The Atlanta Hawks will be one of the most intriguing teams to watch next season. Trae Young will look to solidify his case as a top 5 point guard in the league, and a full season with a healthy Clint Capela could catapult the Hawks to playoff contention.
But this Hawks squad is still a very young group, and every playoff-chasing team needs a seasoned star to get them through the rough stages of the season. ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that Atlanta is ‘open to trading’ their sixth overall draft pick this year in exchange for an excellent player who can help them achieve their playoff aspirations.
Having said that, we look at several star-caliber names that the Hawks can trade for using their valuable lottery pick.
This is a very big risk to take, considering that Victor Oladipo is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021. If things don’t pan out between him and the Hawks, the former could sign elsewhere next year. That would be a worst-case scenario for the Hawks, considering that they already traded their sixth pick and a young talented asset.
In exchange for Oladipo, the Hawks could offer Cam Reddish, Dewayne Dedmon, and the sixth pick to the Indiana Pacers. Atlanta could also ask for a Pacers’ future draft pick, given that Oladipo’s value in the market has dipped following his major injury last year.
A healthy Oladipo will give the Hawks a stellar two-way player. Oladipo will also enter a situation where he can take his time in getting to his groove, considering that Young will be handling a lion’s share of the team’s offense.
This is a high-risk, high-reward move for the Hawks. But if Oladipo returns to his former deadly All-Star self, his combination with Young, Capela, and John Collins will be a strong core in the East.
Buddy Hield‘s four-year, $94 million extension with the Sacramento Kings will kick in next season. Hield’s role with the Kings dipped to a sixth man job last season, and that would continue to be the case if they re-sign restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic.
As Hield grows unhappy in his situation, it won’t come as a surprise if the Kings try to trade him. The Hawks need another scorer to take some load off Young, and Hield’s long-range marksmanship will complement Collins and Capela.
However, the Kings might also want De’Andre Hunter more than they would covet Reddish. They need a versatile wing defender, and that could come in the form of Hunter. It remains to be seen if the Hawks are willing to part with Hunter, but acquiring an established shot-creator in Hield is hard to pass up.
This is a long shot, and the Hawks might need to include a couple of their young guns and another future first-round draft pick to add to their 2020 lottery selection. But Jrue Holiday is arguably the most underrated star in the league, and his jack-of-all-trades skill set is perfect for a Hawks team in need of experience and proven versatility.
The Hawks might need to let go of Reddish plus either Hunter or Kevin Huerter, the sixth pick and another future first-rounder, and a salary filler to entice the Pelicans. But there are reports that New Orleans is looking for an established star as an asking price for Holiday, so a third team could enter the picture in this potential Hawks-Pels deal.