Atlanta Hawks: When does the smoke suffocate the fire?

The Atlanta Hawks and 29 other teams are about to welcome the next wave of players in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. By now — two and a half months after the regular season ended and just nine days removed from crowning a champion — we’ve all been inundated with rumors.

But at what point does the noise drown itself out?

Better yet, if “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” then at what point is there too much smoke for the fire to breathe?

In the offseason, rumors are common practice whether we like it or not. The coverage of them is often taken with a grain of salt because of how many “misses” there are. But even the most concrete bit starts as a piece of passed-on info.

Rumors surrounding the Atlanta Hawks have seemingly worked their way from the outside in

Deciding which breadcrumbs to follow can be tricky with many just opting for the wait-and-see approach or, if you’ll pardon the expression, trusting the process.

Atlanta Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk has been pretty steadfast in his approach and it’s yielded incredible results.

So when murmurs began popping up about a potential trade of a young asset, most often Cam Reddish, fans were skeptical. We doubted too even though the logic behind such a move was something we’d discussed right after the Hawks season ended.

The notion they could retain all of their young pieces along with the pricey veteran contacts they current have was faulty. That bill is coming due at some point and that means decisions will have to be made; some easier than others.

However, this one began as whispers from other teams being interested in Reddish, not the Hawks looking to unload him.

Then came the idea of “resetting the clock” while they sort out what to do with the guys set to need new deals, with John Collins being the first this offseason. Once he’s locked up they accelerate that process and, given how young a lot of those players still are, there are some reservations.

But all of the reasons teams would come calling are reasons to hold onto him.

Reddish is young and, perhaps, showed more in three games under Nate McMillan than he ever did under Lloyd Pierce in just three of his four games under the new head coach. He’s also under the most control of any of the Hawks top wings.

Chris Kirschner of The Athletic echos our sentiments on the possibility of a trade into the front of the lottery, an important distinction.

And let’s be honest, when discussing the possibility of trading Reddish for a lottery pick, Reddish himself is still a question mark, too, like a high draft pick would be. If the decision was up to me, I’d definitely trade him in a package for a star and think strongly about moving him for a lottery pick — I would not move him for a pick lower than the lottery.

If they trade out of the first round altogether as part of a package to get a superstar, a name they’ve been linked to is Bradley Beal. The fit doesn’t seem to be there though.

The misdirection will likely continue right up until the Hawks pick.

Again, though, all of this has picked up with the beat guys after starting from the outside at the national level. Now that “the call’s coming from inside of the house”, it almost feels like one of those smoke grenades used to put out fires.