Personally, I’m in that camp that believes that the Hawks really don’t need to make any huge moves to contend. I’d rather hang on to younger players and develop them, but knowing Travis Schlenk, the Hawks could be looking to make a splash. Injuries may also force him to make a move. He’s the type of General Manager who is constantly kicking the tires, and there are a few names that come to mind Atlanta could be interested in.
On more than one occasion, I have advocated for the Hawks to go out and get Jerami Grant. I understood why that didn’t happen this offseason, as Grant inked a 3-year, $60 million deal with the Pistons. He has been worth that and some. On top of being an upper-echelon defender who can hold down multiple positions, Grant has averaged over 20 points and almost five rebounds per game in 2021. He’s also shooting close to 33% from three. The only issue with Grant is likely going to be the money. The Hawks would have to trade a contract worth something close in value along with young assets and picks. This would make a deal tricky, but Grant would immediately improve the Hawks offensively and defensively.
Domantas Sabonis & Caris LeVert
There are rumors that the Pacers are looking to blow their operation up; Sabonis, LeVert, and Myles Turner are reportedly available. Sabonis would be a weird fit for the Hawks, as he’s having a down year and kind of fills the role you want John Collins in. Sabonis was exceptional in 2020, posting 20 points per game and 12 rebounds per game while earning an All-Star appearance. His numbers have dipped slightly in 2021, but Indiana has a new coaching staff. LeVert is a pretty solid wing defender who can give you 20 points per game, as he showed in 2020. Like Sabonis, his numbers are down, and both guys’ sharply declining efficiency and three-point shooting is concerning. This is probably a trade that would cost too much and carry too much risk for the Hawks; plus, I would just feel greasy sending any of our guys back to Lloyd Pierce.
As it stands, the Timberwolves are only one game out of a playoff spot, so this isn’t a “right now” trade. It won’t be an “ever” trade if they continue to win games. However, there seems to have already been some trouble in paradise, as Towns liked a “#FreeKAT” tweet earlier this year. (Towns claims he was hacked, sure, I guess). Regardless, the Timberwolves are on the cusp of the playoffs, but that could change, especially if Towns demands a trade. Personally, if we’re talking Minnesota, I’d rather have Anthony Edwards, but that isn’t going to happen. Still, you can’t deny that Towns would give this Hawks offense more firepower. Right now, Towns is averaging over 24 points, nine rebounds, and three assists per game. He’s also canning 45% of his threes on SIX attempts per game. That is absurd for a seven-footer. His defense leaves a bit to be desired, and Capela would be a weird trade chip to send to Minnesota. Still, John Collins paired with Towns would give the Hawks one of the best offensive big-man duos in the NBA, especially from 3. Atlanta would have to part with a boatload of draft picks and young pieces, but it could put them over the top.