The Atlanta Hawks are off to an impressive start this season, sitting with an 8-4 record behind the best start of Dejounte Murray’s career. The club made sweeping personnel changes this offseason and seem to be reaping the rewards. Nate McMillan‘s squad has obvious holes. The roster needs more shooters and a deeper bench, which should both be addressed when Bogdan Bogdanovic returns from injury.
Still, this team isn’t fooling anyone as currently constructed; they aren’t a championship contender, even if they’re a near lock to make the playoffs. Trading for another superstar will push them over the edge and into title contention, which has caused social media to run with the idea of Anthony Davis joining Trae Young and Murray, so I decided to explore that hypothetical trade.
Hawks Get: Anthony Davis
Lakers Get: John Collins, Clint Capela, and picks
To match Davis’ remaining three-year, $120 million salary, the Hawks would have to part ways with Collins and Capela. For an already thin roster, giving up two starters is an extremely risky move. One that doesn’t make sense to me.
If Davis were in his prime and healthy, I’d pull the trigger on this trade in a heartbeat. At the time the Lakers traded for AD, he was a consensus top-five player in this league, an absolute menace on defense and one of the most versatile offensive big men in basketball. However, that’s in the rearview.
Davis has never played more than 75 games in his entire career, which isn’t that bothersome for a big man, but Davis has only played in 76 games over the last two seasons, which is a much bigger concern.
At 29 years old, Davis is averaging 23.0 points per game on 54.1% shooting from the field and 26.7% from beyond the arc to go along with 10.2 rebounds. He’s still an incredibly productive player, despite his addiction to hoisting up three-pointers. But the concern isn’t production; it’s availability.
Davis is chronically injured, and that’s just a fact at this point. For the Hawks to make this kind of franchise-altering trade, Davis would have to at least show he’s capable of playing 50-ish games a year. But to be fair, Atlanta wouldn’t even need him to get to the postseason. Murray and Young should be enough to carry this Hawks team to the playoffs; AD would just be the piece in the postseason to push the team over the top, but I don’t think he’s that guy anymore.
Davis is owed $48 million guaranteed over the next two years with a $43 million player option for the 2024-25 season. For a player that has only eclipsed 60 games once in the last four seasons, that’s a hell of a commitment, and one that would eliminate any and all flexibility for the Hawks moving forward. I’d shoot down any hypothetical involving Anthony Davis.