The Atlanta Hawks were disappointing this past season, and making a trade is exactly what the team needs to do to shake things up. The 2020-21 season saw quick success for Trae Young and the Hawks as they clawed their way to the Eastern Conference Finals. This year, however, the Hawks looked like a shadow of that team versus the Miami Heat. Young is a star while the team holds plenty of other strong pieces, but one more splash is needed.
Atlanta Hawks: A Trade Is Needed
One Specific Conundrum
The name that often arises when it comes to trades is John Collins. He’s a fantastic player, although it seems like he has one foot out of the door in Atlanta. Trading a player like him away for a team looking to contend does not make sense unless the Hawks are improving. Last season he averaged about 16 points and eight rebounds per game, but he’s certainly capable (as seen before) of so much more.
Collins is a dynamic rim-runner, can stretch the floor, is a pick-and-roll dream, and can also contribute well defensively. On paper, he seems like a perfect fit alongside Young.
There’s talk about trading Collins in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft. Atlanta can get a solid pick for Collins, although it will likely be for a player that needs time to develop. The Hawks are already a playoff-caliber team, so a move for a veteran should be preferred.
Guards and Wings
The Hawks also have a plethora of guards and wings. If they want to change up their roster, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see a deal involving some of these players.
Surely plenty of teams around the league would be interested in De’Andre Hunter. This past season he averaged about 13 points and three boards per game but was a lot better down the stretch. The 24-year-old has all the makings of an elite “three-and-d” perimeter player. It’s difficult to envision Atlanta trading him, however, unless it’s in a deal involving a star.
Then there’s Bogdan Bogdanovic. He’s been nothing short of reliable and solid with the Hawks. Fifteen points, four rebounds, and three assists per game are all strong averages. Bogdanovic is in his prime and can start for most teams across the league. His backcourt versatility also makes him a desirable option.
Kevin Huerter is another option. The 23-year-old averaged about 12 points, three boards, and three assists per game last season. He also shot 39 percent from three. Huerter can develop into one of the top shooters in the league, especially at his young age.
Finally, there’s the veteran Danilo Gallinari. His contract is hefty for now, but he’s a great addition to a win-now team.
An Atlanta Hawks Trade Must Occur
Atlanta needs to shake things up. If they stand pat, the team remains good enough to make the playoffs. They’re not, however, anywhere near championship contention with the way things are going.
Young can get buckets and create plays, but he still has his deficiencies. Atlanta will build around him, but they need to identify the right pieces for this. The Hawks have plenty of current talent and youth to make a major splash.