Atlanta Hawks: Four Young Players to Target via Trade

Frank Ntilikina Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Frank Ntilikina Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Frank Ntilikina Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

1. Frank Ntilikina

New York Knicks fans (and their mercurial and infamous team owner James Dolan) are a notoriously impatient sort. For the first time in a while, the Knicks have a bevy of young talent on its roster with Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinsons, Allonzo Trier and Frank Ntilikina – notwithstanding the Zinger, Kristaps Porzingis, who is still recovering from a tough injury last year.

However, many rumors are swirling around defensive maestro Frankie Smokes, as his lack of offensive polish has seemingly scared off many Knicks fans – especially when compared to guaranteed bucket-getter Iso Zo.

If Smokes is available via trade, the Atlanta Hawks would do well to try and land the #8 overall pick in the 2017 draft. With Trae Young as the team’s number-one option at the point, the Hawks will have a hard time stopping anyone on defense. That’s where Smokes comes in.

Ntilikina has a huge, well-built frame and his 7-foot-1 wingspan combined with a 6-foot-6 height means that Smokes will be able to paper over some of the defensive deficiencies that Young brings to the less glamorous end. At only 20 years old, Ntilikina would also perfectly match this young Atlanta Hawks core’s extremely youthful vibe.

To obtain Frankie Smokes, the Hawks would have to give up Tyler Dorsey and Justin Anderson in this deal. Adding the running-and-gunning style of Dorsey with Trier and Tim Hardaway Jr. will guarantee some high scores in Madison Square Garden, and Anderson is an expiring contract that seems to be a terrific teammate at every stop in his 4-year-career.