By Kyle Fisher
However, the Hawk roster will be void of a key component as sixth man Josh Childress decided to his game to Greece, for a substantial raise, instead of re-signing with the club. The Hawks did re-sign their top priority in Smith and did bring in free agents Maurice Evans and Ronald "Flip" Murray to combat the loss of Childress. The team is also hopeful that 2007 first round pick Acie Law can develop into a solid backup point guard.
The Hawks have a solid core of young players and hope the playoff experience, plus the development of Horford, the scoring of Johnson, the all-around play of Smith and the leadership of Bibby can help the franchise build on a season that was the best in Atlanta in a decade.
Zaza Pachulia: Last season was a forgettable one for Pachulia, who battled multiple injuries throughout the season. Pachulia played just 15.2 minutes per game and with the emergence of Horford, Pachulia's days of near 30 minutes a night appear to be over in Atlanta. Pachulia is a decent scorer and rebounder but doesn't have any one skill set that makes him more than a key reserve for the Hawks.
Randolph Morris: Morris was signed in late July after playing 18 games with the Knicks last season. At just 22, Morris is still young enough to develop into a valuable player on an NBA roster. However, don't look for him to get much time in Atlanta.
Marvin Williams: While Williams is entering just his fourth NBA season, we may already have enough data to know what type of player he is. Williams averaged 14.8 points and 5.7 rebounds on 46.2 percent shooting. Williams doesn't figure to improve his scoring much with the current Hawk roster. With Horford and Smith on the glass, it's hard to predict a great jump in Williams' rebounding totals. Williams does not produce assists, shoot the 3-pointer or block shots. Williams is a solid NBA player but has little fantasy upside in his role with the Hawks.
Maurice Evans: Evans was signed in the offseason as a replacement for Josh Childress. Evans had his career-high in scoring (9.3) and field goal percentage (48.9) last season and along with Ronald Murray is expected to provide scoring off the bench. Evans is a developing 3-point shooter, as he had 80 makes last season, 32 more than in any previous season.
Solomon Jones: Jones played in 35 games last season for the Hawks, averaging just 4.1 minutes per game. With the established veterans on the frontcourt, don't look for more than a few minutes a night.
Othello Hunter: Hunter averaged 13.2 points and a team-best 6.2 rebounds in five summer league games. It may be difficult for him to make the roster, but if he does, don't expect a lot of production.
Mike Bibby: Bibby came to the Hawks in a midseason trade and while hi shooting form the floor wasn't spectacular (41.4 percent), he did average 14.1 points, 6.5 assists, 1,1 steals and over two 3-pointers made per game. While Bibby's days as a high scoring point guard are probably over, he still can produce excellent 3-point shooting and decent assist totals for a fantasy roster.
Acie Law: The 2007 first round pick saw little action in his rookie season, as he battled ankle and wrist injuries. Law played in 56 games and averaged 15.4 minutes per game. With Bibby, Johnson, Evans, and Ronald Murray, playing time could be at a premium for Law. While Law is still seen as the point guard of the future, the future may not be now.
Ronald Murray: Murray was signed in the offseason to bring scoring firepower off the bench. Murray has the ability to create his own shot, something that few of the currents Hawks possess. Murray averaged a combined 9.4 points per game in Detroit and Indiana last season in fewer than 21 minutes a night. Murray's main job in Atlanta will be to provide quality depth on the second unit and put the ball in the basket.
Salim Stoudamire: Stoudamire played just 35 games for the Hawks last season and averaged career-lows in most major categories. With the depth of the Hawks' backcourt, it's hard to see consistent minutes for Stoudamire.
Speedy Claxton: Claxton entered training camp last season as the starting point guard, but never played a minute. Claxton has missed most of the last two seasons with knee and wrist injuries. Claxton played with the Hawks' summer league team and is trying to be the primary backup to Bibby. Expect stiff competition from several players for that role.
Jeremy Richardson: Richardson bounced around in the 2007-2008 season before playing 19 games with the Hawks last season. Richardson averaged just 4.6 minutes and may have trouble making the roster.
Mario West: West played 64 games last season but averaged just 4.2 minutes per contest. With the numbers of guards competing for spots on the Hawks' roster, West is fighting for a spot on the team.
Thomas Gardner: Gardner led the Hawks' summer league team averaging 16.3 points per game. Gardner played four games for the Bulls last season but may have trouble sticking with this roster.