Significant changes are coming to Atlanta this offseason, after the Hawks were disappointingly throttled by Miami in the first round of the playoffs. Expectations were sky-high for the Hawks coming into this year, after the 2020-2021 season ended in the Eastern Conference Finals. Travis Schlenk and Tony Ressler have been quite outspoken on their dissatisfaction with the team, promising changes are coming.
If you need more confirmation, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report is also reporting the team is willing to make wholesale changes and that rival executives consider all players outside of Trae Young available for trade.
The Hawks are expected to be one of the more active teams this summer.
Following a disappointing season on the back of a 2021 Eastern Conference finals appearance, Atlanta governor Tony Ressler and president Travis Schlenk have already made public comments about needing to upgrade the Hawks’ roster.
Behind the scenes, league insiders consistently mention Atlanta as a team willing to make wholesale changes. Rival executives view all Hawks players aside from Trae Young as eligible for trade.
Would a package surrounding Clint Capela help facilitate a sign-and-trade to bring DeAndre Ayton to Atlanta? Ayton has been a popular rumored target for Schlenk’s front office, but multiple league sources with knowledge of the Hawks’ thinking have also pointed to various wing scorers as Atlanta’s prioritized endgame.
The Hawks hold all their first-round picks plus a 2023 first-rounder from Charlotte, in addition to a series of contracts that can be stacked to match a maximum salary: Capela, John Collins, Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter and Kevin Huerter.
League sources told B/R Atlanta already explored Collins, Huerter and Gallinari trade conversations prior to February’s deadline.
At this juncture, Bradley Beal and Donovan Mitchell are both expected to remain committed to Washington and Utah, respectively, this summer. But if any trade request did arrive, the Hawks could create as strong an offer as any suitor.
Atlanta has also been mentioned by multiple league sources as a potential destination for Zach LaVine.
I don’t believe Travis Schlenk will mortgage the team’s future, and his own, on a max-contract player like Rudy Gobert or Deandre Ayton. That is the quickest route to Schlenk getting canned, the team getting rebuilt, and the only superstar — Trae Young — forcing his way out of Atlanta. Instead, I believe Schlenk’s goal will be to land a star wing who can score with and without Young on the court. The Hawks desperately need defensive upgrades, but those are much easier to find at cheaper price points than a 25-point-per-game scorer like Zach LaVine.