Chasing Howard and Faried marks a bit of an identity crisis for a team that was set in its ways. The Hawks will play differently, on both ends, with Howard. Every team strives for roster continuity, but there is a blurry line between continuity and staleness. The Hawks decided they had crossed it.
They had an elegant plan to shake up the present while boosting the future at the same time. To execute it, they needed Horford back. They came up short on the money, and acquired Howard -- about whom Horford had major reservations, per sources close to the situation.
They could have signed another big man, kept Horford and dealt Millsap. They could have dealt Millsap, let Horford walk and bottomed out. They could have kept both, re-signed Bazemore, sloughed off bit players and signed another wing.
Juggling all of this in real time is hard. Things change fast, in unpredictable ways. But for now, it looks as if the Hawks swapped centers and missed a chance to snag some valuable future assets. If they end up a slightly worse mid-rung playoff team with an outgoing free agent they can't trade, they might regret it.