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If it seems like the Atlanta Hawks are a potential free-agent landing spot for just about every available player in the NBA, well, that's because they are. That's what tends to happen when a team goes into the offseason with $21,513,122 on the books and the ability to drop that figure to $18,483,800 by doing away with the non-guaranteed contracts of DeShawn Stevenson and Mike Scott.
The Hawks are in prime position to land any two free agents of their choosing, or more if they seek out less expensive options. Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are the players du jour, but think of them as a realistic pipe dream rather than a clear-cut example of how free agency will play out.
Atlanta also has the ability to match any offer for Jeff Teague, but there's no telling how high the price will go for the Wake Forest product. One of the more interesting battles of this offseason will be the inevitable monetary clash between Teague and Brandon Jennings. Who will end up commanding the larger salary?
If the incumbent Hawks floor general becomes the answer to that question, that's when Danny Ferry could just let him walk away, choosing instead to go with Jennings.
Both point guards are of the same caliber. They're solid starters, but not exactly All-Stars at this stage of their careers. To this point, Jennings has produced better stats, but I'd argue he's also been in a significantly more featured spot with the Milwaukee Bucks than Teague has found himself in on the Hawks.
The southpaw does bring an undeniable scoring talent to the table, even if his shot selection can often border on what-was-he-thinking levels of bad. Jennings' three-point stroke took massive strides during the 2012-13 campaign, as did his passing.
It's this that makes him even more appealing to the Hawks then Teague, especially since Atlanta has traditionally fallen in love with the three-ball. While Teague took 3.1 shots per game from the outside and converted them 35.9 percent of the time, Jennings outpaced him in both areas. Despite taking 5.8 three-pointers each contest, the southpaw connected at a 37.5 percent clip.
Usually there's a tradeoff between volume and efficiency, so when one player outdoes another in both areas, that facet of his game is clearly superior. Such is the case for Jennings and Teague behind the arc.
Speaking of arcs, as a prep-to-pro player, Jennings has a different developmental curve than the ones we're used to seeing from 1-guards. He now seems to be speeding along it, and that could make him an intriguing player for the Hawks to build around as they seek to shape their team around Al Horford and a point guard.