The absence of Paul Millsap in the Atlanta Hawks roster seems to be taking a toll on the team. Despite the efforts of Dwight Howard and Dennis Schröder, the Kent Bazemore group has now fallen behind the Milwaukee Bucks of Giannis Antetokounmpo. With the 2017 NBA playoffs just right around the corner, the team now faces possible worsening situations as the Chicago Bulls of Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat of Hassan Whiteside and Indiana Pacers of Paul George press forward to make the cut. Should better rebuilding measures be done soon?
The entry of Dwight Howard in the Atlanta Hawks saw the exit of Al Horford to the Boston Celtics. As Dennis Schröder emerged as the team's new leader, a swift and surprising Kyle Korver contract to the Cleveland Cavaliers was announced. Now, the Kent Bazemore team faces a bleak 2017 NBA playoffs future - one that stands stark in comparison to their previous season when they were actually considered contenders to possibly unseat LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the East. So, what could be the next move for the struggling Atlanta Hawks?
Rumors are rife that the Atlanta Hawks are moving assets in an effort to sign Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler by the offseason. Although the All-Star has been impressive in his recent games, the front office reportedly wants to revamp the roster. This measure was purportedly started when Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah was moved to the New York Knicks. Pau Gasol was eventually shipped to the San Antonio Spurs. Meanwhile, Taj Gibson and Doug McDermitt were sent packing to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Hence, it no longer comes a surprise for some fans that a Jimmy Butler contract could be signed elsewhere soon.
Among the teams speculated to be interested in a Jimmy Butler contract include the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. However, many believe that the Atlanta Hawks could snap up the Chicago Bulls star to pair him up with budding leader Dennis Schröder. At this point though, no official comment has been made by the parties tagged in this rumor. This makes the possibility of a Jimmy Butler contract anywhere outside the Chicago Bulls still at the speculation stage.
For their part, the Chicago Bulls seem to be milking Jimmy Butler for all his worth this NBA season. In an interview with head coach Fred Hoiberg, he shared that his star player could be a candidate for MVP. If this is the case, then he would be up in the running against the likes of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard.
"There's no doubt about [Butler being in the top five of the MVP conversation. A true sign of the MVP is what your team is without him. Look at our numbers when Jimmy is on the floor; we're really good," shared Hoiberg. And he makes other guys better. That's the thing this year with putting the ball in his hands as much as we have. He not only creates for himself, but he's making the right play and getting the ball to other guys and setting them up for easy shots.''