Will Hawks follow Drew to Milwaukee?
Now that Larry Drew has officially been named the new Head Coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, General Manager John Hammond will turn his focus to constructing the team Drew will coach. Might Drew have some influence on what direction the Bucks go in regards to personnel? It's certainly possible.
Looking at the contract situation of the current Atlanta Hawks - where Drew coached the past three seasons, there are a handful of free-agents-to-be Bucks fans will recognize. Among the group are F Josh Smith, former University of Wisconsin PG Devin Harris, and sharp-shooting Kyle Korver.
The Bucks showed interest in acquiring the 6'9" Smith at the trade deadline, but things fell through and Smith remained in Atlanta where he was the Hawks leading scorer (17.0 ppg). Smith was also the highest paid player on the Hawks roster at $13.2 million per season. His cap number and attitude could be a deterrent, but there's no denying his ability as a player.
The 29-year-old Harris averaged (11.3 ppg) running the point and may welcome a return the Milwaukee area where he starred as a prep at Wauwatosa East High School. Harris' numbers declined slightly under Larry Drew last season, but Harris could provide value pending what happens with the Bucks back court in the next couple of months.
Korver is pure shooter who could fill a need if Mike Dunleavy gets away in free agency. They are similar players who would command a similar salary.
In my opinion, the 2013-2014 Bucks roster will have a much different flavor to it. The front court is in good shape with Larry Sanders, John Henson and Ersan Ilyasova, but the back court could have an entirely different look.
J.J. Redick is an unrestricted free agent. Brandon Jennings is a restricted free agent who is seeking big money, and has spoken about testing the market. Monta Ellis has an $11 million dollar player option and must decide what to do by June 20. Depth players such as Dunleavy and Marquis Daniels are also unrestricted free agents.
With the potential for many players on the current Bucks roster to find a new home next season, it's certainly plausible Hammond won't have to look far for potential replacements/enhancements - his new coach could have a pipeline.