The Atlanta Hawks could have plenty of options to improve their roster this offseason. Aside from having a strong chance of acquiring another lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Hawks would also be entering this summer with enough salary cap space to sign max free agents. Though the current free agency isn’t as star-studded as the previous offseason, there are still a number of intriguing targets for the Hawks on the market, including Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans.
As a restricted free agent, the only thing that the Pelicans need to do to bring Ingram back is to match offers from other teams. However, lots of things could happen once Ingram and the Pelicans start their contract negotiation this summer. If they see that they have a chance of stealing the former No. 2 overall pick from the Pelicans, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report believes that the Hawks should make it a “top priority” to give Ingram a max offer sheet.
“When you’re projected to have more cap space than anyone else, one good way to put it to use is to make other teams sweat a little. That’s why throwing a max offer sheet (for however many years he wants) at Brandon Ingram should be the Atlanta Hawks’ top priority. Ingram is one of the only options who’s young enough to fit with the Hawks’ core of relative noobs and worth the hassle of tying up spending power while the New Orleans Pelicans decide whether to match—which they almost certainly will, unless they head this whole thing off at the pass by agreeing to a contract that keeps Ingram off the restricted market.”
Ingram would undeniably be an intriguing free-agent target for the Hawks, giving them a very reliable scoring option that perfectly fits the timeline of the face of the franchise, Trae Young. Like Young, Ingram has also blossomed into an All-Star caliber talent this season where he is currently averaging 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.0 steal while shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from beyond the arc. Ingram may prefer to be on a team where he would be considered the main man, but in this era of basketball, he must be aware that he also needs to team up with other superstars to have a legitimate chance of winning a championship title.
If Ingram and Young grow together and build good chemistry, the Hawks could have their own version of the dynamic duo of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry that led the Golden State Warriors to three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won back-to-back championship titles in 2017 and 2018. Though it’s hard to imagine Ingram leaving New Orleans for Atlanta, the Hawks wouldn’t lose anything from trying. If they fail to sign Ingram, Hughes suggested that the Hawks could also target Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Sacramento Kings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Los Angeles Lakers.