Just like that, after one great season the Atlanta Hawks have suffered a major setback — DeMarre Carroll has agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.
“I just felt like this was the best opportunity,” Carroll said. “They are a playoff team and they said they can’t get past the first round. They feel like having me, the way I performed last year in the playoffs, will help them get past the first round. It’s a great opportunity for me. I really excited to play alongside DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.”
Carroll also had meetings scheduled with the Pistons and Suns but canceled them after agreeing with the Raptors.
You know things in Atlanta are going south when people start leaving for Canada. Now, less than 24 hours into free agency, the Hawks seem to be the latest franchise suffering from a problem that consumes many team that do well but not well enough to win it all.
The Hawks finished 60-22 this season with the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Despite all the nay-sayers, they made it past the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards, earning themselves a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals where LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers dismantled them.
Of course, after the Hawks were swept, there was a call to break up the team. It happens every season, and there is not real explanation for it. The last thing the Hawks want to do is split up. Under head coach Mike Budenholzer, this team did absolutely fantastic. It’s been one year. Stick it out, and hope for a better outcome with an extra year of experience under your belts (or headbands) next season.
Easier said than done for newly-named Presidential Coach of Whatever He Wants to Do Mike Budenholzer and General Manager Wes Wilcox certainly had their work cut out for them with both DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap up for grabs this offseason.
The duo already royally screwed up the 2015 NBA Draft by trading away a potential replacement for Carroll in Kelly Oubre for Tim Hardaway Jr. The only beneficial aspect of the trade was that it saved a little bit of cap room not having to sign a 1st round pick. Cap room they could use to keep Carroll and Millsap!
Yeah, that didn’t work out in the Hawks’ favor either. The old GM may have been a closet racist, but at least he put together a 60 win team. Bud is only making things more difficult for himself.
If the Hawks fail to bring back Millsap, Bud will have twice as many questions to answer: half as the President who failed to retain a single star free agent, and half as a coach whose team will take a drastic step back in the 2015-2016 season.