Atlanta Hawks Set Eyes on Bright FutureSeptember 18, 2015 - Author: steph
The NBA is one of the most dynamic professional sports leagues in the entire world. In many other leagues you’ll see continued dominance over a prolonged period of time or the converse, prolonged lack of quality play. In basketball you can see franchises turn around with the drafting of a single player or the acquisition of a single targeted free agent. With that in mind it has become all too easy to go from best to worst or worst to best. The Atlanta Hawks are a perfect example of this NBA exclusive phenomenon thanks to their turn from a middle of the pack Eastern Conference team to the second best regular season squad in the NBA last year. Now Atlanta fans have their ears perked up and they are expecting another huge season. The question for Atlanta is pretty simple: Can the team repeat last year’s success?
To put last season’s success into perspective let’s bounce back to just what they accomplished in a seemingly quick fashion. Owner Bruce Levenson spent the 2013 – 14 offseason racking up ways to fill out his roster without busting the bank wide open. He needed a way to fill out his roster while adhering to Coach Budenholzers complicated offensive game plan. So in a single offseason we saw Levenson sign Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, and Dennis Schroder — All four of these guys would go on to become key cogs in the Hawks ECF run. Budenholzer’s offensive plan went well and it resulted in four Hawks making the All Star team, a far cry compared to the past few years of the team’s talent level.
Before the Hawks made it to the Eastern Conference Finals they had one of their most satisfying regular seasons of all time. The Hawks had the second best record in the NBA, behind only the Golden State Warriors. Atlanta broke the 60 win threshold, scored the top seed, and made it to the ECF for the first time in nearly half of a century. Not bad for the first year with their new line up, right?
Bruce Levenson on prnewswire then sold the team for a wowing $825 million, nearly double what the franchise was initially valued at. Antony Ressler stepped into the owners box and will now begin the road to pushing forward with a team on the edge of prolonged success and a fanbase that will quickly be demanding it. Ressler had to make a splash right away and he didn’t hold back, opening up his wallet and pushing Atlanta toward the future.
The first thing that Ressler did as new owner of the Hawks was commit to resigning his core pieces. Paul Millsap got a three year offer for max money with the third year being a player option. The Hawks ownership passed on overpaying for swingman Demarre Carrol and then they went ahead and signed some solid veteran pieces. Now the Hawks are filled out and healthy, ready to go for a deep playoff run once more.
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