Ten low-cost free-agent targets far too soon for the Hawks

The Hawks are at a bit of a crossroads. 2021-22 has been a very disappointing season after a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals, and it looks like Atlanta might need another superstar to partner with Trae Young to come back. That would mean trading picks and young talent, while spending a decent amount of money. Fortunately, the Hawks are open to the idea:

If the Hawks make a splash, they’ll need to find high-quality defenders who can shoot. I really emphasize defensive effort, which the Hawks were sorely lacking. These are the guys I’m going to focus on today.

F Cody Martin—Charlotte Hornets (restricted)

If I had to pick one guy on this list, it might be Cody Martin. I could see the Hornets matching any offer from Martin, but he plays with a lot of energy and gives a ton of effort on defense. Add to that the fact that he’s only 26 and shot 38% from deep last year, and the Hawks may have to overpay him a bit.

F Joe Ingles—Portland Trail Blazers (unrestricted)

Although Ingles is coming off a brutal injury, he is still one of the best defenders in the league when healthy and can knock down the open three. Maybe the Hawks can give him a discount.

F Chris Boucher — Toronto Raptors (unrestricted)

Boucher hasn’t really carved out a big role for himself in Toronto, but he’s a good shot blocker with the athleticism to change and can knock down a few open threes as well. He could be a solid backup next to Onyeka Okongwu for the right price, depending on Jalen Johnson’s future in Atlanta.

F Bruce Brown—Brooklyn Nets (unrestricted)

I think Bruce Brown would be an amazing choice for the Hawks. He can hold multiple positions even though he’s a little undersized, and he’s knocked down 40% of his threes this season. Atlanta needs someone who’s going to bring some fire on the defensive end.

G Donte DiVencenzo—Sacramento Kings (restricted)

DiVencenzo is a high-energy defender and microwave scorer – something the Hawks could use off the bench when they need an offensive spark. We’ve seen the Kings not match Bogdan Bogdanovic, so who knows.

G Pat Connaughton – Milwaukee Bucks (player option)

You can count on Connaughton to knock down a few triples, and he goes after the defense. If Kevin Huerter is moved in a trade, he would be an immediate upgrade. I doubt Connaughton will give up a player option with a Championship contender, and it won’t come cheap if he does.

G Hamidou Diallo — Detroit Pistons (team option)

Diallo is still pretty raw, but he still has the potential to become an NBA star if his jumper can improve. I wanted the Hawks to go after him last year, but his athleticism and physicality could make him a defensive threat.

F Derrick Jones Jr. – Chicago Bulls (unrestricted)

Another guy I wanted to try last free agency, Jones is a really good defender who can knock down a few threes and provide highlight dunks.

F Jalen McDaniels — Charlotte Hornets (team option)

I doubt the Hornets will turn down the team option on a young player, but if they do, I love Jalen McDaniels for the Hawks. He’s the type of young 3-D player they need to come off the bench.

G Wesley Matthews—Milwaukee Bucks (unrestricted)

Matthews isn’t the player he used to be anymore, but he’s still a very tough defender who can handle the ball and will give you a few threes off the bench.

Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire



Christy J. Olson