The Hawks and Jazz make too much sense as trade partners

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As I wrote about yesterday, expect chaos when it comes to the Hawks this season. It’s time for Travis Schlenk to cash in on some of the depth on this team and figure out a way to land Trae Young a legitimate second All-Star. I would be shocked if four of the five Hawks’ starters from last year returned, and one of the potential trade partners that makes way too much sense is the Jazz.

According to league sources, Utah has reached a boiling point. They’ve been unable to get over the hump for years now, and the relationship between their two All-Stars — Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert — is broken beyond repair. It’s apparently gotten so sour that Gobert has made it clear that he will not be playing with Mitchell next season, giving the Jazz’s front office an ultimatum.

A year ago, if you had asked the Jazz to choose between Mitchell or Gobert, I’m almost certain they would have sent Gobert packing without hesitation. Now, I’m not so sure. I still think they’d rather keep Mitchell, but questions have arisen concerning his defense and decision-making. Meanwhile, Gobert has steadily improved, putting up the best numbers of his career this past season. Regardless, one of them will be on the move this offseason, and the Hawks should have interest in both.

Mitchell would be the offensive star Atlanta desperately needs to pair with Trae Young. Young’s been asked to do way too much offensively since coming into the league, and it eventually caught up to him in the series against the Heat. If the Hawks don’t add a legitimate second scoring threat this offseason, expect a lot more teams to use Miami’s blueprint when defending Young.

However, with Mitchell, there are glaring defensive concerns, which is noteworthy because Atlanta already has problems hiding Young on that side of the floor. The scoring aspect of things would be electric, but that doesn’t always lead to wins, which is something Travis Schlenk has to consider.

On the other hand, Gobert would fit like a glove in the Hawks’ system. He essentially does everything Clint Capela does, just significantly better. As good as Capela is defensively, he doesn’t hold a candle to Gobert, who is much bigger and longer. Gobert would also benefit tremendously from playing with a point guard like Young, who would be feeding him easy baskets at the rim for 40 minutes a night.

I see the upside in both players, and I believe the Hawks will have a lot of conversations with the Jazz in the coming months. In fact, I would go as far as to say Atlanta is a favorite to land either Mitchell or Gobert this offseason, which is exciting. However, neither of them combined with Trae Young is good enough to get the Hawks to where they want to go. A roster must be built around their skillsets for Atlanta to take the next step into championship contention.

Photo: PI/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

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