A report from Sam Amick of The Athletic last month indicated that the Hawks intend to be aggressive in free agency this summer, pursuing meetings with “everyone from Kevin Durant on down.” However, head coach Lloyd Pierce and general manager Travis Schlenk tell Robby Kalland of Dime Magazine that the team has no plans to force the issue or spend its cap room irresponsibly.
“I think what’s really important is a lot of times mistakes are made when teams go, ‘We have this cap space, we need to use it.' You can’t spend it on the wrong guy. Right? I say all the time, if you make a mistake in a draft, it doesn’t kill your franchise. Obviously you don’t want to make mistakes, but you’re talking about a two-year guaranteed contract with a small dollar amount. You make mistakes and free agents, and now you’re talking, to today’s world, a four-year contract at $25M-$30M. Those can be [killers].”
Schlenk suggested that the Hawks will most likely target players who slip through the cracks and are available on shorter-term or team-friendly deals. A one- or two-year big-money contract — like what the Sixers did with J.J. Redick — could make sense for Atlanta, Kalland notes. Pierce believes the Hawks have taken the steps necessary to receive serious consideration from that sort of veteran free agent.