The Atlanta Hawks shouldn’t include Kevin Huerter in any trades

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images /

On Friday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke word that the Atlanta Hawks have been engaged in trade talks with the Detroit Pistons for Andre Drummond. The Atlanta Hawks should not include Kevin Huerter in any possible trade for the league leading rebounder.

The Atlanta Hawks have been rumored to be one of the suitors in the Andre Drummond sweepstakes.

The Atlanta Hawks aren’t performing well, and they probably didn’t expect to heading into the season. The Detroit Pistons, on the other hand, are not performing well and don’t really have an excuse.

The Pistons have been struggling for ages — their only highlights from the past decade are two playoff appearances at the eight seed, both resulting in them getting swept.

They have the top rebounder in the league in Andre Drummond, one of the league’s top power forwards in Blake Griffin (who they paid handsomely to acquire), and young talent like Luke Kennard, Christian Wood, and Bruce Brown who have all had promising flashes this season. There’s just something there that doesn’t work.

The team is tied up in long term salary, owing Blake Griffin nearly $35 million annually for the next three seasons, as well as role players like Tony Snell earning far too much. They are in no place to be picky with the offers they receive. Drummond is their most valuable player since Blake Griffin has dropped off, and he could leave for nothing this summer. If they are too picky, they might lose Drummond for nothing.

This puts the Atlanta Hawks — and other teams, for what it’s worth — in a position of power. If they feel the price is too steep for the Georgetown alumnus, they can wait a few weeks to see if the Pistons have started to panic and lowered their expectations.

Many of the rumored trade packages for Drummond suggest the Hawks give up multiple first round picks or multiple pieces of their young core. That is ridiculous and unnecessary. Here is the offer the Atlanta Hawks should propose, and they should be hesitant to add-in anything more.

Here, the Hawks get what they want and the Pistons receive a fair return.

Detroit get a lot of money off the books this summer with Chandler Parsons’ expiring contract. DeAndre’ Bembry would serve as a young, good-enough role player who could be a sixth man in the future. The Brooklyn Nets’ first round pick is the real prize for the Pistons. Kyrie Irving has been battling an injury since the beginning of the season and the Nets have subsequently stumbled to a 16-17 record, as they sit at seventh in the Eastern Conference. There’s a really possibility that they could be taken over by the Orlando Magic or the Charlotte Hornets and fall out of the playoffs. If they end up with the lottery picks, the Detroit Pistons should be very happy with their return for Drummond.

That is a fair price and the Hawks shouldn’t pay any more.

Some trade suggest the Hawks include Kevin Huerter instead of Bembry. That is ridiculous. Huerter is very valuable to the Atlanta Hawks. The team is by no stretch of the imagination gifted from behind the arc. Of players that have played at least 15 games for the Hawks, Huerter is second in 3-point percentage, behind only Trae Young. He is also only behind Young in 3-pointers attempted per game.

His floor spacing will improve with time and it’s exciting to imagine a young lineup of Young, Huerter De’Andre Hunter, and John Collins. That could be the core that leads the Hawks back to deep playoff runs.

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The Hawks should definitely pursue Andre Drummond if the price is right. They should not, however, include Kevin Huerter in trade talks. His floor spacing ability is rare and important for the Hawks. He and Trae Young are reminiscent of a young Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and it would be a shame if the Hawks broke that up for a potential half-season rental.