The trade deadline is approaching expeditiously, and outside noise is roaring around the Atlanta Hawks. There will be no shortage of suitors for a number of players on a team that is just keeping its head above water, but Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins are the two main ones.
The club has since moved forward without Travis Schlenk as a combination of Landry Fields and Kyle Korver navigate these turbulent times. The new-look front office has stated they’re perfectly fine standing pat and holding onto pieces. Still, nobody knows much at all about the power structure within the front office, making them unpredictable.
Tony Ressler has seemingly placed his son, Nick, into a prominent decision-making role. Fields has hardly any experience on the job, and Korver has never assumed a position in any front office. I’d understand if Hawks fans had no faith in the club pulling itself out of these downtimes.
On the court, Atlanta remains one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. They blow out the Suns, then surrender double-digit leads to non-playoff-contenders. The Hawks’ play is so consistently erratic that it balances out statistically, making them league-average in nearly every metric.
The Hawks are 26-26.
The Hawks are 17-17 against the East.
The Hawks are 9-9 against the West.
The Hawks are 8th of 15 East teams.
The Hawks have scored 6,057 points.
The Hawks have allowed 6,057 points. https://t.co/Ar2k5bEaSv
— Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) February 2, 2023
That’s almost unbelievable, but that’s the Atlanta Hawks. The team hasn’t been healthy for many games, which undoubtedly affects their play. It was always expected that Dejounte Murray and Trae Young would have growing pains as the pair built chemistry, but it’s not them.
The duo has hardly missed any time. Out of 52 games, Murray leads the team with 47 starts, and Young is right behind him with 46. On top of being available, both players statistically are having good years. Murray is amid a career-best, and Young is experiencing a resurgence after struggling to begin the season.
Murray’s assists are down from his final season with the Spurs, but he’s averaging a career-high 21.2 points on the most efficient shooting splits of his career — 46.4% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc. He’s shooting the three more than ever and is thriving. After a putrid beginning to the year, Ice Trae is averaging over 27 points and 10 assists per game — 60.7 TS% and 38.1 3P%.
It’s not the All-Star backcourt. It’s their supporting cast.
Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic have all missed significant time. And when your roster lacks the depth that Atlanta’s does, any injuries can be devastating, especially for a team trying to figure each other out.
Still, the team has looked great at times when fully healthy, which is why I think they should be buyers at the deadline. Nothing major is needed, just a depth piece that can actually contribute. Whether it’s as a defender or shooter, the front office needs to show the players they believe in them and that the club isn’t giving up.
There’s no telling what the team will do as the trade deadline approaches, but there are potentially franchise-altering moves that could be made. I hope the Resslers, Fields, and Korver all do their parts because it feels like the Atlanta Hawks are on the cusp of implosion.
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire