Which direction for Hawks?
The Hawks have taken big steps the past two years, making it back to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 last year and advancing to the second round for the first time since 1997 this season. But will Atlanta take a big step back next season?
The Hawks have key free agents in point guard Mike Bibby, small forward Marvin Williams, and center Zaza Pachulia, as well as Solomon Jones, Mario West, and Thomas Gardner.
As of now, Atlanta has only $40.8 million in committed salary next season, but it remains to be seen whether the fiscally challenged ownership will do what it takes to bring back Bibby, Williams, and Pachulia, or bring in some notable free agents.
There have been rumors of Williams being dangled in a sign-and-trade for cash. Don't be surprised if talented yet unused guard Acie Law, the 11th overall pick in the 2007 draft, is moved, too.
For a franchise that seems to be going in the right direction and has the 19th overall pick this year, it would be a shame if the Hawks digress after taking such big strides of late.
"I love the guys. I love the coaching staff. I love the city," said Bibby, 31, who made $14.9 million this season. "So we'll see what happens."