The Hawks are going to be active this offseason. It might not be the wholesale changes some fans are clamoring for, but it very well could be another blockbuster-esque move.
Atlanta possesses enough draft capital and young talent to swing a big-time trade, and if Quin Snyder can convince ownership that the tax threshold is worth crossing, the Hawks suddenly become a destination for another star.
There aren’t many readily available; after all, superstars don’t just grow on trees. But there could be a scenario that presents itself where Jaylen Brown sees his time in Boston with the Celtics has run its course.
It is extremely unlikely but nonetheless worth exploring, which is why Bleacher Report included the hypothetical in its article of one ambitious trade for each basketball club.
If we operate under the assumption that the Atlanta Hawks are married to the Trae Young–Dejounte Murray duo, they can then justify chasing substantial upgrades at every other position. Settling on the wing spot is an easy decision.
Jaylen Brown impacts the game at both ends unlike any other player on the roster. He provides sturdy wing defense, three-point volume and efficiency and an additional layer of shot creation.
His future in Boston becomes a non-issue if he puts pen to paper on the supermax extension for which he’s eligible. It will be open season if he rejects it. The Celtics cannot risk him getting to unrestricted free agency in 2024 should he turn down nearly $300 million.
The Hawks backed up the asset truck to land Murray last summer but are not without other chips to play. They have the No. 15 pick in this year’s draft and a lottery-protected Sacramento first in 2024, and they can still trade their own 2029 selection.
Other squads can cobble together spicier draft equity. But the Celtics won’t be going full-tilt rebuild if they move Brown. They’ll need actual contributors on top of first-rounders to keep optimizing the Jayson Tatum window. Atlanta can—and should—unload all the draft capital possible while dangling any combination of A.J. Griffin, De’Andre Hunter, Onyeka Okongwu, Jalen Johnson, John Collins and even Murray.
This is all really a moot point if Jaylen Brown signs his $300 million supermax contract, which he became eligible for when he earned All-NBA honors. The Celtics hold all of the power.
Even with a few accounting tricks and contract shedding, the Hawks are in no position to even come close to the $300 million Brown would be leaving on the table. Sure, Atlanta could go into the luxury tax for a player of his caliber, but the Georgia native’s intentions would be clear if he chose not to sign the supermax deal with the C’s.
It would open the door for a team like the Hawks to throw their hat in the mix, but fans shouldn’t get their hopes up. The Celtics are a blueblood, title contenders, and can give Jaylen Brown the most amount of money. It’s a pipedream.
Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire
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