Posted: 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 10, 2013
By Jason Walker
First, go read The Ultimate Atlanta Hawks Off-season Primer that Robby put out soon after the season ended. It will give you some good insight as to the Hawks current roster and financial situation which we will sometimes touch on in looking at the Hawks draft.
It also gives you some important dates, CBA FAQ links and...you know what, just go catch up with already. I'll see you back here in a bit.
The 2013 NBA Draft is rich with rotational depth to it and it also has some draft and follows. The Atlanta Hawks, currently with three guaranteed contracts and three non-guaranteed contracts and a gaggle of cap holds, have some considerable flexibility when it comes to how they use the two first round picks (#17 and #18 overall) they currently hold.
Here are some of the options:
Simple enough. With the depth of rotational big men in this draft combined with the legacy of poor defensive rebounding on the Hawks, Ferry could use both picks on big men and give Coach Bud and Al Horford a lot of positional freedom and flexibility the team hasn't quite had before.
The Hawks also have a Joe Johnson/Marvin Williams shaped hole at the wing that they weren't able to cover last offseason, especially defensively. They could use both picks and take a wing and still use a pick for a big to help out Horford.
The Hawks, as the primer indicated, have the potential have a ton of cap space if they follow through on releasing all their free agents and DeShawn Stevenson's non-guaranteed roster spot. However, the cap barely budged this offseason, coming in 1.5M below the 60M cap we wrote about in the primer. Given this, the Hawks may want to part with the cap hold of one of their picks, which would likely make up the difference in cap space.
Since Ferry seems like he doesn't want to give away picks, unlike the previous administrations, he could opt to choose a player from overseas who isn't quite ready to come to the NBA yet. There is a spot in the CBA that covers such things and if the Hawks file a letter with the NBA that states this pick will not play this season in the NBA, then the Hawks get that cap hold back.
If they were to use this method on their pick, you can count on the higher of the two picks (#17) to be the one used in this scenario for the most cap savings.
Less likely if you believe that Ferry truly wants to build through the draft as he has said before. Draft picks are inexpensive compared to the production and possible plus value if the player is above replacement level through the rookie deal. This offers some significant cap control over the potential four years of a rookie deal.
However, if they do trade a pick, it would like be for something in the future (another #1 pick in another year), trading down in the draft or taking nothing back in terms of cap space (cash).
Given the flat nature of the talent in this draft and the lack of prime targets available above the Hawks, it's not likely the Hawks would package both picks to move up in the draft.
Exit Question: Which scenario would you like the Hawks to do in terms of their two first round picks?