Atlanta Hawks: Free Agency Rumors Begin

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Apr 24, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Louis Williams (3) shows emotion after a made shot against the Indiana Pacers in the third quarter in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Hawks Positioned For Free Agency Splash

The Atlanta Hawks were always going to be a factor in this year’s free agency, but with the events of recent days their options have increased significantly. After what was considered by most to be a successful draft night, general manager Danny Ferry set about reworking the roster to increase the Hawks’ cap space.

In order to create greater salary flexibility, the Hawks traded hometown combo guard Louis Williams and last year’s intriguing first round pick, Lucas Nogueira to the Toronto Raptors. In return, the Hawks received a future second-round pick along with John Salmons.

Salmons might well play a position that the Hawks have a need in, but it wasn’t his skill set that he was acquired for. The 34-year-old is due to be paid $7 million this season, but if the Hawks waive him within the next ten days, that figure is reduced to only $1 million. As a result, the deal saved Atlanta just under $5 million in cap space.

Although it’s almost impossible to judge this move until we see how that salary space is utilized, the Hawks’ ambition has to be admired. Many fans might see this as a play for LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, and although the Hawks could go that route, it’s much more likely that they will look to pick up multiple contributors. The fact that Atlanta has already extended qualifying offers to their own restricted free agents, Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack, backs this up too.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the potential contributors that the Hawks are reported to have expressed interest to in the opening exchanges of free agency.

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