When the Atlanta Hawks traded Rajon Rondo to the LA Clippers, they fixed a number of issues in a single stroke. Rondo had signed a two-year, $15 million deal in the offseason, looking to cash in on his play for the Los Angeles Lakers last season where he was a key piece of their championship team.
He was not a key piece of the Hawks team for this year, his production dropped off a cliff and he was holding the second unit back. When the Hawks traded him for Lou Williams they fixed the issue of offensive production when Trae Young goes to the bench.
Williams has been a breath of fresh air and has even played alongside Young in the last win against the Golden State Warriors. However, it was not just Rondo’s play which the Hawks offloaded, it was the $7.5 million in salary owed to him next season.
Why the Atlanta Hawks would be glad to get rid of Rondo’s salary.
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Next season is a pivotal one in the Hawks. They have Young eligible for his rookie extension, as is Kevin Huerter. The Hawks are more than likely going to offer Young the max they can, and they will offer Huerter what they can afford.
On top of that, the Hawks are going to look to match any offer sheet that another franchise puts in front of Collins. This means that he is going to be offered big money and the Hawks have to match the deal to keep the budding superstar in the fold.
With Rondo’s $7.5 million millstone contract on the books next season, they would not have been able to match the offer sheet and would have lost him for nothing. So not only was Rondo hurting the Hawks this season with his lack of production but if he was on the books next season he would have hurt the Hawks for the next five years they did not have Collins.
How important was it to get Rondo’s money off the books? Probably the most important decision made this season.