The Dejounte Murray trade was only the first domino to fall for Atlanta. I believe they’ll make a run at Kevin Durant. Whether they have the pieces to hammer out a deal remains to be seen. However, two guys appear to have one foot out the door no matter what happens — John Collins and Kevin Huerter.
The Celtics have a $17.1 million traded player exception.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) June 30, 2022
Collins’ situation has been well documented. The Hawks have been engaged in trade talks surrounding him with several teams, and he is reportedly done with Atlanta. Sooner rather than later, I expect him to be moved.
Huerter, on the other hand, hasn’t been talked about as much, but after signing a $70 million extension last offseason, the Hawks could be trying to rid of his contract as well. Huerter is coming off his most efficient season, shooting 45.4% from the field and 38.9% from behind the arc. Anybody looking for shooting should be interested, and one of the teams linked to him so far is the Boston Celtics.
Boston has been exploring Huerter deals for some time now, as he is an obvious fit for what it needs in a shooting guard who can attack and create for others with size. The Celtics really only have one high-movement shooter in the rotation in Jaylen Brown, so adding someone else who can thrive in a lot of the plays they run for Brown would help offensive consistency. He also is a capable pick-and-roll playmaker. The Hawks have been valuing Huerter more than just a first-round pick it appears, so it’s hard to see a deal for Boston that wouldn’t involve a core rotation player. But with the reported Dejounte Murray deal seemingly prompting even further dealing for Atlanta, Boston may be able to work a deal out.
With four years left on a more than reasonable contract, I’m a fan of holding onto Huerter unless the right deal comes along. He’s still just 23-years-old, and this team could desperately use his shooting following the Dejounte Murray trade. However, if the opportunity arises where they can add other star caliber player, moving Huerter and his contract may become a necessity.
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