With Anthony Davis announcing that he will opt-out of his contract and re-sign a long-term deal with the Lakers (which we all should have known was going to happen), the free-agent market is even drier than it already was this offseason. That’s unfortunate for the Hawks, who are set to have a boatload of cap space with not much to spend it on. However, if Travis Schlenk is keen on landing a third star to pair with Trae Young and John Collins, there should be a few available on the trade market.
Of all the trades in this piece, this is the one I feel is the most realistic. The Wizards are nowhere near competing. However, they do have some decent young pieces and should be looking to acquire more of them for their future. The best way for them to do that is by trading their All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal, who is coming off a career year, averaging over 30 points per game last season. Jake profiled Beal’s potential fit back in February.
Now, Beal only has one year left on his contract, and the Wizards are going to want quite a lot in return for his services. However, this is the perfect opportunity to pair John Collins and Trae Young with another legitimate superstar and see what they can do. If they have a good amount of success, the Hawks should have a chance to re-sign Beal after next season, setting them up with an ultra-talented big-three for years to come.
While I think Beal and Young would form the most electric and best offensive backcourt in the NBA — in my opinion — finding a way to pry Ben Simmons away from the 76ers would result in a lot more wins. Yes, Simmons and Young are both considered point guards; however, their skill sets fit together perfectly. They are two of the best young passers in the game, and Simmons’ ability to guard all five positions would do wonders for Trae Young and the Hawks defensively. Plus, Young is the type of shooter that has thrived when playing off-ball. With Simmons in the backcourt, he would be free to do that way more often.
The problem here is, do the 76ers really want to part ways with Ben Simmons? We’ve heard a lot from the outside that they should trade either Simmons or Embiid, but there have been no signs from inside the organization that they are actively trying to move one of the two. If it were up to me, I’d give it at least one more run with these two, given Simmons missed the playoffs, and the Eastern Conference is wide open. However, if Philadelphia feels enough pressure and decides to make a move, the Hawks should be the first ones calling.
The other difficult part of this deal is finding a package that would meet the 76ers asking price. They probably wouldn’t be too interested in John Collins since they have Embiid, and Trae Young is off the table. As far as I’m concerned, the Hawks could move everyone else in return for Simmons, but I’m still not sure that would be enough.
Potential Trade: Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, Dewayne Dedmon, 2020 first-round pick, 2022 first-round pick, 2024 first-round pick for Ben Simmons
Hield signed a reasonable 4-year, $106 million extension with the Sacramento Kings, but he might not even complete the first year of it. His relationship with Luke Walton is on the rocks, and there’s a good chance the Kings decide to move him this offseason and continue re-tooling their roster. If that’s the case, the Hawks make sense, as long as the asking price isn’t too egregious.
Hield’s one of the best three-point shooters in the game, averaging 17.8 points and shooting over 41% from behind the arc over the last three seasons combined. Pairing him with Young would give the Hawks a deadly offensive backcourt… but defensively, it would be a mess. Atlanta is desperate for some three-point shooting, but I’m not sure if this is the direction they want to go.
Potential Trade: Kevin Huerter, 2020 first-round pick for Buddy Hield
Oladipo became a star in Indiana for the Pacers after being traded from the Thunder in return for Paul George. He made back to back All-Star teams in 2018 and 2019; however, a knee injury in 2019 cost him the remainder of the season, and he only appeared in 19 games in 2020. Now, as he enters the final year of his current contract, the two sides appear to be parting ways.
Many people believe Oladipo will find a new home before the start of next season, and the Pacers, who look like they could be headed towards a full-blown rebuild, will want to get whatever they can for the two-time All-Star. The earlier they trade him, the better, and the Hawks make a bit of sense. Oladipo could be that second ball-handler that Atlanta needs, and he would also severely upgrade their defense in the backcourt. However, after such a debilitating knee injury, it’s hard to guess what his value might be on the trade market. For some teams, that injury may prevent them from pursuing him at all, regardless of the asking price.
Potential Trade: Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, 2021 first-round pick for Victor Oladipo