As the trade deadline concluded, the Hawks made two moves that resulted in no picks, two players who were later waived, and some cash.
The only results were the loss of Tyler Dorsey to the Grizzlies and the waiving of Daniel Hamilton in the process. Dorsey spent the last two seasons on the Hawks after being selected in the second-round but has yet to find the touch at the NBA level and had fallen out of the rotation. In Memphis, it gives him an opportunity where he can earn some more playing time. His contract was also set to end at season’s end. Hamilton was in a similar position with his contract expiring at the end of the year. He had played in 19 games for the Hawks.
But the real talk is about what the Hawks didn’t do. They had four names that had been tossed around in trade rumors for the last month. Taurean Prince seemed the most unlikely given that he is still a developing player on a rookie contract. A deal for Kent Bazemore wouldn’t be the easiest to complete because of the remaining money on his deal. But Jeremy Lin and Dewayne Dedmon – two expiring contracts that have performed splendidly for Atlanta this season – they looked to have one foot out the door.
Talking to the press before Thursday’s game against the Raptors, Schlenk reminded us that the priorities did not change going into this year’s trade deadline, “We were going to look to accumulate assets if we could, we were going to look to maintain our financial flexibility in the future,” Shlenk said. “We listened to a whole bunch of different offers, but at the end, we just never really found anything that met those two major objectives to us.”
Apparently, the deals across the board were underwhelming, as I don’t suspect Schlenk to be a general manager that would reject something that could result in significant assets for the team. But the team’s ongoing growth and chemistry was a notable deterrent in the Hawks dealing a veteran as well.
“When you couple the fact that we are very pleased with the direction of the team. Over the last 24 games, the way that we are playing, the way that our group is coming together, the vibe that we have in the locker room. That’s special,” Shlenk said.
The Hawks had gone 12-12 in their last 24 games before losing to the Raptors at home last night, quite a turnaround from the way they started the year 6-23.
Regardless of how much better the Hawks have been playing of late, it makes the most sense to take the best offer on the table for expiring contracts, especially ones that are making you better and hurting your potential draft position. Remember, the Hawks are tanking after all. That remained Schlenk’s goal, but with nothing coming through that obviously benefitted the team moving forward, letting this group stay together and develop while turning the focus towards the offseason was the final decision. And since we will likely never know any of the deals that were on the table, it’s a decision Hawks fans are going to have to accept as the right one as they continue through this rebuild.