What Trading For a Center Means for the Atlanta Hawks

Taking a look at the ongoing rumors that the Atlanta Hawks are interested in bringing in a center via trade.

Another name was thrown into the Atlanta Hawks’ trade rumor mill Wednesday afternoon, with the team reportably showing interest in trading for Spurs’ center Jakob Pöltl.

Pöltl joins Steven Adams and Andre Drummond as centers that have been rumored to be trade targets of Atlanta.

Obviously nothing has been official just yet, but it’s looking increasingly likely that the Hawks will acquire a big man at the deadline.

What does this mean?

Well, there is two takeaways here, one bigger than the other.

The big one is that the team is likely not confident that the trio of centers they currently roster are going to be apart of the future of the team.

It makes sense, as neither of the three have been that great, and the Hawks remain one of the worst teams in terms of rebounding and interior defense.

Still, Alex Len, Damian Jones, and Bruno Fernando are all still relatively young, with Len being the oldest at 26. Only Fernando is under contract next season however, and moving on from the other two at season’s end would be easy.

The other takeaway is that the team doesn’t fancy John Collins as a long term center. They’ve been experimenting with small ball, and to some success, especially from Collins himself. Because of that, I wrote on the prospect of Collins becoming a full time center a while back, but a trade for a fourth center would all but rule that out.

Trading for a piece that’s not intended to be a part of the future doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the 9-32 Hawks squad, but they could find their center of their future here inside of the draft.

In that sense, Pöltl makes the most sense, as he’s just 24 and a few years removed from being the 9th overall pick. He’d be headed for restricted free agency as well, while Drummond and Adams will be unrestricted in 2021.

Next: Atlanta Hawks' Midseason grades: Len, Jones, Fernando

The asking prices should all be around the same, and I think the Hawks could pull off any of the three trades with simply the Brooklyn first they have and some cap fill (Parsons/Turner/Crabbe).

As for the current Hawks centers, their time in Atlanta could be running up.

 

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