Who Is On Trading Block For Atlanta Hawks?
By: Buck Blanz
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
To begin the Month of March, the Atlanta Hawks were sitting at a 14-20 overall record. That record would’ve left them out of the playoffs for the fourth straight season if the season ended at the All-Star break.
Atlanta had one of the most aggressive free agencies of the offseason throughout the NBA, by signing guys like Dalino Gallanari and Bogdan Bogdanovic. However, the Hawks have not seen all that much improvement from a statistical standpoint.
Atlanta Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk has made it clear to the fans that the organization is craving a playoff push throughout the second half of the season.
Beginning with the firing of former Head Coach Lloyd Pierce, who had a record of 63-120 during his tenure in Atlanta.
The Hawks have now appointed an established coach throughout the league in Nate McMillan, who led the injury riddled Pacers to playoff appearances each of the past two seasons without their star players.
Since the Hawks have named McMillan the interim Head Coach of the Basketball club, he has posted a 6-0 record giving Atlanta their longest win streak since the 2016-17 season as well as catapulting them into the seventh spot in the East.
With the trade deadline quickly approaching, (March 25th at 3:00 ET) look for Atlanta to continue to be aggressive with trades as they try to solidify a much-needed playoff appearance for the organization.
The biggest name that has been floating around the rumor mill from Atlanta is the fourth year forward, John Collins out of Wake Forest.
This upcoming offseason Collins will be a restricted free agent due to the fact Collins rejected the $90 million contract extension from the Hawks last offseason.
However, by not signing that extension with the Hawks, Collins has put himself in a great position for a much larger contract opportunity this upcoming offseason with his production of the floor this season.
NBA experts currently have Minnesota and Boston as the frontrunners to land Collins, but the Hawks are hungry for more talent in return that will help them win now.
As much as the Hawks executives would love to be able to flip John Collins’ contract into more young talent, the $4.1 million contract that Collins currently has doesn’t make a lot of options for the Hawks to add another established player to their roster.
Also, I think it’s safe to say that Atlanta would not match offers exceeding $100 million for Collins this offseason with the pool of talented bigs they already have.
Another name that could be added to the trading block for Atlanta would be the young shooting guard, Kevin Huerter. Huerter is a proven shooter, while also a defensive liability for the Hawks. In today’s NBA there are a number of guys who can fill that role.
The Hawks, who are currently 10th in the league in offensive efficiency and 22nd in defensive, would like to be inside the top 15 in both of those areas to put themselves in the best position moving forward.
However, Kris Dunn who has yet to see action this season as well as Deandre Hunter returning from injury by the beginning of April, Atlanta will regain their defensive anchors on that end of the floor.
Although there is no clear picture of how the hawks will attack the trade deadline, it is sure to be an entertaining week as they will explore each and every option possible.