The Hawks have a promising young core, but the win column suggests that changes might have to happen to take the next step towards being contenders. Trae Young is untouchable. John Collins should be as well unless they are not prepared to pay him what he is worth, which I believe would be a foolish mistake. Everyone else, however, should be on the table. And considering how their star point guard is becoming restless, a blockbuster move could be on the horizon. But gamechanging players don’t come cheap on the trade block, so several potential cornerstones will have to be moved in order to win now. Here are the Hawks most likely trade candidates.
Huerter has shown enough promise to be a starting-caliber shooting guard, but unfortunately, he lacked the kind of progress many were hoping to see in his second season. Huerter’s an elite shooter, but he may never become the playmaker the Hawks would like next to Trae Young. Although Atlanta might not have a choice but to give him another chance in year three, because his value is severely crippled after injuries prevented development in his sophomore campaign.
Hunter was not the elite plug-and-play defender many thought he would be coming out of college, but overall he was pretty solid during his rookie season. However, this has more to do with who the Hawks also selected in last year’s lottery — Cam Reddish — who looks to have much more upside. If it comes down to one or the other in a potential blockbuster deal, Reddish is the piece the Hawks would want to keep.
Hawks’ 2020 1st round pick
This boils down to how the Hawks fair in the lottery (where they have had miserable luck over the years). If they end up with a pick outside of the top 2 or 3 choices, they should seriously consider trading it, especially if they would like to compete sooner rather than later. The 2020 draft class is perceived to be extremely weak, and many of the top prospects happen to be point guards. The Hawks were already one of the select teams that were projected to have cap space, but now that COVID-19 has drastically affected the league’s revenue, other franchises will be even further under the cap. Atlanta should try to leverage this into picking up a legitimate piece if they do not end up with a top pick.