Trade rumors continued to swirl on Monday when reports came out the Hawks could be involved in deals including multiple superstars. One report stated that the Hawks could be interested in a deal involving Clippers star forward Blake Griffin.
The Hawks are interested in trading for Blake Griffin and have the assets to potentially pull it off source tells @AmicoHoops.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) February 15, 2016
Griffin is currently injured after an altercation with a Clippers equipment manager. Los Angeles looks to be open to moving Griffin, but its not going to come cheap. The Hawks reportedly have the assets to make a deal, although, I have a tough time trying to figure out how this would all work. Atlanta’s biggest need seems to be a true center, and with Paul Millsap likely off the table, the Hawks biggest bargaining chip would be Al Horford. Swapping Horford and other players for Griffin would only make the Hawks smaller in the frontcourt. Griffin is signed through 2017-2018, so this could be an interesting move if the Hawks are looking for a player to build around in the future. However, the Hawks seem to be looking to win now and a move to acquire Griffin seems to be a major long shot.
In another report the Hawks were in contact with both the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets about a possible three-way deal that would send the Dwight Howard to the Hawks. The deal would send both Al Horford and Jeff Teague to the Heat and several pieces such as Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic to the Rockets. The possible deal was first reported by Adam Spolane of SportsRadio 610 in Houston.
I'm told Rockets, Heat, Hawks discussing 3-way. Howard to ATL, Horford and Teague to Mia, Dragic and Whteside, Anderson to Hou.
— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) February 15, 2016
Spolane may not be the most credible source, but he has broken news before and it seems unlikely he would just be making up such rumors. Howard, as reported by ESPN, is interested in playing in his hometown of Atlanta. The problem with such a deal is the Hawks are giving up way too much for a possible rental. The only way I see a deal exactly like this one happening is if Howard agrees to sign a contract extension with the Hawks. A more realistic deal would have to send either picks or a young asset or two to Atlanta along with Howard. Spolane also reported the Hawks wanted the Heat to add their coveted rookie Justise Winslow to the deal, but Miami’s President Pat Riley was not interested in moving Winslow.
From several reports including ESPN, the Hawks are looking to improve the team and compete now or as soon as possible. While the Hawks could opt to take the rebuilding route and trade either Teague or Horford or both for young assets and picks, today’s rumors suggest they are looking to make a big move. Here are three blockbuster deals the Hawks could be involved in before the February 18th trade deadline.
Three Team Deal Between Hawks, Heat and Rockets: Atlanta receives Dwight Howard and Justise Winslow, Miami receives Jeff Teague, Al Horford and K.J. McDaniels, Rockets receive Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic, and Chris Anderson.
The first deal is based primarily on the report of Adam Spolane. However, it does involve Riley budging on Winslow. The Hawks desperately need help on the boards and Howard provides that immediately. The big question regarding Howard would be whether he would be willing to re-sign with Atlanta. Reports suggested that Howard has a newfound interest in playing for his hometown, and if the Hawks think they have a real shot at signing the center long-term, this deal could be very good for Atlanta. Winslow is a terrific young player, who looks to have a really bright future in this league. With the way Atlanta has been able to develop their wing players, Winslow could thrive in the Hawks organization. The departure of Teague and Horford would not be thrilling for Hawks fans to see, but its a business and Atlanta is at a point were they really ought move one or both of these guys at the deadline.
Hawks receive Blake Griffin, Clippers receive Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder
Millsap has been the Hawks best player all season, but if Atlanta wants to get a deal done for Blake Griffin, they are likely going to have to part ways with the three-time all-star. The Hawks view Griffin as a player the team can build their future around. That he could be the first real superstar since the legend Dominque Wilkins. Griffin would likely thrive in Coach Budenholzer’s offense, but with him recovering from injury, this move would be looking towards the future. Atlanta could build around Griffin, Teague, and Horford and hope Griffin becomes a player who can lead this team past the Caviliers. Dennis Schroder would be tough to part ways with as well, however, the Hawks could be willing if they really are starving for a superstar like Blake.
Hawks Trade Al Horford to the Celtics for Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and the Celtics 2017 first round pick swap with the Brooklyn Nets
Boston is clearly on the search for someone who can solidify their team. They may make runs at bigger names like Kevin Love or Blake Griffin, but if they find those price tags to high they may turn to Atlanta to make a deal. The Hawks are obviously open to the idea of shopping Horford and the Celtics have a bevy of young talented players and picks to make a deal. Atlanta is not going to just give up Horford for nothing, so I think the trade centers around Kelly Olynyk, who has shown great promise in his first two seasons, and the coveted Brooklyn Nets 2017 spot in the draft. Olynyk would become an instant threat in the Hawks offense with his great ability to stretch the floor as a big man. Amir Johnson would also be able to step in and play a big role for the Hawks right away, and the Celtics might be okay with parting ways with the big man due to the log jam they would have in the front court by acquiring Horford.