We really like Atlanta's roster … we're just not sure where the Hawks go from here. With Josh Smith and Al Horford both likely to make the East's All-Star team, the Hawks' frontcourt is set for the next decade. Throw in a few other solid younger players (Marvin Williams, Jeff Teague) and still-productive older ones such as Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford, and the Hawks have a solid base from which to contend in the East.The Hawks rank 7th in the league in quality of players but are rated below average in each of the other four categories under consideration: management, money, market, and draft.
The question is how they get any better or how they fend off the rot and avoid becoming worse. Johnson's six-year, $123 million deal was an egregious overreach by a franchise that doesn't have the financial wherewithal to easily absorb a dead-weight contract, and once Horford's extension kicks in a year from now, the Hawks will be walking the luxury-tax tightrope for the foreseeable future.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
ESPN.com: Ford/Hollinger: Future Power Rankings
Chad Ford and John Hollinger have updated their future power rankings and the Atlanta Hawks moved up to 16th from 19th (Insider):