Charlotte Hornets: Atlanta Hawks players to target in free agency

As a part of our ongoing series detailing which players the Charlotte Hornets should target during free agency, our attention shifts to the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks finished with a 43-39 record, which earned them a 9th-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

After beating Charlotte in the 9-10 play-in, Atlanta beat the Cleveland Cavaliers for the right to play the top-seeded Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Although Atlanta more or less brought back the same squad that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Hawks were bounced in five games in 2022.

Now the Hawks are going to have to make some decisions in the offseason. Is the Trae Young, John Collins, Clint Capela core worth building around? If the answer is yes, then each of those players are already under contract for next year. If the answer is no, then look for Atlanta to be extra active during the draft and free agency.

Although the Hawks do not have any team or player options to mull over, there are a few restricted free agents to look at. Sharife Cooper, Skylar Mays, and Kevin Knox highlight Atlanta’s restricted class. Each of these players should get signed in the offseason, but the Hornets should not pursue any of them for their rotation.

On the unrestricted side of things, Lou Williams, Gorgui Dieng, and Delon Wright are hitting the open market in 2022. Williams is at the twilight of his career, Dieng can be a fantastic backup center, and Wright can provide shooting and defense as a backup combo guard.

Of these three, Dieng and Wright make the most sense for Charlotte to look into acquiring. Dieng is coming off a cheap contract and could look for a larger role than he received this season in Atlanta. Wright played inconsistently throughout the year but is only 30-years-old. He should have a few more seasons in the tank.

Although the real pieces to watch are Capela and Collins, those players are not entering free agency. The Hornets could look to snag a few of their rival’s bench pieces in Wright and Dieng, but if Capela or Collins become available on the trade market, look for Charlotte to make a few phone calls.