Personally, I’m in favor of keeping this Hawks core together and building around what Atlanta accomplished in 2021. I talked about which of these guys I think are untouchable in trade talks here. However, there is the possibility that Travis Schlenk decides to get bold and parlay some of his very valuable assets into a superstar. A lot of names have been floated, but like the free agent market, the trade market isn’t looking great. I could see the Hawks making a big move if they can get a guy for a really good price, or if they decide to perform a sign-and-trade with John Collins. Even though I want to keep the band together, I figured I’d take a look at some of the stars the Hawks could be interested in.
Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors
Most people know that I don’t have the most enthusiastic reaction when Andrew Wiggins is mentioned in trade talks with the Hawks. For me, Wiggins is the definition of empty calories. He can provide a lot of scoring, but he is on a very expensive contract and doesn’t do much else outside of scoring. He did bump up his rebounding and assist numbers, but his defense still leaves much to be desired. Wiggins is coming off his best defensive season of his career, but I wouldn’t be interested in Wiggins unless the Warriors were trying to acquire Danilo Gallinari or executing a sign-and-trade for John Collins. Trading De’Andre Hunter or Cam Reddish for him is out of the question.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
This is another sign-and-trade scenario, with Collins and more going back to Toronto. I don’t know how I feel about that, but Siakam is a terrific player and would be a great fit for the Hawks. On top of being a fantastic defender, Siakam can get tons of buckets, rebounds, and passes. He isn’t the efficient shooter from three that Collins is, but he would be a massive upgrade defensively. Considering this trade wouldn’t be a one-for-one, I don’t think it would be the best move for the Hawks when you still have Clint Capela.
Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings
I use the term star pretty loosely here. Buddy Hield is on a bad contract, and the return likely wouldn’t be too terrible for the Hawks. However, the Kings would likely have to take Gallo in return for a guy who is coming off his worst season since 2017. While Hield is being shopped, and I’m sure Trae would love to have another Sooner, it doesn’t make much sense for the Hawks to add a guy who pretty much gives you what Kevin Huerter offers at 10 times the cost.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
I’ve been on the Bradley Beal train for a long time and prying him away from the Wizards would not be easy. I don’t think Beal would want to be moved, considering he’s eligible for the Supermax next offseason, and the price to get him wouldn’t be cheap, either. The Hawks would likely have to give up two of Hunter, Reddish, Okongwu, Bogdanović — and maybe even more. That’s a big risk for a guy who can become a free agent after the next offseason. Personally, I would be elated to add a guy who can give you 50 on any given night, but it’s a longshot.
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
Another guy who would cost the Hawks a ton in assets, the Atlanta native would be a fantastic addition. However, when you look at guys like Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter, you see two players who could blossom to Brown’s level of play, or even surpass him. This is only a move I could see in a sign-and-trade involving John Collins, but the Hawks would have to overpay for Brown. Still, if you can add a guy who averaged 25 points per game shooting 40% from three that plays elite defense while maintaining your young core, you have to be tempted.
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets
I don’t think the Nuggets would be too inclined to move Porter Jr., but wow, what a get he could be for the Hawks. I think he would fit Nate McMillan‘s system perfectly, and there are very few guys who can do what he does offensively. Once again, this would likely be a move you make if John Collins doesn’t return to Atlanta. Porter is a rare breed; he’s almost 7 feet tall but extremely athletic. He canned almost 45% of his threes last season, and he’s still only 23. I don’t think the Nuggets are wanting to deal him, but stranger things have happened in the NBA.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Yeah, this is one guy you can throw the kitchen sink at. One of the most clutch players in NBA history, Lillard is the complete point guard. Pairing him with Trae Young would potentially create the most talented backcourt in the NBA, rivaling the Brooklyn Nets. You may run into issues with two ball dominant players, but I don’t see any issues with two guys who want to win very badly. Lillard is a guy who is prone to go off for 50 at any time, and he will can nail a clutch shot from anywhere on the floor. This trade would be absolutely insane, but bringing Dame Time to Atlanta could make the Hawks favorites in the East.