We are approaching the time of year where NBA teams are beginning to realize where they are in terms of contending for a championship. The Hawks, obviously, were never even in the discussion, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be among the most active teams prior to the trade deadline.
Travis Schlenk has not been afraid to show his hand; he wants to deal as many veteran assets as he can in return for future assets. It will be even more evident in the coming weeks. Here is every Hawks player Schlenk could attempt to move before February 7th’s trade deadline.
This is the most probable of all the trade candidates. Reports have been floating around for over a month regarding teams interested in Lin’s services, and it is no surprise the Hawks are making him open for negotiations. Lin is averaging 10.8 points and 3.6 assists in only 19.5 minutes per game as a backup in Atlanta. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was brought in to mentor Trae Young, he could be in the middle of a career year, quite a 180 for a player who has played in 37 games in the previous two seasons combined due to injuries.
With so many teams vying for his services, someone will offer up a first-round pick if that is not already on the table. It would be astonishing – although not in a negative way – if Lin were still on the roster after the trade deadline.
Not shockingly, Kent Bazemore is another player the Hawks are willing to deal. Bazemore has been out for over two weeks with an ankle injury, but that should not deter too many contending teams from making an offer on him. His athleticism, willingness on the defensive end, and three-point shooting make him a perfect supporting piece to a team eyeing a championship.
However, what might prevent them from doing so is his contract. Bazemore is owed $18 million+ this season and over $19 million next season.
The Hawks and the city of Atlanta love Bazemore, and he seems to reciprocate that energy back genuinely. However, this is a business, and Schlenk will not waste any time unloading the remainder of Bazemore’s contract if he can. There’s also the option that the Hawks eat some money in return in exchange for more draft capital.
Dedmon is on an expiring contract and putting together an excellent year for the Hawks. In just 24.6 minutes per game, he’s averaging 9.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, and a block. Since coming to Atlanta, he’s expanded his game to stretch the floor, shooting 35.5% from three-point range on more than 2.5 attempts per game.
When playoff time comes around, guys like Dedmon become extremely valuable. He’s a massive presence in the paint that rebounds the ball well and is committed to playing defense. His added three-point shot is the icing on the cake. Given that he is only making $7.2 million this season, the Hawks should be able to find him a new home.
Len is another tower that could draw trade interest from contending teams. He’s in the first year of a manageable two-year pact with Atlanta worth a little over $8 million in total. Like Dedmon, Len is expanding his game to include a three-point shot but hasn’t had quite the same success Dedmon has. He’s also not the force on the glass that Dedmon is. It’s likely the Hawks opt to hang on to Len and see if he can continue to improve before deciding his future.
Without a doubt, Prince is the least likely to be traded on this list, but that doesn’t mean it could not happen. The 2016 first-round pick is under contract through 2020 and will be a restricted free agent after that. It’s worth noting that he was not selected by Travis Schlenk, and Schlenk has had no hesitation in dealing quality young talent that does not fit in the timeframe of the Hawks’ rebuild.
Prince is averaging career-highs in both points and field-goal percentage. He is now returning from a pretty severe ankle injury, but like Bazemore, that should not alter his market much if at all. For contending teams that are looking beyond just this year, Prince is a prototypical 3-and-D player that every winning team needs and will be owed less than $3.5 million next year. The Hawks could probably reel in a decent haul for Prince if they so choose.
Honestly – besides John Collins, Trae Young, Omari Spellman and Kevin Huerter- the rest of the team could be traded. I’m just not sure what kind of value, if any, the Hawks could receive in return.