STAYING: Kent Bazemore, DeAndre Bembry, Malcolm Delaney, Ersan Ilyasova, Mike Muscala, Taurean Prince and Dennis Schroeder.
ADDED: Luke Babbitt (Miami), Marco Belinelli (Charlotte), Nicolas Brussino (Dallas), John Collins (Wake Forest), Dewayne Dedmon (San Antonio), Tyler Dorsey (Oregon) and Miles Plumlee (Charlotte).
GONE: Jose Manuel Calderon (Cleveland), Mike Dunleavy, Tim Hardaway Jr (New York), Dwight Howard (Charlotte), Kris Humphries, Ryan Kelly, Paul Millsap (Denver) and Thabo Sefolosha (Utah).
STRENGTHS: Dennis Schroeder is one of the best young point guards in the NBA … He proved he was ready for prime time in his first year as a starter … Should be even better this season … With so many young guys on the team, they can put together a pretty athletic lineup … Three-point shooting could improve with the addition of Marco Belinelli and Luke Babbitt … Effort has not been an issue under Mike Budenholzer … They have typically played as a cohesive unit with him.
WEAKNESSES: As far as talent, this is quite probably the worst team in the Eastern Conference … It’s safe to say they don’t have any Top 15 player at any position … It’s a rebuilding year through and through … The Hawks basically lost all their key players the last two offseasons and the only reasonable path for them now is to play their young guys and land one of the top picks in the 2018 draft … Many unproven players will get extended playing time … Inexperience will cost the team plenty of games … Scoring will come super hard for them … They only have one player who’s ever averaged 14-plus points in a season – Schroeder, who accomplished that for the first time last year … They didn’t have much of a home-court advantage when they were good … Could be a sad sight at the Philips Arena this year.
PREDICTION: 5th in the Southeast Division, 15th in the Eastern Conference.