We are just over two weeks away from the NBA trade deadline, and the Hawks are one of many teams linked to several rumors. Atlanta’s general manager Travis Schlenk has made it clear the lead-up to the deadline will affect his decision, and the Hawks have responded. The team is winners of four straight, and it seems trading Cam Reddish has had an addition by subtraction effect on the Hawks’ play.
The Hawks are playing better team defense and giving more effort on that end of the floor in general, but it is no coincidence that once De’Andre Hunter returned to the lineup, they are on a winning streak. As the team progresses towards the trade deadline, Schlenk will have a lot to think about. Should he make a franchise-altering move to bring in a Ben Simmons-Esque player? Or should he stand pat and let the young pieces on this team continue to develop?
On Monday, Shams Charania of The Athletic (subscription required) reported that the 76ers asked the Hawks to include John Collins, multiple first-round picks, and to absorb Tobias Harris‘s contract in any trade scenario for Ben Simmons.
“For Simmons, the 76ers have asked the Kings for guard Tyrese Haliburton and multiple first-round picks, and asked for a package around John Collins and multiple first-round picks from the Hawks along with Atlanta taking on Tobias Harris, multiple sources tell The Athletic.”
It seems, at least to this point, that Schlenk seems fine to stand by as the Sixers request these absurd hauls for Simmons. That trade wouldn’t make much sense for the Hawks, but I could see a situation unfolding where Schlenk values Simmons’ ability to take pressure off Trae Young‘s ball-handling duties as well as his defensive prowess.
Harris’ contract is gross and would make some Hawks fans’ toes curl; however, he is coming off a near All-Star season, where he shot 51.2% from the floor and nearly 40% from deep while averaging 19.5 points. Those shooting numbers are down considerably this season, though — 46.1% from the field, 31.3% from three-point range. It’s not the worst contract in the NBA, but it’s one the Hawks would like to avoid, especially since the fit between him, Simmons, and Capela would be wonky to say the least.
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