The Atlanta Hawks proved to be a surprisingly strong team during the 2015-16 NBA season. While they failed to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Al Horford squad gave the Cleveland Cavaliers a good fight during the 2016 playoffs. Amid the incredible star power of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love came the determination of Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and Dennis Schroeder to beat the team that brought down the Golden State Warriors. Although they were defeated in the end, the Atlanta Hawks showed that they had the potential to become the best. Hence, the front office plans to take full advantage of the 2016 NBA free agency to sign players who can become leaders of the franchise.
Not falling far behind the Kevin Durant free agency in terms of suitors and lucrative offers is Hassan White. The Miami Heat center, who carried the team in the absence of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, is one of the most sought after free agents this NBA offseason.
"It's a toss-up," said Whiteside when asked of the factors that would affect his free agency decision. He added, "It's a lot of things that come into it. It's not one specific thing. It's like having a wife. You can't say one specific thing you like about her. You have to like her as a whole. I have to choose it all together, so all of the dots have to connect."
While a number of teams would instantly snatch him, the major roadblock for them is his salary demand. Sources claim that the Miami Heat big man would want nothing less but a max contract - a condition that could have been given right away if not for the Kevin Durant free agency opportunity.
However, it looks like some NBA teams are eager to give Hassan Whiteside his demand. While the Miami Heat attempt to negotiate with the center, squads like the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks reportedly offer max contracts to the promising star. Rumored to be joining the list of Hassan Whiteside free agency suitors is the Atlanta Hawks.
At the moment, the Atlanta Hawks are seen to be making significant changes in their roster. The surprising NBA trade they made that pushed Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers makes the Kyle Korver team an interesting team to watch out for this offseason. With the rising salary cap though, the Atlanta Hawks must be prepared to make sacrifices if they truly want Hassan Whiteside in their roster.
Does this mean that star players Kyle Korver and Dennis Schroeder should give way by lowering their salary demands? It should be noted that the German star is now the Atlanta Hawks leader following the exit of Jeff Teague. Will he allow the Miami Heat big man to overshadow his newfound fame?