Sport The Atlanta Hawks Had a Nice Offseason But Didn't Address Their Biggest Problem

21:35  25 november  2020
21:35  25 november  2020 Source:   thebiglead.com

Report: Hawks open to including No. 6 pick in trade for Jrue Holiday

  Report: Hawks open to including No. 6 pick in trade for Jrue Holiday Holiday is widely considered to be one of the best two-way guards in the NBA, so it’s no surprise he is such a hot commodity. His market could be impacted by his contract situation, however. Holiday has a $27 million player option for the 2021-22 season that he is expected to decline, so any team that acquires him would either need to sign him to an extension or risk only having him as a one-year rental.Holiday averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game for the Pelicans last season. He’s so highly regarded as a defender that his peers openly felt he got snubbed in All-Defensive Team voting.

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The Atlanta Hawks want to make the damn playoffs. That much has been made clear as the franchise acquired two established veterans for big money this offseason, trading for Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic, signing both to big-money extensions. In tandem with the midseason trade last year for Clint Capela, the Hawks clearly believe they have their core of the future and aren't interested in any more lottery picks.

a person in a blue uniform holding a ball: Trae Young | Rich Schultz/Getty Images © Provided by The Big Lead Trae Young | Rich Schultz/Getty Images

In a conference that is comically weak at the bottom, the Hawks certainly have a good chance of doing just that. They may have even squeaked in to the eight seed last year if the season didn't get shut down. This team was not demonstrably worse than the Orlando Magic or Washington Wizards or Brooklyn Nets sans Kyrie or KD. Adding two deadly shooters to the same team (along with a good young center in 2020 No. 6 overall pick Onyeka Okongwu) means that, barring injuries or a suspension like John Collins' PED situation early last year, the Hawks will be in the postseason for the first time since their whole team won Player of the Month.

NBA draft: How front offices and prospects prepared for the most unique draft

  NBA draft: How front offices and prospects prepared for the most unique draft The process usually involves dozens of workouts and in-person interviews. This year, NBA draft preparation involves Zoom calls. Lots of Zoom calls.Leading up to this year's NBA draft on Nov. 18, however, the process has played out much differently. The routine has become similar to what most people have experienced since the coronavirus outbreak started.

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That's all well and good. A team can only lose for so long, and the Hawks have a budding star in Trae Young, which is the point of having high draft picks-- to find players like that. But for all the acquisitions they made to improve their team this offseason, they didn't fix their biggest issue: perimeter defense.

The Hawks were atrocious defensively last season. They had the third-worst defensive rating in the NBA, ahead of only the Wizards (who gave up nearly 150 points in regulation, lest we forget) and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It will be difficult for the Hawks to ever be better than average defensively when they have Young playing over 30 minutes a game. He's just too small to make an impact on that end. But in order to do anything more than qualify for the postseason and subsequently get steamrolled by a team like the Milwaukee Bucks, they need to improve considerably on that end of the floor.

Jets GM Joe Douglas: Letting Robby Anderson go was a mistake

  Jets GM Joe Douglas: Letting Robby Anderson go was a mistake Anderson is thriving with the Panthers this season.Interestingly, Vacchiano writes that Douglas “expressed regret” about misreading the contract market for receiver Robby Anderson this past offseason. The Jets, of course, let Anderson walk to the Panthers back in March, and apparently Douglas thought he was going to get a bigger deal. Vacchiano writes that Douglas made “it sound like he would’ve been interested if he knew Anderson would only command $10 million per year.” That probably won’t satisfy Jets fans. The cupboard has been pretty bare, with Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman operating as their top two wideouts when healthy.

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Bogdanovic and Gallinari, for all they offer, do nothing to accomplish that goal. Bogdanovic is big at 6-foot-6, but his wingspan is below average and he doesn't have the strength to hang with most NBA shooting guards. Gallinari can hold his own against ground-bound power forwards, but that's about it. They're both below-average defenders most nights and top out at average in the best of times.

Atlanta is likely banking on a year's worth of improvement defensively from De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, the two wings they took to complement Young. That's a reasonable assumption to make, but it's a tall order to ask a pair of sophomores to solve the team's defensive issues. Okongwu projects to be a versatile defensive center, but he's a rookie who won't enjoy a six-month runway to the season like first-year players in years past. The Hawks do not need a marginal improvement to become adequate defensively. They're closer to needing a complete overhaul.

The team wasn't going to solve all those issues in one offseason. But loading up on offensive firepower while ignoring the other end of the court is a short-term solution to their playoff drought that doesn't exactly set them up for long-term success. Atlanta will be good enough for the postseason in 2021, and that's all they want right now. Hopefully their short-sightedness doesn't come back to bite them.

Ravens WR Willie Snead tests positive for COVID-19 Sunday .
We learned that Ravens tight end Mark Andrews was the latest member of Baltimore’s organization to test positive for COVID-19 in yesterday’s round, and there apparently were more this morning. There were multiple player/staff positives in Sunday’s round of testing, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. At least one of those positives was receiver Willie Snead, Jamison Hensley of The Athletic tweets. As he notes, Snead is the seventh offensive starter to test positive, and there have now been eight consecutive days with a positive test within the team.

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