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This was a tricky selection. Originally, Marvin Williams was the first name that came to mind because he’s scheduled to make slightly more than $23.2 million over the next three seasons—assuming he picks up his player option for Year 3 worth $7.5 million.
However, Kirk Hinrich is the choice because he’s scheduled to make $8 million in 2011-12 and it’s the last year of his current contract.
Currently, the Hawks salary for 2011-12 is slightly more than $65.8 million. If they take Hinrich’s contract off the payroll, they’d be under the old collective bargaining agreement’s salary cap, could get value in return for Hinrich’s expiring contract and might have money left over to re-sign Jamal Crawford.
The move would also give the Hawks an opportunity to see if their third-year point guard, former first-round draft pick Jeff Teague, is ready to take the reins of the offense.