Atlanta Hawks: LeBron James Leaves The Southeast

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Dec 23, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) defends during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 121-119 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Good News For The Atlanta Hawks?

As almost everyone on the planet knows by now, LeBron James has decided to leave the Miami Heat and return home to Cleveland. If the last couple of weeks have taught us anything, it’s that this is LeBron’s league right now.

Free agency stalled and stuttered until James made his decision, and now, the simple fact that he has changed team changes the landscape of the NBA.

It’s not a stretch to expect the Cleveland Cavaliers to be a really good team next year, as James joins a roster of exceptional young talent, including Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins. Still, it’s hard to imagine them being the formidable veteran force that Miami has been the past four seasons, and as a result the East has opened up again.

Nowhere will this likely become more evident than the up-and-coming Southeast Division. James and Miami have reigned supreme in the division for the last four years, but with the Hawks, Hornets and Wizards all making the playoffs alongside Miami last year, and with Orlando having picked up two top 10 picks in the draft, things look like they’re about to get even tougher.

There’s perhaps no team in a better position to capitalize on this than the Atlanta Hawks. With the change in playing style implemented by coach Mike Budenholzer last year the Hawks look to be on to the start of something good.

Their roster has a nice mixture of youth and experience, and has already grown deeper between the draft and free agency, thanks to general manager Danny Ferry.

All things considered, this leaves the Hawks with the potential to become one of the big winners from James’ move. Atlanta hasn’t won a division title since 1994, and has never won the Southeast Division in its current configuration.

With LeBron gone, could that be about to change though?

Let’s take a look at just a few of the positives for Atlanta to come out of LeBron’s return home.

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