The Atlanta Hawks have been eliminated from the 2021-22 postseason at the hands of the Miami Heat 4-1. The Hawks were unable to replicate their conference finals run from a season ago but did make it out of the play-in tournament as the No. 9 team in the East. Here’s how Atlanta looks heading into the offseason.
2021-22 season recap
The Hawks no longer snuck up on anyone this year, and had some injury problems throughout the season. John Collins was unable to live up to his big contract, and the perimeter rotation was too crowded as Nate McMillan aimed to find consistency. Trae Young continued to show why he is one of the best point guards in the league, but the team wasn’t good enough defensively to match Young’s offensive brilliance. Ultimately, that inconsistency reared its head too many times during the season and left the Hawks with the No. 8 seed in the East.
2022 offseason priorities
Atlanta has to evaluate whether Collins is worth the long-term commitment. He’s been playing through injuries, which is admirable. However, his season was a clear decline from previous campaigns. Young worked better with Clint Capela, and the Hawks have a young center in Onyeka Okongwu who should get more minutes. Atlanta doesn’t have much cap space, and moving Collins would open up some possibilities. Danilo Gallinari would become an expiring deal, which the Hawks could also move to free up cap space. Re-tooling this roster around Young is the top priority. The Hawks may have peaked too early last season, but they need to identify how they can become more consistent defensively to avoid getting blown out if the shots don’t fall on the other end of the floor.