They have been a solid NBA team for most of the last 5-6 years. They have produced winning seasons and playoff victories. Yet last Friday night at the self-described "Highlight Factory," the empty seats were quite noticeable for an NBA playoff Game Six. And the crowd that stayed away didn't miss much - one field goal over a 13 minute span in the 2nd and 3rd quarters helped sum up the evening.
Despite being an international city, one of the top TV markets in the country, and continued on-court success, the Hawks are proving to be a rather un-loved destination for the top free agents in the NBA.
And now what do they do?
Josh Smith is gone, Jeff Teague was unimpressive in the post-season, so where does the front office (meaning - Danny Ferry) find the right mix of draft picks, free agents, and complimentary players that can take a perennially above average team and make them a true championship contender?
You have a piece to the chess board to build around - Al Horford. He is a burgeoning all-star level player year in and year out. But after that (assuming Josh Smith departs) and the talent level has a significant drop-off.
It will be a very interesting off-season in Atlanta. Is anyone betting on the return home of Dwight Howard? Not this blogger.