Free agency began yesterday and the Hawks have been as active as any team in the NBA, making moves both yesterday and today. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution with the latest:
On Friday night, they added Danilo Gallinari, an experienced veteran whose 3-point shooting will shore up the offense (they were the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA last season at 33.3%). On Saturday morning, they agreed to terms with Chicago Bulls guard Kris Dunn, the AJC has confirmed, who is sure to give them a boost on defense. It’s a two-year, $10 million deal, with a player option on the second year. ESPN first reported the move…
Improving the team’s 3-point shooting, as well as team defense, were both absolutely necessary if the Hawks wanted to take a step forward this season. They went 20-47 last season, but feel they’re nearing the end of their rebuild, as their young players gain more experience and as they have the most cap space in the league to add more talent via trades/free agency.
Although Trae Young is an offensive marvel, he ranked last in the league in ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus stat at minus-6.17. Dunn, 26, is one of the best guard defenders in the league and figures to balance out the backcourt with his defensive prowess and intensity. From a fit standpoint, this move makes plenty of sense – the Hawks had the third-worst defensive rating last season (114.4), and tended to try and outscore opponents instead of getting stops.