The Atlanta Hawks entered the 2014 offseason with a chance to be under-the-radar players for key free agents.
Last year, the Hawks made what wound up being a fantastic signing when they inked former Utah Jazz big man Paul Millsap to a two-year, $19 million deal. The Hawks not only have Millsap, but Jeff Teague has developed into a good point guard, Kyle Korver is one of, if not the, game’s best shooter and their best player, center Al Horford, will be returning from injury.
The Hawks also have money to spend and can clear more. The Hawks dealt veteran guard Lou Williams and the 16th-overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Lucas “Bebe” Nugiera, to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for veteran swingman John Salmons. The final year of Salmons’ contract in the 2014-2015 season is worth $7 million, but he can be bought out for just $1 million and become an unrestricted free agent.
They have been tied to the likes of Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Luol Deng, Los Angeles Lakers’ swingman Nick Young, Detroit Pistons’ big man Greg Monroe and big man Pau Gasol and guard Kent Bazemore, both of the Los Angeles Lakers, among others.
On Thursday, the Hawks made their first move of free agency. According to Shams Charania of RealGM, the Hawks have agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal with former Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Thabo Sefolosha. Sefolosha isn’t a big threat on offense, but is a decent career three-point shooter (he’s shot 34.8% in his career) and a solid defender.
Last season, he averaged 6.3 points,3.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 41.5% from the field, 31.6% from beyond the arc and 76.8% from the free throw line.