Jonathan Givony — the founder of Draft Express — stirred the pot yesterday when he reported that NBA executives believe the Hawks will trade one of their rookie-scale contract players, like Cam Reddish, for a first round pick(s) this offseason because of the likelihood that they will not be able to pay everyone.
NBA executives say they expect the Hawks to explore restarting the cycle of one of their rookie scale contract players, such as Cam Reddish, in exchange for a first round pick, as it seems unlikely they'll be able to pay all of their young wing players. https://t.co/VEdy8p5uV6
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) July 25, 2021
Hawks Twitter exploded not too long after this tweet was sent out, and I’m right there with most of y’all. I do believe Travis Schlenk will explore moving some of his young talent; however, I don’t think there’s a chance in hell he does it for a first round pick unless it’s high up in the lottery.
Givony is correct about one thing: it is unlikely the Hawks will be able to hand all of their talented young players extensions when their rookie contracts expire. Eventually, Atlanta will have to cash in on the players they decide they are not going to extend or let them walk for nothing. With that being said, they are in no rush to do so, especially after an Eastern Conference Finals berth, and I believe Givony included Reddish here more for clicks than anything.
There’s no questioning Reddish’s first two NBA seasons have been underwhelming. He’s shot the ball abysmally from the field and dealt with multiple injuries. Still, his potential is undeniable, and it was on full display during the Eastern Conference Finals. How many 20-year-olds out there can go from not playing for five months to making impact plays deep in the playoffs. Reddish was indisputably the best player on the floor for the Hawks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He’s a menace defensively because of his quickness and crazy long wingspan, and he has all the makings for becoming a bucket-getter on the offensive end.
As I said last week when The Athletic wrote about the possibility of the Pelicans trading their first-round pick for Reddish, the phenomena around Reddish in NBA circles is a funny one. Opposing Twitter GMs never want to give Reddish any credit for being good, yet they always want to include him in their mock trades. Hawks fans and the front office are well aware of the player Reddish could become. Nate McMillan even compared him to Paul George, and he would know given he coached George for several years in Indiana. There’s no way the Hawks move Reddish to another team for a first-round pick outside of the lottery, which has very little value in the NBA.