Roster Reload: Atlanta Hawks

Hawks need another top talent or they'll remain a second-tier team

Updated: May 3, 2014, 9:24 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle and Amin Elhassan | ESPN Insider

Al Horford, Anderson VarejaoDavid Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty ImagesAtlanta will continue to build around Al Horford, who missed most of the season with a torn pectoral.

Roster Reloads: Charlotte Bobcats | Chicago Bulls | Houston Rockets


Given how Atlanta played this season when it had at least a couple of healthy, NBA-caliber big men, it should have been no great surprise that they pushed an Indiana team that was not exactly peaking entering the postseason. Lots of times, when you have a playoff series upset -- or near upset, as in this case -- the shock wears off with the benefit of hindsight, because the upstart in the matchup turns out to be a really good outfit that just happened to catch their stride at the most important time of the year.

There might be some of that going on in Atlanta. First-year coach Mike Budenholzer has established an efficient, fun style of play, and general manager Danny Ferry has lots of leeway to take his evolving roster in any number of exciting possible directions.

2014-15 Status quo baseline: 48.8 wins
(from Bradford Doolittle's ATH system)