2. Atlanta Hawks
Pau Gasol seems like the perfect player to insert into Mike Budenholzer’s scheme. He’s an expert passer who always seems to know the best place to go with the ball, and his intelligence and savvy would gel with his Hawks teammates and coaches.
While the idea of losing Al Horford in free agency might be unfathomable for Atlanta residents who have had the luxury of watching his entire career unfold with their team, it’s a very real possibility considering the high level of interest Horford is sure to command on the market this summer. It’s only March, and his name has already been linked to a number of teams – most notably the Boston Celtics.
The ideal situation would be to find a way to keep Horford in town without completely bankrupting the team coffers, and then focusing on finding a way to bring Gasol in afterwards. Playing under Budenholzer has to be the next best thing to playing under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs or Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors. Here’s betting Gasol would relish a chance to finish out his career under a players’ coach who understands how best to harness his strengths and mask his weaknesses.
Next: 1. Memphis Grizzlies