Defensive trade and free agent targets for Hawks

74919120505 PHI at WAS

The Hawks had no issues scoring this past season. In fact, the Jazz were the only team to put up more points per 100 possessions; however, they were pedestrian on the other end, finishing 26th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Travis Schlenk needs to balance the roster and add better perimeter defenders. Here are some free agent and trade targets that could improve the Hawks chances of returning to the Eastern Conference Finals:

Free Agents Targets

Gary Harris

After going through multiple seasons with a cold streak shooting, Harris found it during the 2021-22 campaign with the Magic. He knocked down 38.4% of his attempts this past season, which is his best 3-point percentage since he connected on 39.6% during the 2017-18 season. Moreover, Harris shot 40.3% from deep after the New Year. His defense is also extremely valuable, able to defend both guard positions, which pairs well with Trae Young.

Derrick Jones Jr.

Jones is the quintessential 3-and-D free agent the Hawks are going to be looking for this summer. He fits the bill for a Hawks team that lacked physicality and mental toughness down the stretch. Despite averaging only 6.5 points per game over 280 contests, Jones is a tenacious defender thanks to his natural athleticism.

Cody Martin, Caleb Martin

The identical twins could both improve the Hawks roster. They share similar qualities as players. Cody shot 38.4% from deep, while Caleb shot 41.3% from beyond the arc. And both provide energy on the defensive end, though I’d contest that Caleb is better in both areas.

Bruce Brown

Brown can guard multiple positions even if he is undersized. To make signing him more attractive, he knocked down 40% of his three-point attempts for Brooklyn last season. More importantly, though, he’s a menace on the defensive end of the court.

Trade Targets

Alex Caruso

This is a long shot, but Caruso would pair so perfectly with Trae Young. He’s a high-quality, energetic backcourt defender that can score in bunches when called upon. Caruso could come off the bench or start next to Young. The former Laker is a career 36.6% shooter from deep, but he’s more than just a post-up, in-the-corner scorer. He can actually put the ball on the floor, which is precisely what the Hawks need. With all that said, I doubt Travis Schlenk will be able to pry him away from Chicago.

Gary Trent Jr.

Trent is a much more realistic trade target, in my opinion. He is a great perimeter defender and efficient shooter, so he won’t be cheap if the Hawks do decide to target him.

Matisse Thybulle

As the Sixers gauge interest on a bevy of players, Thybulle is a name that came up. After being deemed untouchable last season, Daryl Morey is clearly losing interest in Thybulle developing offensively. However, his defense is undeniable. Thybulle is a two-time All-Defensive selection. If he can develop his shot, he’ll be extremely valuable.

Ben Simmons

Can you find one that doesn’t look like the others? Simmons is on a max contract and will require hefty trade compensation. However, his defensive prowess could turn around the Hawks in the blink of an eye. He can guard 1-5 and is a top-five on-ball defender. Moreover, Simmons offers more than anyone else on this list on the offensive end in terms of scoring production. Sure, he doesn’t have the jump shot that most of the others have, but he’s got elite facilitating abilities and can alleviate pressure off Trae Young as a ball handler.

Photographer: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire
Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: