Atlanta Hawks GM Travis Schlenk’s Best and Worst Moves

Atlanta Hawks GM Travis Schlenk (Photo by Scott Cunngham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks GM Travis Schlenk (Photo by Scott Cunngham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 21: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (C) poses with NBA Draft Prospects Trae Young, Marvin Bagley III, Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic before the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 21, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) /

Second Best Move – The Trae and Luka Swap

Definitely the riskiest move of Schlenk’s career, the draft-night trade of Luka Doncic might be what he’ll be best remembered for whenever he retires.

With the third pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Doncic, with reports quickly following that they’d be flipping him to Dallas. As a Maverick, Luka has been sensational, MVP-worthy, and (if he stays healthy) is already on track for a Hall of Fame career.

Trading someone with that talent and that potential would almost certainly be on many GM’s list of worst moves, but Schlenk acquired another MVP-worthy, potential future Hall of Famer in return.

The Hawks received the fifth pick and the Mavs’ 2019 first-rounder for Doncic, which became Trae Young and Cam Reddish. While Luka is currently a better all-around player than Trae, the combination of Young and Reddish could prove to be better than Doncic alone.

For the trade to be seen as anything but a massive loss for the Hawks they needed both Trae and Cam to pan out, which looks like it might happen.

Obviously Young is already an All-Star starter, fourth in the league in points per game and an absolute offensive superstar. Cam, on the other hand, had a very rough start to his career before slowly turning things around in 2020.

Both will be building blocks for the future of Atlanta basketball, and given the way Hawks fans have taken in both Young and Reddish, Schlenk would likely do this trade again if given the chance.