Atlanta Hawks: Could Jeremy Lin Get Traded to the Phoenix Suns?

Jeremy Lin #7 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jeremy Lin #7 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A recent piece on FanSided’s Sir Charles in Charge outlet debuted a new trade idea involving the Atlanta Hawks new point guard Jeremy Lin.

When the Atlanta Hawks acquired Jeremy Lin from the Brooklyn Nets, many saw it (including us) as a perplexing move – especially since Dennis Schröder was still on the roster.

After drafting Trae Young and trading for Lin, the team had a glut of lead guards to contend with going into the 2018-19 season.

Now, of course, we know that GM Travis Schlenk had a masterplan in mind, and he completed it to perfection by jettisoning Schröder to the Thunder and taking on bad salary (sorry Carmelo Anthony) in order to obtain another future first round draft pick.

Now, however, it seems clear that J-Lin is still coming back slowly from his ruptured patellar tendon, which means it’s Trae Young time for the Atlanta Hawks, which, after a thrilling game-winner vs. the Spurs, might not be a bad thing.

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That also means that perhaps the acquisition of Lin was looked at as a potential future chess move in terms of another trade in the future. That’s what Zamir Bueno of FanSided’s Sir Charles in Charge recently outlined in a piece about the Hawks trading Jeremy Lin to the Phoenix Suns for… Dragan Bender and Darrell Arthur.

Don’t get me wrong, Bender (who turns 21 in November), likely still has upside left in the tank, as a 7-foot-1 stretch big man makes for an interesting player archetype in today’s NBA. However, even though he played in all 82 games last year, he has not shown enough to make trading a serviceable lead guard like Lin for Bender and Arthur alone seem like a good idea.

Hence, this deal needs to be sweetened so that the Atlanta Hawks can take advantage of a chaotic administration in Phoenix after Ryan McDonough was fired. Here’s my rebuttal (caveat: this deal could not be completed until October 21 due to when De’Anthony Melton was signed):

Better, right? No matter what, Arthur has to be included as salary filler, but this deal would help the Hawks acquire young talent while helping the Suns get better immediately by acquiring a burly wing veteran in Justin Anderson as well as a steady point guard start the season while Devin Booker is out. Lin’s acquisition would also paper over the issue of not actually having a proven point guard at this juncture.

It also must be noted that both Lin and Anderson are expiring contracts, meaning that the Suns would not be tied to either player going forward — allowing them to potentially make a move on a marquee free agent next offseason.

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While Bender would at least be interesting alongside Trae Young and the influx of shooters the Atlanta Hawks now have, the main draw of this deal would be De’Anthony Melton, who was on our radar this offseason as a potential steal.

Elie Okobo would also be attainable in the construct of this deal salary-wise (and it could also be completed sooner), but it seems unlikely that the Suns would want to part with him after drafting him 31st overall in the 2018 draft.

The Hawks could replace Anderson’s salary with, say, DeAndre’ Bembry as well, if the Suns value his upside and playmaking ability a bit more than Anderson’s, and Melton should be able to provide some of that guard/wing defense in Bembry’s absence for Atlanta.

The Atlanta Hawks will likely continue making deals throughout the season until the trade deadline hits on February 7.

If the Suns are amenable to a move such as this (and with the team’s GM position in flux, they might be), the Hawks would do well to go all-in on Trae Young and obtain another enticing young piece in the process (Melton or Okobo) while maybe being able to develop Bender to boot.

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With the Hawks in full-on talent acquisition mode, a move like this makes sense for both teams, as the Suns are apparently trying to compete in a stacked Western Conference next season.