Waiting & hoping for Deron Williams and Dwight Howard.
How are you not seeing the parallels?
Why would they take on $19M of Pau Gasol?
Because Josh Smith is going to walk this summer and they will be left with nothing when they fail to convince Dwight or Paul to leave money on the table to come to the Atlanta Hawks.
Pau Gasol is still considered an elite big men by people in this league (not on this forum though) and acquiring him would give them a shot to contend in the east.
For one, the Hawks are not a contender for the East with Gasol. That would put them slightly better than the position they are in now. They would still be hurting badly at PG, SG, and SF. Horford/Gasol is good, but they are projecting to be around a .500 team with Smith/Horford. It's not a contender with Pau.
If you fully believe that tying up $19M in Pau is a better option than going for a huge big long-term strike in FA, regardless of the fact you could strike out, I'm going to disagree strongly with that. It's much better to attempt to be great than it is to know you'll be mediocre or in the 45 win range.
You can disagree all you want, but that is what ATL is attempting to do, via Ferry himself. What sense would it make to clear JJ, Marvin, buyout a few contracts, then go right back and add massive salary with 32/33 year old Gasol, to a roster that is not ready to contend?