Moving on from part one of our Hawks’ season preview, let’s pick up right where we left as we look at who could be on the move this year at the deadline.
If we do flip Gallo this year, realistically, who should the Hawks target?
Gallo’s value in a trade will be coming primarily from his contract. This is not to say he’s not a good player, as he absolutely is set to be a big part of the rotation this season. However, his $20 million due this year would be the most obvious choice to help match another player’s salary in a trade. Combine that with the fact that he’s guaranteed just $5 million next year, meaning he’s on an essentially expiring contract, and it makes everything in a trade work that much easier.
It’s impossible to know who will or won’t be available by the trade deadline. Still, if the Hawks do move Gallo, it would have to either be part of a bigger deal to land a star or because Jalen Johnson impresses the front office and Nate McMillan enough that they feel comfortable trading Gallo for future assets such as picks or even another prospect. The second situation is extremely, and I mean extremely unlikely, but I guess it’s technically possible.
The Hawks don’t have many obvious holes on the roster, so it is tough to come up with specific names of who they should target with Gallinari. I’ll take the easy way out on this one and just say that the Hawks should absolutely not trade Gallinari for any future-facing assets, as they clearly have a chance to win big this year. However, if a star comes available, expect Gallinari to be the first name the Hawks mention regarding who they can offer.
Do you see any majors changes to the starting lineup?
It depends on which starting lineup you’re talking about. The Hawks used more than I can count last season due to both injuries and the coaching change. I’d predict the lineup to be the same as last year when everyone was/is healthy. Meaning a lineup of Young-Bogdanovic-Hunter-Collins-Capela should be on the floor to start most games this season. The only real shakeups I could see would be Huerter or Reddish pushing out one of the wings if there’s a combination of regression from a starter and improved play from one of those two. Still, ultimately I would imagine that five being the starting unit all year when the team is at full strength.
What’s the possibility of Trae Young getting 1st team All-NBA this upcoming season, and we’re a top 3 seed in the east?
I would not just say that it’s likely, but I’d outright predict Atlanta to be in the top three at the end of the season. I’d safely bet that Milwaukee and Brooklyn take up the top two spots. However, looking beyond those two, I see no reason why Atlanta should not finish with a better record than Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, New York, and any of the other Eastern Conference teams. While a few of them have made some nice moves, I still feel that Atlanta’s combination of depth and high-end talent will help them outlast most of the East during the slog that is an NBA season.
With that being said, I still think Trae’s got an uphill battle to making the first-team All-NBA. As evidenced by the voting this past year, Young does not exactly have many fans among those who have a vote. His stellar postseason performance certainly had to have flipped the opinions of many voters, but going from not on the list to first-team All-NBA would be shocking even with improved play. He certainly has the ability to do it, however, especially if the Hawks do indeed secure a top seed in the conference. But looking at last year’s guards on the list, he’d have to unseat the likes of Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic, which seems unlikely even if he does have a better season than them both. He’ll almost certainly make one of the three teams, but first-team may be a stretch at this point.
For now, that’s it for the mailbag; make sure you follow me on Twitter @CSalvador24 and our main page @sportstalkatl to catch the next time we have one of these. If you disagree with anything I said or have additional questions about the Hawks, let me know on Twitter or in the comments below. Thanks for reading!