Pieces Atlanta Hawks Must Acquire to Become a True Contender

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Pieces Atlanta Hawks Must Acquire to Become a True Contender
Paul Abell/Getty Images

With the expiration of many high-paying contracts, the Atlanta Hawks will have plenty of cap space to pursue a solid free-agent market in the 2013 offseason.

The most notable contract that is set to expire is that of Josh Smith. Smith is currently making $13.2 million per year and is looking for more in his next contract.

Do not expect the Hawks to re-sign Smith. He has been a good player for the franchise throughout his nine-year career, but he is not worth superstar money.

Other Hawks players whose contracts will be coming off the books include Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia, Kyle Korver, Johan Petro and Dahntay Jones. With the expiration of these contracts, Atlanta will be saving $25.5 million. Considering Korver is the only player from that group who averages more than 10 points per game, the franchise will get better value for its money.

It is likely that the Hawks will re-sign some of these players, but it also gives them the ability to have more freedom with their money and play a more active role in the 2013 free-agency scene.

As currently constructed, the Hawks do not have the pieces to be a championship contender, but if they have a successful offseason, they could become a part of the NBA's elite.

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