Buy or Sell: Atlanta Hawks Trade Targets

Donovan Mitchell Hawks

The soap opera that is the NBA offseason has become more exciting than the actual season for a lot of teams, especially for clubs that aren’t necessarily in the conversation for championships. Stars consistently swap teams each summer, and this year is expected to be no different, with the Atlanta Hawks right in the middle of all of it.

Armed with the #1 pick and a couple of All-Star guards that haven’t worked well together, everyone expects the Hawks to shake things up in a big way this offseason. Because of that, they’ve already been linked to a lot of other stars on different teams. It’s fun to think about all of the possibilities, but the reality is oftentimes much more underwhelming than what’s being whispered this time of year.

Buy or Sell: Atlanta Hawks Trade Targets

Donovan Mitchell

Let’s begin with the biggest name that could potentially be moved this offseason. Even with Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers haven’t been able to establish themselves as legitimate contenders. Now, they are at a crossroads. Mitchell could sign a max contract to stay in Cleveland, but if he doesn’t, most everyone expects him to be traded.

The typical suspects — Heat, Lakers, Nets, etc. — will be mentioned a lot in connection to Mitchell this summer, but the Hawks could be a sleeper team. They have the necessary capital to make a very enticing trade package to offer the Cavs. Head coach Quin Snyder also coached Mitchell in Utah. If there’s anyone that knows what the star shooting guard is capable of, it’s the Hawks headman.

With that being said, this just doesn’t feel like something that happens for the Hawks. They’d have to give up a ton for Mitchell with no guarantee that he would stay past this season, and if it doesn’t work, they’ll be left with nothing. Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young would both head to free agency, and the Hawks would have none of their picks left to rebuild. It would be a fun experiment, but it’s far too risky of a proposition unless Mitchell is willing to agree to an extension immediately, which feels like a pipe dream.

Buy or Sell: Sell

Karl Anthony-Towns

Following a disappointing performance in the Western Conference Finals, the Timberwolves have some soul searching to do. On the one hand, they should look at the season as a positive. Nobody expected them to advance as far as they did, and Anthony Edwards could become the face of the league one day. On the other hand, the Western Conference is only getting better, and the ones that don’t adapt will die.

Karl Anthony-Towns is making max contract money and isn’t exactly performing up to it. Perhaps the Timberwolves look to re-tool and make him available. If so, the Hawks make some sense. He’s certainly a better fit with Trae Young than Dejounte Murray. However, is it the type of move that puts Atlanta over the top?

I don’t think so. The Hawks would have close to $100 million invested in Young and Anthony-Towns, two high volume scorers that don’t offer much defensively. That’s not a recipe for success when talking about winning championships.

Buy or Sell: Sell

Brandon Ingram

Like the Hawks, the Pelicans are trying to get off the treadmill. They are good enough to compete for a playoff spot but far away from being viewed as a legitimate contender. With Brandon Ingram entering the final year of his deal, most expect him to be dealt this summer, and the Atlanta Hawks have been connected to him more than just about any other trade target.

It makes sense because of the fit. Atlanta has to get better on the wing, and Brandon Ingram is a far better fit with Trae Young than Dejounte Murray. A straight up swap in some form could be the best case scenario for both teams. I’m not sure it puts the Hawks or the Pelicans over the top, but it’s better than the status quo.

Buy or Sell: Buy

Zach LaVine

After an injury-plagued campaign, the Bulls are expected to shop Zach LaVine this summer. LaVine was a superstar at his peak, averaging over 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists on near 50/40/90 splits a few years ago. Now, there are murmurs of the Bulls settling for a trade that’s more like a glorified salary dump.

If that’s the case, a lot of teams should be interested. LaVine may not be a #1 option, and his contract is a bit of a burden, set to make $43 million next season and $45 million after that with a $48 million player option in 2026-2027. However, he’s still a bucket getter that can average 25 points in an efficient manner. Whoever lands LaVine this offseason could end up very happy in the future.

At the very least, it’s an intriguing idea for the Hawks, but it really comes down to what the Bulls would want.

Buy or Sell: Buy

Mikal Bridges

Mikal Bridges would be a dream for the Atlanta Hawks. He’s a long wing that can affect the game offensively and defensively. He’d pair perfectly with Trae Young or Dejounte Murray, instantly making the Hawks a threat in the Eastern Conference. But I can keep this one short, because it’s a dream for a reason. I don’t see the Nets trading Bridges.

Buy or Sell: Sell

Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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