Atlanta Hawks three most likely trade candidates

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The Atlanta Hawks offseason got a lot more intriguing yesterday when they won the NBA Draft Lottery for the first time ever. They now own the #1 pick, which gives them a lot more options to put together a team capable of competing in the Eastern Conference. However, no player in this draft class is going to make that happen overnight by themself. There are still a number of major moves that must be made in order to get the Hawks back into contention, including a couple of potential blockbuster trades.

3. De’Andre Hunter

De’Andre Hunter catches a lot of heat because he hasn’t quite lived up to the billing of a fourth overall pick, but he’s far from a bust and has been the Hawks best player on the wing for a few years now. The Hawks should be looking to add long wings capable of contributing on the defensive end, not trading them away. However, Hunter is entering the second year of a four-year, $95 million contract. If the Hawks are really trying to find a difference-maker on the wing, they may have to move off Hunter’s contract to make the money work. He’s not the most likely member of the team to be dealt, but conversations will be had.

2. Clint Capela

As of now, the projected first overall pick is Alex Sarr. If that’s the direction the Hawks go, they’ll have to trade one of Onyeka Okongwu or Clint Capela. My guess is Capela is the most likely of the two to be dealt for a few reasons. He’s only under contract for one more season. Trading him would allow the Hawks to clear over $22 million in salary, and Okongwu is much younger with room to develop. Capela gets a bad rap among Atlanta fans because he’s not much of an offensive threat. However, his defensive presence and rebounding are enough to interest some teams. The Hawks won’t get much in return, but shedding the salary alone makes it worth moving him.

1. Dejounte Murray

When talking about the Atlanta Hawks most likely trade candidates, the decision isn’t overly difficult. The Hawks front office can’t look at what’s gone on with Dejounte Murray and Trae Young over the last two seasons and think they can coincide to the level that’s needed to compete at the highest level. One of them has to go, and while the Hawks will likely start to listen to offers for Trae Young, I don’t see anybody giving them the king’s ransom they’ll be looking for. If that doesn’t happen, Murray will almost certainly be dealt to the highest bidder, as the Hawks try and build around Trae Young one last time before his contract comes to an end.

Photographer: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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