Atlanta Hawks owner expecting to lure higher-caliber free agents

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Team owner Tony Ressler detailed the plan for the Atlanta Hawks moving forward following the recent roster moves and the successful 2020-21 campaign. He hopes to turn the franchise into a go-to landing spot for free agents, he explained to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.

“We think, I would argue, our facilities are as good as any, our city is as good as any, our roster is as good as any, our investment, our dollars, our commitment to spend is as good as any,” he noted on Atlanta becoming a true free agent destination, “It makes no sense that historically this team has not been a top-tier free-agent destination. And I think you have to earn that and make clear that it’s a franchise committed to winning in every sense of the way.”

Ressler, 61, became the principal owner in 2015. Since assuming control of the franchise, he renovated State Farm Arena, also invested in a practice facility, and established a G League affiliate, apart from the roster moves leading up to the 2021 Playoffs run until the Eastern Conference Finals. The goal is to bring in more star power.

“One of the true objectives or genuine objectives of this ownership is to make sure that we win on a tie for great players if we have to. That we attract great players, that we keep great players, and that players, frankly, look at Atlanta as a really great place to play. I think that takes a lot of work,” he pointed out, “Hopefully we’re pretty close.”

The Hawks picked up both Serbian Bogdan Bogdanovic and Italian Danilo Gallinari last November, among the top available players ahead of the 2020-21 season. Another part of the solid European pack, Swiss Clint Capela was among the players re-signed to lucrative long-term deals during the offseason as the team started operating in a situation over the salary cap. French Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot joined the team about one month ago.

Atlanta is not projected to have cap space through the next seasons but hopes to attract free agents on mid-level or minimum contracts to boost the squad and establish the team as a contender for the NBA championship.

A 2-1 record paints the picture on the start to the 2021-22 Regular Season before a three-game road trip starting Wednesday at the New Orleans Pelicans.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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