For Atlanta Hawks, How Realistic is Anthony Davis Trade?

Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft Anthony Davis (Photo by Jasear Thompson/NBAE via Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft Anthony Davis (Photo by Jasear Thompson/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A quick look at the potential for an Anthony Davis trade by the Atlanta Hawks.

With the regular season over, the players on the Atlanta Hawks can focus on bettering their games or improving their skills. For Atlanta Hawks management, this is where the hard part begins.

So far in his General Manager tenure, Travis Schlenk has shown himself to be a canny front office operator who doesn’t make moves that he doesn’t believe in. Some of the moves might’ve been head-scratching this past offseason (such as the Jeremy Lin trade), but in the end, the Hawks piled up losses to help with draft position, while also allowing Lin to serve as a veteran leader and mentor to rookie Trae Young – which led to Young being the best rookie over the final 3 months of the regular season (and the best in franchise history).

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Despite a strong end to the season after an atrocious start, the Hawks still have plenty of holes to fill on the roster. Luckily, they will almost certainly have more than $50 million in cap space as well as litany of talented young players on the roster. Beyond that, the team is fairly stacked with draft assets for the foreseeable future.

With all that being the case, does that put the Atlanta Hawks in a position to trade for Anthony Davis?

To put it bluntly: Probably not. However, there is a new wrinkle in this situation with the New Orleans Pelicans recently hiring David Griffin as its General Manager. Griffin was the architect behind the NBA Title-winning Cleveland Cavaliers from the 2015-16 season.

At this point in his career, Griffin has proven himself to be among the best at his job and someone who does not much care for what the optics of a trade are – exactly the type of person New Orleans needed to take a swing on an Anthony Davis trade.

With that in mind, let’s explore a potential Davis deal for the Hawks:

The first thing that pops off the page is the Hawks giving up beloved big man and high-flying dunker John Collins. Though homegrown talent always feels better, this is Anthony Davis we’re talking about here. Despite being rested to end the year, when he’s healthy, he’s a Top 5-caliber player in the NBA.

By that same logic, giving up Taurean Prince and multiple draft picks also makes sense. The price tag might give Hawks fans sticker shock initially as those three draft picks are extremely valuable, but if this deal doesn’t work out, the Hawks will still have retained their own draft picks to rebuild on the fly in case this AD move inexplicably doesn’t work out.

To be sure, this trade is almost certainly a pipe dream, as it seems unlikely that Hawks GM Schlenk will mortgage the team’s future in the middle of a rebuild. However, with Griffin in the Pels GM role, it seems feasible that some surprising suitors will emerge from the woodwork to try and lure Davis away from the more notable destinations of Boston, New York and L.A.

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Is it too early for the Atlanta Hawks to be thinking about going star hunting? Probably. This offseason is going to be a fascinating one for almost every team in the NBA, and where Davis lands will likely be the major storyline as the calendar flips over to July.