Trae Young approves the newest addition to the Hawks

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Following a loss back in early December, Trae Young had an emotional outburst in the locker room — one that wasn’t taken well by all of his teammates. But to keep their superstar point guard happy, the Hawks promised him that help was on the way. It didn’t come immediately, but less than 48 hours before tomorrow’s trade deadline, Atlanta completed a deal, landing them Clint Capela from the Houston Rockets. 

Capela should mask the Hawks’ most apparent needs. Atlanta is one of the worst rebounding teams in the league; Capela is fourth in the NBA in rebounds, grabbing 13.8 per contest. The Hawks are one of the worst defensive teams in the league; Capela will immediately become their best defender and should eliminate most of the struggles the team has had protecting the paint. This looks like an ideal move for Atlanta, considering it only cost them a lottery-protected first-round selection, and Trae Young was not shy last night about how he felt about it.

On paper, it’s a slam dunk, but it’s way too early to call this trade a win for anybody. We’ve yet to see how Clint Capela and John Collins can mesh on the floor together. I tend to think it will work out, but if it doesn’t, the Hawks will be forced to make a corresponding move. Capela is under contract for three more seasons, and Collins will become a restricted free agent following next season, looking for near max-money. They won’t pay both unless they can co-exist. But regardless of what happens down the road, this trade should make the Hawks a much more watchable product over the final 32 games.

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