With most of the major free agency moves taken care of in the NBA offseason (most means "not Dwight Howard," of course), Sports Illustrated is picking winners and losers, and the Atlanta Hawks are looking very good. New G.M. Danny Ferry's biggest obstacle was dumping Joe Johnson's outrageous contract, and after shipping that pricey problem to Brooklyn, the salary cap room frees up the club to make a major, major move in 2013:
The Hawks are a bit smaller and less versatile, in terms of size, without Johnson and small forward Marvin Williams... But this still projects as a playoff team. Swingman Kyle Korver, who acquired for a trade exception, brings some much-needed three-point shooting off the bench. Williams can supply much of Johnson’s scoring and pick-and-roll play (and add some free throws, increasingly rare things with Johnson). Devin Harris is a dynamite backup point guard whom coach Larry Drew can pair with Teague in smaller units.
This team should be pretty good. The Hawks also have a killer combination of cap space and attractive assets that they could move for more space or in sign-and-trade deals.
While it might not mean immediate blockbuster results and a lot of one-year contracts, Hawks fans should feel pleased the team is headed in the right direction.