Portland has already signaled to the rest of the league they’re open for shop after trading Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers for basically nothing in return. Fischer believes this move has set a precedent for any deals involving McCollum, whom he notes that league personnel has deemed to be less valuable than Powell.
The Hawks need a secondary ball handler that can create his own shot consistently with and without Trae Young on the floor. Obviously, they need more help on the defensive end, but the framework for a potential McCollum deal that Fischer suggests would be too good to pass up.
“It may be even easier for Atlanta to meet Portland’s strict financial requirements. A deal structure of Danilo Gallinari‘s $20.5 million contract—with only $5 million guaranteed for 2022-23—and Delon Wright‘s expiring deal is enough to match McCollum’s salary. The Hawks also hold an extra first-round pick from the Cam Reddish trade. Perhaps Atlanta would be willing to include rookie forward Jalen Johnson as well,” Fischer states.
I wouldn’t hesitate to give up Gallo, Wright, Johnson, and even a first-round pick for McCollum. Onyeka Okongwu could assume pretty much all of Gallo’s minutes, and Johnson was likely always going to be a trade piece for Atlanta. Wright’s defense has been a bright spot of the second unit, but the offensive upside of McCollum might be worth shaking things up a bit.