Yes, Hawks GM Danny Ferry is considering using the final open roster spot (assuming Ivan Johnson eventually signs his qualifying offer) to add a small forward.
“I would say probably a wing that can compete defensively at a high level would be a good thing to be able to add at some point,” Ferry said.
But, no, that doesn’t mean he’s in a hurry to acquire such a player.
“That may happen,” Ferry said. “How that happens, I can’t sit here and tell you. Could it be someone we sign? Could it be a trade at some point and, if so, when could that be? Trades happen in their own time. We have until February to do it.”
And, Ferry said, if the Hawks do sign a free-agent wing, it’s likely the player would have to accept a non-guaranteed contract.
“There is a good chance we will carry 15,” he said. “But preferably that 15th person will be on a ‘make good’ situation that allows us the flexibility needed in case injuries happen and so on. Being locked into 15 [guaranteed contracts] is generally not ideal.”
Players with non-guaranteed deals are easier to include in trades because the team that acquires them can release them to save money. All players contracts become guaranteed on Jan. 10.
Ferry presumably is waiting to see who he can get through a trade or on a non-guaranteed deal because the wing players still on the market aren’t enticing enough to offer a guaranteed contract now. The wing also could come from among those on Atlanta’s summer roster, though Ferry said he and his staff still are deciding which free agents to invite to veterans’ camp.
The next key date for the Hawks is Sept. 11. That’s when the players acquired in the Joe Johnson trade and Devin Harris will be eligible to be used in trades that aggregate their salaries under CBA rules (60 days after they were acquired).
For now, the Hawks will stick with Kyle Korver as the closest thing to a true wing. But, considering Ferry’s flurry of transactions in his short time with the Hawks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a trade this summer or early in the season to reconfigure Atlanta’s unbalanced roster.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat