The two teams the Washington Wizards faced in the playoffs last season will look different going forward.
Toronto signed Atlanta free agent forward DeMarre Carroll to a four-year, $60 million Wednesday, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
A photo posted by DeMarre Carroll (@demarrecarroll1) on Jul 1, 2015 at 9:02am PDT
This news came moments after reports that the Hawks acquired center Tiago Splitter from the San Antonio Spurs.
Before all of this took place there were reports that All-Star forward Paul Millsap was weighing a return to Atlanta or signing with the Orlando Magic.
Let's stop for a second and examine each scenario:
- The Raptors were bulldozed in a four-game sweep by the lower-seeded Wizards in part because Washington played a more physical brand of basketball. The rugged Carroll changes that. The 3-and-D threat made things difficult for the Wizards at times during Atlanta's 4-2 series win.
- Toronto previously guard Greivis Vasquez to Milwaukee and added two point guards in veteran Luke Ridnour and first round pick Delon Wright. Guard Lou Williams, the NBA's sixth-man of the year, remains a free agent.
- Atlanta suffered its own series sweep against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. One major factor besides the 4-time MVP? Cleveland dominated the glass. Adding Splitter provides the Hawks with a banger inside and true interior depth. Initial reporting did not indicate specific pieces Atlanta would send San Antono, but it's doubtful to include any salary for the 2015-16 season. The Spurs are clearing space for the possible addition of Portland free agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
- Keeping Millsap now becomes vitally important for Atlanta. NBA.com's David Aldridge reported Wednesday morning that the stretch-4 met with Orlando and "will decide between Magic and Hawks." Orlando has young talent, but no main linchpin. As for the Hawks, this would lead to serious scrambling if Millsap exits. Atlanta cruised to the East title last season thanks largely to a perfect blend of system and offensive talent. That delicate balance is changing one way or another.