and more experience playing with other potential bench players before the 2021 season.

This is a great opportunity to build chemistry between Cam Reddish and Onyeka Okongwu. Okongwu was drafted sixth overall out of USC and made a name for himself in Atlanta this year. During the regular and post-season, he earned his minutes with rebounding and points stats and proved he is a suitable backup for Clint Capela at the center position.

We also saw glimpses of Skylar Mays and Nathan Knight this year. Both have significant potential to make the roster as depth pieces.

Atlanta Hawks 2021-2022 Season

The Hawks have a lot of potential going into the season. After battling injuries throughout their deep roster last year, they look forward to the 2021 season to come back fully healthy and ready to be a top 5 team in the eastern conference. I have a lot of faith in this young team to continue to improve, win games, and make another postseason run next year.


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Christopher Council

My name is Christopher Council, and I am a 24-year-old young professional living in Atlanta, GA. I follow and support all Atlanta professional sports. My mission is to deliver sports news that is accurate and free of politics. Let's continue to make sports our escape!

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