The Hawks remained silent at the trade deadline, making two minor moves and failing to trade either of their productive veterans on expiring contracts (Jeremy Lin, Dewayne Dedmon). Dedmon doesn’t appear to have an interest in seeking a buyout and will stay with the Hawks for the rest of the season. Lin, on the other hand, was bought out by the team yesterday and will be joining the Toronto Raptors.
Atlanta acquired Lin in a deal with Brooklyn to add point guard depth behind their rookie star, Trae Young. Lin became a perfect fit as a member of the Hawks second-unit, averaging 19.6 points and 6.5 assists per 36 minutes – taking pressure off Young, so he didn’t have to play more than 30 minutes a night.
It’s a bit disappointing the Hawks were unable to find anything in return for Lin prior to the trade deadline. But Schlenk remained adamant in a press conference that is was not due to a lack of trying. There just weren’t any offers that pushed the needle in his mind – most likely meaning there were no first-round picks involved.
Now that Lin has officially been bought out, the next puzzle to figure out is who will be receiving the backup point guard minutes. As the roster stands today, the only true point guard is Jaylen Adams, who is not a realistic option to assume the bulk of those minutes. He’s only played in ten games all season, registering 1.3 points and 0.6 assists in 4.5 minutes per game.
The most logical fit is allowing Kent Bazemore to take over the backup role. Typically a wing player, Baze has transitioned into the sixth-man this year with Atlanta. He’s finally gotten his feet under him since coming back from an ankle injury and has experience in a ball-handling role. It’s an intriguing opportunity that will allow him more playing time, and give the Hawks a chance to show off just how versatile of a player Bazemore is – who they could be pushing to trade again this summer.