Ex-Celtics first round pick confirms Hawks interest prior to joining Mavericks

NBA: NOV 21 Celtics at Bulls

The Hawks have had a relatively quiet offseason. The two biggest moves were trading John Collins and extending Dejounte Murray.

After years of trade rumors, the Hawks finally moved JC in a salary dump that netted a second-round pick and Rudy Gay, who is no longer with the team. It was a pure cost-cutting move and can only be seen as a failure. His trade value was exponentially higher a couple of years ago, and the Hawks never pulled the trigger. It does clear a ton of salary off the books, but that’s only a silver lining.

DJM’s contract extension, on the other hand, can only be seen as a resounding success. It’s a veteran maximum extension that could be worth as much as $120 million over four years.

Considering Fred VanVleet signed with the Rockets for $130 million over three years in free agency, Murray’s deal is a bargain. The pair are comparable players, but Murray is superior and much cheaper. He would’ve undoubtedly drawn more on the open market but decided to stay in Atlanta.

However, the offseason could’ve gone very differently had the Hawks worked out a sign-and-trade with the Celtics for Grant Williams, who confirmed the club’s interest.

“I got a good consistency on a couple of teams when I first started to look in the market,” Williams told J.J. Redick on ‘The Old Man & The Three’ podcast. “There were a bunch of options. But the ones who were probably most concrete were the Dallas of the world and maybe the Chicago, Atlanta, maybe New York.”

Grant Williams is now a member of the Dallas Mavericks after averaging 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting 45.4% overall and 39.5% from beyond the arc last season. He signed a four-year, $53.3 million contract as a restricted free agent. He is a hustle player that could’ve helped the Hawks defensively and provided steady shooting from three-point range.

The club wasn’t very interested in Grant Williams, or they would’ve pursued him more seriously. He’s a steady player with plenty of experience in the postseason, but Atlanta would’ve had a log jam at power forward with Saddiq Bey and Jalen Johnson in the fold.

I’m not the biggest fan of Grant Williams, so it doesn’t keep me up at night that the Hawks couldn’t work out a deal to acquire him from the Celtics.

Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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