A lot has transpired Thursday that has left a sour taste in the mouths of Hawks fans.
It began with reports of Kyle Korver being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers before the game in New Orleans. Though Korver warmed up with the team, it was clear when Deandre Bembery went in with the other members of the second unit that the rumors were true. We now have a better idea regarding what the return involves:
Cavs will be sending 2019 protected 1st to Atlanta and Mike Dunleavy in deal. sources said.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 6, 2017
Apparently Mike Dunleavy may not be around very long either…
For now, Dunleavy could park in Atlanta, but Hawks are motivated to him elsewhere, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 6, 2017
Such a move makes it clear that the Hawks are eyeing the future over the present, despite not giving the new-look team a shot against Cleveland in the playoffs. Trading the defending champions one of the best 3-point shooters in NBA makes them dangerous and makes it clear that beating them this season is no longer the priority.
The Hawks do get a 2019 first rounder, but unless Lebron James plans on an early retirement this pick will likely be coming at the tail end of the first round. While accumulating picks is a good thing, throwing in the towel on trying to win the Eastern Conference this season is a tough pill to swallow for fans.
As if that were not enough, rumors began to spread that the team is also looking to move Paul Millsap as well.
It appears that all five starters from the 60-win Hawks team may not be in volt green by season’s end. The Hawks have been rumored to be exploring any player whose contract is expiring, which also includes Thabo Sefolosha and Kris Humphries. This would be a strange time for the Hawks to rebuild with the team signing Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore to big contracts this offseason as well as trying to retain Al Horford. However, a five year max could be what it takes for the Hawks to retain Millsap, a contract that could prove to be detrimental to the Hawks. The team may look to get future assets after failing to do so with Horford and letting him walk.