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The Atlanta Hawks' offseason was one of the busiest (and most successful) compared to every other team in the league.
The Hawks finally decided to part ways with Josh Smith, who signed a four-year deal with the Detroit Pistons worth $54 million. They re-signed restricted free agent Jeff Teague, brought Kyle Korver back, signed Paul Millsap to a modest two-year, $19 million deal and had one of the most talked-about drafts. They added rookies Dennis Schröder and Lucas Nogueira, who both appear to be draft-day steals.
All of those offseason happenings have managed to overshadow two key moves in Atlanta. Namely, adding veteran forward Elton Brand as well as the defensive-minded DeMarre Carroll.
Millsap and Al Horford will anchor the Hawks’ frontcourt moving forward, but having Brand as a leader off the bench will be an invaluable addition. As long as he stays healthy, he can be a difference-maker.
Carroll, meanwhile, is one of the most underrated defensive players in basketball. When he was on the court for the Utah Jazz last season, the offensive rating of opponents was 102.9 points per 100 possessions. When he sat on the bench, that number increased to 108.6 points per 100 possessions.
Look for Carroll and Korver to provide a dynamic one-two punch in Atlanta’s rotation. Korver can handle the offense by knocking down threes, while Carroll can change the pace by being a ferocious defender.
Both of these under-the-radar signings should pay big dividends for the Hawks in 2013-14.