Top five issues facing Schlenk this summer

Travis Schlenck takes court with the Golden State Warriors’ “We Believe” team honored during Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals 2017 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 in Oakland, Calif. Schlenk has been hired as the Atlanta Hawks’ general manager.

Sorry for the delay in posting a new blog, folks. As you might imagine it has been a busy couple of weeks as the Hawks searched for a new general manager. I believe my phone may need to be surgically removed from my right ear, but I digress.

The Hawks hired Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk as their new general manager and head of basketball operations (an interesting title) on Thursday. I’ve already posted plenty to read on the new man in charge, including a big endorsement from legend Jerry West.

Schlenk will have a number of important decisions to make in the upcoming weeks with the NBA Draft on June 22 and the start of free agency on July 1.

Here are my top five (as of now). I plan to write on this in the next day or two but here is your chance to weigh in over the holiday weekend.

1. Paul Millsap: Right off the bat, Schlenk will have to decide how much he is willing to pay to keep the four-time All-Star power forward, who is eligible for a maximum contract.

2. Tim Hardaway Jr.: The shooting guard had a big season and will get plenty of offers as a restricted free agent. How high are the Hawks willing to go to match another offer? If they do match, can they afford to keep Kent Bazemore as well?

3. The draft: The Hawks have three draft picks this year with the selections at Nos. 19, 31 and 60. Schlenk is certainly tuned into the draft from his work with the Warriors. Is there another Steph Curry, Klay Thompson or Draymond Green to be found?

4. Free agency Part 1: The Hawks have five other unrestricted free agents of their own in Ersan Ilyasove, Kris Humphries, Thabo Sefolosha, Mike Muscala and Jose Calderon. Who to keep?

5. Free agency Part 2: The Hawks could have considerable salary cap space should they lose Millsap. Who should they go after to add to the roster?

Let me know what you think of the hire and what upcoming decisions are most important.

As always, have a safe holiday weekend and please remember the reason for Memorial Day.

 

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