The Atlanta Hawks just completed their best season in franchise history, winning 60 games and making a run to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Injuries (along with LeBron James) put an end to Atlanta’s season, but the talent on the roster, especially when healthy, proved capable of competing the the league’s best.
But the Hawks have a couple of key guys hitting free agency this summer.
DeMarre Carroll was perhaps the team’s best player during the postseason, and should command a high-dollar, multi-year deal; Paul Millsap is an All-Star talent who may require something closer to the max to retain.
In Millsap’s case, he says the fact that the Hawks are a close-knit team will play an important role in deciding whether or not to re-sign.
“I think looking at different options, looking at this team, looking at what we’ve built thus far, in weighing my options I can’t make a decision right now,” Millsap said. “It’s been a long series, a long year, for me and the team. Let things die down, cool off, relax and think about it a little bit. We are a family. This team is close. It will play a lot into the decision.”
There’s a decision for the Hawks to make, as well.
If the team feels as though the first half of the season was real, and something that can continue into the playoffs with a fully healthy roster, then maybe they offer Millsap what he’ll require, and make a similar commitment that entices Carroll to stay.
But the Hawks will need to add depth, too, as the playoff on-off numbers painfully illustrate. There’s only so much money to go around, and part of the curse of the Hawks having so much success is the fact that their players have earned the right to sign lucrative deals this summer — either in Atlanta, or somewhere else.