After another disappointing second-round exit, it's becoming evident that the Hawks need to make serious roster changes if they have legitimate aspirations of advancing past the conference semis. For the last three years, the Hawks have tried to build around the core of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford, but unfortunately, the matters most urgent were left to dry.
Johnson, Smith and Horford is one of the best 2-3-4 punches in the NBA, but without a true center to grab rebounds or a point guard to push the pace, the Hawks have leveled out as a tweener in the East: not good enough to seriously contend, but not bad enough to build through the draft.
The Hawks found a diamond in the rough with the 19th pick in the 2009 NBA draft in Jeff Teague. However, he spent his first two years floundering away on the bench, as both coach Mike Woodson and coach Larry Drew refused to give him extended minutes. By the time Teague finally seized his opportunity and turned the Hawks into the fast paced team they always should have been, trade speculation was (and is) running rampant over teammate Josh Smith.
Clearly this team has areas of need as Jamal Crawford is set to leave via free agency, and Smith may very well be on the way out the door. If the Hawks are serious about contending next season, they should fervently look to make a splash this offseason. Here's where they should start: