ATLANTA– After being eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers last night, it looks like the Atlanta Hawks have tough decisions to make in the upcoming free agency period. Small forward DaMarre Carroll, power forward Paul Millsap, power forward Elton Brand, shooting guard John Jenkins and power forward Pero Antic will become free agents this year. Antic is the only unrestricted free agent of the group.
The Hawks must consider forward LaMarcus Aldridge their top free agent target . The Hawks need their answer at both power forward and small forward. Adding the offensive threat of Aldridge will make the Hawks a far more serious NBA Finals contender. The Hawks lack a player that consistently scores over 20 points a game. This weakness was exposed by the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Hawks must not repeat history. Aldridge scored 23.4 points per game in the regular season and 21.8 points per game in the playoffs. Signing Aldridge would be the immediate impact signing the Hawks desperately need. The Hawks can easily convince Aldridge that he would be their main scorer.
Jimmy Butler must be considered the Hawks second top free agent target. Butler scored 22.9 points a game in the playoffs after averaging 20 points per game in the season. Butler also proved to be a strong defensive player at times while defending against LeBron James in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Butler is both a guard and forward so he can fill in the need for a guard or additional forward.
Butler is a restricted free agent so a bidding war between Atlanta and Chicago is inevitable.
Aldridge and Butler can provide an instant spark on offense and energize the loyal Hawks fans who need something to believe in after losing to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals.