Posted: 10:12 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

LeBron, Carmelo opt out: Hawks an option? (Updated) 

By Jeff Schultz

LeBron James reportedly will opt out of his contract with Miami. What next? (AP)

LeBron James reportedly will opt out of his contract with Miami. What next? (AP)

(Updated below with link to full column on MyAJC.)

We have known for a few days that Carmelo Anthony will opt out of his contract with the New York Knicks. He’s available.

Now we learn from his agent Rich Paul that LeBron James has told the Miami Heat that he will trigger the early termination of his contract and also hit the open market. And soon, we will hear the words, “I am taking my talents to . . .”

Marietta Street?

Should it be considered so far-fetched that the Hawks can land a high-profile free agent like James or Anthony? I know: It’s strange to put them in the category of potential landing spots for an elite player. But for all the good work general manager Danny Ferry and coach Mike Budenholzer have done, the Hawks certainly needs two things: 1) A scorer; 2) a draw for fans.

The real question here is not whether the Hawks would (or should) want James or Anthony but whether either player would (or should) want them.

If James doesn’t re-sign with Miami — and there’s a good chance he is merely trying to leverage his situation to pressure the Heat into improving the team around him — odds favor him going to a major market (New York) or back to Cleveland over Atlanta. Similarly, Chicago, Houston or Miami (if salary cap space is created) probably appeal to Anthony.

But if you were a big name free agent, should the Hawks be considered a major player? I’ll explore this topic later in a full column on MyAJC.com.

HERE’S the link to the full column: Hawks’ quest: LeBron, Carmelo or anybody elite.

What do you believe it would take for a big name free agent to come to Atlanta?

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89 comments
CCT
CCT

Good column! 

tyger
tyger

Why Bargnarni?


http://youtu.be/jzAanUw7rt8

Former #1 - true 7ft center...
Allows Horford to PF...
Highly skilled 5 tool BIG...

Wouldn't be first high pick...
Not to live up to hype...
BIGS often late bloomers...

If Deng signs, Millsap redundant...
Horford, Payne, Brand, Scott, Antic, Millsap all PF???
None 7fters...or true centers...

Budz coaches up Bargnani...
Euro-style system better fit...
Hawks get former #1 pick - good PR...
Trade only way ATL gets #1 player...
Expiring k, Hawks get $12M cap space...

Calderon even swap for Salmon...
True PG, rather than speed guard... 
Better shooter, Hoops IQ...
NYK need cap space - resigning Melo...

Millsap/Carroll expiring for Bargani expiring...
NYK gets cap space, Hawks get true BIG...
Preserves cap space and roster spots...
Carroll expendable with Deng/Sefalosha...

Teague for Deng in sign+trade...
Cavs get something useful for Deng...
$24M/3yr...after down year...not bad

Bargnani, Horford, Deng, Payne, Brand nice frontline...

cspecial
cspecial

atlanta"s money will spend like any other teams money but like jobrave said, the stupid so-called fans if you want to call them that.most are wannabees who missed out on their dreams plus they don"t know how to root for their home team so they figure by cheering for the other teams will ease their fustrations.very stupid on their parts.i remember when one time atlanta had true fans but this generation are the craziest, jealous and foolish group ever assembled.i wish the real fans and writers would once again, come back and back to atlanta.it can be fun.this could be a good and champoinship city if the true fans would come back and get behind the team.

JoBrave
JoBrave

NO WAY NO HOW NO CHANCE,The Hawks nor the city of Atlanta will ever see the likes of Lebron James nor Carmelo Anthony, pathetic fans will make sure of that!

Remarkable3
Remarkable3

Jeff Schultz on MyAJC.com

Why not post your articles that were written for MyAJC.com here after a few days or even a week?  I know My AJC makes money for the paper but after it is old news, why not then post the articles where others can read them.  It's like throwing away the day-old-bread.  Such a waste!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Yes if Carmelo is all about  money and would only come here in a sign a trade I say no, but if you could add Melo or Lebron with Teague, Millsap, Horford I say yes, I believe Lebron would love coming to Atlanta to live and get away from the cold weather up north, so if Atlanta could sell there brand and started something new with and elite star I say do it.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

slydawg
slydawg

Answer: Charisma and efficient organization. James is a better fit for what the Hawks want to do both on and off the court. He took less money than Bosh or Wade not only to make the cap number more friendly but also because he makes much more outside of basketball. Melo makes the Hawks a contender and he's a big draw himself but not like James, who would guarantee a Finals appearence in the weak Eastern. Conference. Atlanta is increasing it's international profile, has a friendlier and large enough media market, and the Hawks current roster make up better suits his talents. Plus Ferry knows Lebron better than any other GM. The Spurs "system" has spanked him twice and Budenholzer is more proven as a coach over the other potential landing spots.

Funny thing is, Melo's wife may prefer ATL more than Lebron's wife but he may need to be in a bigger market to make up for lost income if he leaves NYC. IMHO, go all in on Lebron James. Do or die. Either one will do though. Also, Paul George will be available in 24 months.

Columbus68
Columbus68

Despite what the ignorant tempo keeps spouting off, the Hawks impressed everyone around the league last year, other than blowing it against the Pacers.  I guess tempo knows better than current and ex-players in the league, NBA analysts, ex-coaches etc. The Hawks made GREAT strides in one year in a NEW system without a superstar or center and without one of their best players....had the #1 seed beat, beat the Heat or took them to the wire in about every game...tempo sounds like the Hawks are going inthe WRONG direction...did he even watch them this season and what they accomplished with their roster? I mean they came out pretty hot, then teams adjusted to their new style and without Horford a VAST majority of the season and not enough consistent dependable scorers. had to LEARN how to deal with how teams adjusted...they played the BEST teams tough...they did it with their roster and without Horford....and a new coach and a new system and EVERYONE except tempo seen the CHANGE, the DIRECTION, the SYSTEM, the teamwork.....WITHOUT STARS....WATCH AS THE ROSTER IMPROVES tempo....how long you been watching NBA basketball?  I seriously doubt more than 20 years, probably more like less than 10

Columbus68
Columbus68

Man the more I read Tempo's comments the more I see he does not have a clue about the Hawks....

Columbus68
Columbus68

@tempo...you dont know a lot about the Hawks do you? Lebron does....he PLAYED against them a few times the last  2  years and knows how tough they have become and quickly and without a STAR...he likely wont seriously consider them but he knows what direction they are headed in....does he want to be apart of it for max money though? It would be a shocker if had more than very mild interest as we all agree on that. But stranger things have happened.  Truth is...Hawks do not need him but do NEED A BIG MAN and a scorer ....same broke record.  Dont even have Zaza anymore which sucks

Columbus68
Columbus68

Not going to NY...or LA, either LA unless Clippers can unload a few in a sign and trade.  Hawks are in best situation in years to get a top FA but unless Lebron just likes the city and is really impressed with the new hawks on the floor and upstairs...its not gonna happen. I would be surprised if the Hawks wanted Carmelo. I wouldnt. But lets play a minute...lets say Lebron wants to leave Miami when all this plays out...there is NO LA teams able to get him and NO NY teams...Can ATL be in there with Chicago, Houston, Dallas? With their recent changes and direction, I think so.  But I doubt Lebron would shock the world and choose the Hawks, not even if he thought it would be a good fit and that the Hawks with him could dominate the East...which they could... 

Really666
Really666

Need this question answered! I keep reading Houston and Chicago need to clear cap space to get Melo or Lebron but why are other NBA teams so willing to help them get to a championship? Why are not the other teams just shaking their heads and say yall signed players to ridiculous contracts why do we want those players and why do we want to help you get another title?

4DaBirds
4DaBirds

No way will the Hawks get either guy, but they should go all in to get one of them. Again, it won't happen, but show the fans you made the utmost effort.

tempo
tempo

U guys are crazy if u think LeBron would sign with the Hawks. This is a team that, before Horford went down, had reached a season high 4 games above .500, and after he went down, finished under .500. The East was absolutely Horrible , so there's no excuse for finishing under .500. Even with the injuries the Hawks had, they were still better than 70% of the East. With that, I can't imagine LeBron realistically looking at Horford, Korver and Millsap and saying this team will get me another ring against the loaded West. Korver Never helped the Bulls advance to the Finals (it's why they booted him) and Al Horford has Never helped the Hawks advance past the 2nd round. Paul? Nice player but do we even remember the Jazz while he was on there? I sure don't

ReggieTheMailman
ReggieTheMailman

You guys are looking at this all wrong...instead of focusing on Lebron and Carmelo we should be focusing on the teams looking to land them like the Chicago Bulls...any team who wants them will basically have a Kmart blue light special sale on players currently on their roster....just saw on the 4 letter network that the Bulls would have to move Boozer,Dunleavy, and the #19 pick to clear room....the Hawks could get Dunleavy and the #19 pick for the rights to Pape Sy and Sergiy Gladyr or some other junk like 3 second round picks. So this offseason we could get Dunleavy, #15 Zach LeVine(my choice) and 19# Adrian Payne(my choice)...that's not a bad offseason I dont care who you are.

Pistol66
Pistol66

Carmelo, is a head case and LeBron needs the ball to be effective!  Our management is building San Antonio East and emphasize team ball, neither player fits the scheme or the culture! We just were treated to one of the worst beat downs of a returning champion in NBA history by a very good TEAM playing unselfishly!  Why would we ever consider two guys who control the ball most of the time? 

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

Let's be real: neither one of them is signing with the Hawks. But it is encouraging to see rumors that the Hawks are reaching out to them, because it clarifies that Ferry and Budenholzer realize the Hawks need a talent upgrade to contend.

mdet
mdet

Carmelo won't help the Hawks win. Pass!

tyger
tyger

C'mon dude, please w this fantasy isht....


Last summer it was Dwight Howard...

Now Lebron and Carmelo?????

Just say NO - the psychodelics are no good!!!

tyger
tyger

JUST SAY NO TO SLO' MO

JSSN
JSSN

No center, no defensive rebounding, no LeBron James.

You've lived Carmelo before in the weaker form in Joe Johnson, lots of isolation and the offense must run thru and by him. No need to go there again. Anthony can pass, anybody that saw him in Denver when Karl had them spreading  floor saw that. But, he is a reluctant one, that is a problem. Keep building your roster and get the young dynamic and moldable pieces to get after Indiana. Problem is, you can win the East and get eviscerated by at least 3 teams in the West! 

MikeS777
MikeS777

I think the Hawks opened some eyes this year.  The clear improvements of Teague, Korver and Milsap plus all the contributions from unknowns and journeymen was very reminiscent of the Spurs.  The Spurs beat up on Miami thanks in large part to the fact that even players like Patty Mills and Boris Diaw were making major contributions.

Coach Bud should get coach of the year IMO.  It was very debatable what this team would do even with Al Horford.  Korver, Teague, Milsap, Carroll and others all turned in one of the best if not the best season of their careers.  The result was making the playoffs without Horford and taking Indiana to 7 (a series which they led 3-2).

I think this makes Atlanta a very attractive option now.  I don't think Lebron will sign here personally.  I think he will return to the Heat.  But if he signed with ATL, there's no doubt they would be an instant Finals contender.  With Horford back and adding Lebron to Teague, Korver, and Milsap...that would be a lineup with the kind of shooting and flexibility that could drive any team insane.  Lebron likes to get everyone involved.  Coach Bud has the system for him, and this team can score anyway without both Lebron and Horford.

Melo is not an option, nor should he be.  Melo doesn't know how to pass.  If he ever figured that out...fine, but right now he hasn't.



Mandingo
Mandingo

Not if they want to win !!!!!!

odelljones
odelljones

LMAOLMAOLMAOLMAOLMAOLMAOLMAOLMAOLMAO!

Lance4
Lance4

That's about as silly as Georgia fans thinking this will finally be their year.

glsjunior
glsjunior

Since they always say America Airlines arena is in South Beach when it is actually in Downtown Miami, we should just say Lebron is taking his talents to Buckhead....

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

It's been far too long -20 years- since a superstar adorned a Hawks uniform.  Unless being above average is acceptable to the current owners, they better find them another superstar player fast. 

Bronte
Bronte

atl need to break open the bank vault and get melo or lebron---pay them whatever they want, even if take 35 million per year---with these superstars, atl can win the title! 

Robert1959
Robert1959

Can Atlanta meet his salary demands?  The NBA has already set the market value for "star" players like L. James when they allowed the Clippers to be sold for 2 billion dollars. Donald Sterling only paid 27 million dollars for the Clippers.  

L. James is in a great position to change how NBA player negotiate contracts. Over the next 10 years (820 games) he has a chance to be the 1st "Billion Dollar" player. How?  

Playing Basketball 
1. The minimum salary is 1 million dollars per game - 82 games per season - $82 million annual 

Endorsements (shoes, etc.) 
2. To wear anybody's shoes- 1 million dollars per game - 82 games per season - $82 million annual 

Over 10 years L. James can make $1,640,000,000. Donald Sterling still made more money. 

BTC
BTC

No one is coming to Loserville...

Guggie
Guggie

The only way I would ever see this happening is if the Hawks gave him an ownership stake in the team.  He's stated that he'd like to be like Mike in that capacity.  Give him a % and bring us back to relevance.

LMO
LMO

Will be a cold day in Tahiti

BSNBC
BSNBC

The Hawks will never win!

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

Why is Atlanta so often not considered a big market city, even by local writers?  It's the 9th biggest TV market in the country out of 30 other cities in the NFL and 28 other cities in the NBA.  Houston and Miami are big market but Atlanta is not?   (The populations of the #5 - #10 metro areas are very similar in size).  Call it like it is: the fan base, with its tepid enthusiasm for the Hawks, may not seem big market, but the actual metropolis is.  

slydawg
slydawg

If that big man isnt the second coming of Hakeem or Shaq, then the Hawks are no better than the Bulls. The Hawks need a shot maker and fast. There's not that many great rebounders and shot blockers playing basketball anymore. A premium scorer is more important because the Hawks don't have anyone who can create their own shot.

4DaBirds
4DaBirds

@tempo You're leaving Teague out of the equation. Teague is developing nicely, and Horford is not a slouch. Give this team a legitimate big man and a pure scorer, and they will get past the 1st round. Also, this team needs to stop chucking up the 3's like there is no tomorrow.

tempo
tempo

Also, Bud is definitely an upgrade from what the Hawks have had in the past, but just because he comes from Pop's Spurs system doesn't mean he'l be successful like Pops. No one on the Hawks are comparable to anyone on the Spurs, even after some time in this system. By the time the system is fully implemented, Horford will be lucky to play a full season without any injuries, and lets be honest, the dude is past is prime, sadly. Korver will always be trade bait, having little to his game other than a nice 3 point shot. The rest of these D-league players aren't even worth mentioning outside of Paul Millsap. The only decent player on the Hawks is Jeff Teague but he doesn't have that ball smartness like Tony Parker, though I still feel he is a top 5 PG

J-Dawg
J-Dawg

@ReggieTheMailman I like your thought process on picking apart teams clearing room for Bron or Melo, but not the players you want. Dunleavy? No. Zach LeVine, fine I guess. Adrian Payne? no.  Much rather have Kyle Anderson, Cleanthony Early or Shabazz. 

mar1049
mar1049

@Pistol66 Because one is the best player in the league and the other is one of the leagues best players. And if the Hawks continue on the path they are on, Atlanta will always be an early playoff round disappointment as they have been for years.

tempo
tempo

@NajehDavenpoop of course..it was nice seeing players like Mike Scott have a great game in the playoffs, but it was one game. him and 80% of the rest of the team are D-league caliber players

tempo
tempo

@MikeS777 Korver has always been quiet in his playoff career..it's why the Bulls decided he wasn't needed for their future plans. All he really has is a 3 point shot and even this season, he wasn't consistent with it. He won't impress James anymore than an aged Ray Allen did. The only guy that would be nice alongside James is Teague, and that isn't a player that any star is looking at right now, unless they play the Hawks. 

tempo
tempo

@MikeS777 How does a team that finishes under .500 open eyes? They Pacers gained more hatred than the Hawks gained credit. People were more appalled at the poor execution by the Hawks than their success. I definitely think they'll be better, but even with Horford all season, they would have been a 4-6 seed Possibly. They aren't better than Toronto, Charlotte, Wizards, Heat, Bulls, etc. People act like Horford has helped this Hawks team get success in the past..this dude has never lifted his team past the 2nd round and with his injuries piling up in the past 3 years, his stock is only sinking. No one on the Hawks resemble any player from the Spurs. If they did, they would have beaten the Pacers in that 1st round..instead they decided to shoot 50 3s in an elimination game, despite making less than 20.

glsjunior
glsjunior

@PeachtreeBart Thats because most writers are from the North and MIdwest and they always push for free agents to go to NYC or Chi.  4 years ago they were pushing for Bosh, Wade and Lebron to go to Chicago.

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

Ding ding ding. You nailed it. "Tepid fan base." 10,000/1 either even has the Hawks as their runner up choice.

Only way to win is to create stars through the draft.

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

For the NFL, I lumped SF and Oakland together, as well as NY.  

Columbus68
Columbus68

@tempo @MikeS777 tempo, you are clueless. the more you write the more apparent it becomes. sso like the wise old saying goes it is better to let people think you are ignorant than to open your mouth and prove it.......SHHHHHH

tempo
tempo

@MikeS777 Korver has averaged 9.8 points per game in his overall career. less than 12 the past 2 years. More than half of those points come from his 3s