Zach Lavine market tanking, should Hawks have interest?

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The Atlanta Hawks are among the biggest wild cards of the upcoming NBA offseason. They own the #1 overall pick, are open to trading every player on the roster, and nobody is quite sure if they want to compete or rebuild moving forward.

My guess would be that the Hawks want to make the roster as competitive as possible for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, because of the Dejounte Murray trade a couple of offseasons ago, they don’t own all of their future draft picks, so tanking doesn’t really do them any good. Secondly, the Eastern Conference is as wide open as it has ever been. Outside of the Celtics, who have shown some vulnerabilities throughout the postseason, there isn’t a roster that is significantly better than the Hawks.

If that’s the direction Landry Fields and Company do go this offseason, expect them to go star hunting. Donovan Mitchell could be a possibility if he ends up on the trade block, and another shooting guard could pique the Hawks interest if the price is right–Zach Lavine.

And the price may just be right. According to K.C. Johnson, a Bulls insider for NBC Sports Chicago, the trade market for Zach Lavine seems to have dropped considerably. 

“Content may be the wrong word, and I do get the sense both sides are motivated to make something work this offseason,” Johnson writes. “I don’t think the Bulls will take an awful deal if little materializes, but I do get the sense they’re open to more possibilities than before. More to the point: I’ve reported before what their asking price was—All-Star level talent, first-round picks or both—and my sense is that it has dropped significantly.

As I’ve said from the beginning regarding this situation: This is like a relationship that has run its course. And you’re right: Both sides have remained very professional to this point, and I expect that to continue. But the desire from both sides to make a change has grown.”

At his peak, Lavine averaged over 27 points, five rebounds, and five assists on near 50/40/90 shooting splits. He hasn’t quite been that effective since that 2020-2021 campaign, but he’s still an efficient high volume scorer that is a more than capable secondary ball-handler and playmaker.

For the Hawks, Zach Lavine could be seen as a better fit next to Trae Young or Dejounte Murray, but how much better? It would have to be significant for the Hawks to pull the trigger on a trade, given Zach Lavine is scheduled to make at least $43 million per year over the next three seasons if he opts into his player option for the 2026-2027 season, which will pay him north of $48 million.

If the Hawks were to go in this direction, I would probably rather see Lavine next to Dejounte Murray than Trae Young. Young and Lavine’s contracts also match up perfectly. Perhaps Atlanta could squeeze out another player in the deal as well, and this could be the shakeup both organizations are looking for.

Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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