The Atlanta Hawks wanted to bring the band back after winning 60 games in the regular season, but couldn't do so for financial reasons. DeMarre Carroll agreed to a four-year, $60 million deal with the Toronto Raptors on the first day of free agency, and he said in a radio interview on Sunday that the Hawks told him they had to choose between him and Paul Millsap, who agreed to a three-year, $59 million deal:
DeMarre Carroll tells us @BR_Radio that Atlanta told him that it came down to him or Paul Millsap— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) July 5, 2015
Carroll's emergence last season was a testament to both he and Atlanta's player-development program. It hurts for the Hawks to see him walk and leave a gaping hole at small forward, but there wasn't much they could do. The team is even thinner at power forward, and Millsap did so much for the offense.
In the interview, Carroll also talked about Atlanta's disappointing end to the season:
DeMarre Carroll on @BR_Radio about Hawks at end of last season: "We kind of cruised our way into #1 seed, & we took our foot off the gas."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) July 5, 2015
Based on the way the Hawks were playing in December and January, it's still hard to believe how ordinary they looked in the playoffs. Even in their wins against the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards, they were far from impressive. It's a bummer because they really did have the potential to get to the NBA Finals, and that might not be the case next year with Carroll gone and the Cleveland Cavaliers perhaps at full strength.