Atlanta Hawks: Travis Schlenk is still eyeing a trade for a superstar

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks management is a very fact-of-the-matter bunch. So much so that their remarks explicitly stating what their plans are often get lost in the wash to more salacious headlines. Remember Cam Reddish being shopped for a late-lottery pick? Yeah, that didn’t happen.

In fact, Reddish appeared at the Summer League opener alongside team owner Tony Ressler.

But perhaps those rumors weren’t so much blind speculation as much as other entities putting out feelers to gauge just how serious the General Manager Travis Schlenk and the Hawks are.

The Atlanta Hawks GM’s latest comments won’t stop trade speculation anytime soon

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These rumors have been swirling around the Hawks since the beginning of the season, though.

We talked about how team reps can often be a little more forthcoming during Summer League activities. Flying high on their top-notch draft and free agency hauls, it seems we get more information during this short window than any other time of the year.

As we said of the ramifications of an extension for Kevin Huerter, Schlenk has been no different.

As part of his wide-ranging interview with The Athletic and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Schlenk once again stoked the flames with trade talk.

"“I still think when you look at the depth of our roster and the young talent that we have, we don’t have draft assets like we have in the past anymore, but we now have guys under contract that you could match some of the bigger salaries,” Schlenk said. “There wasn’t really those big guys — all those rumors guys were going to ask for trades and it didn’t really come to fruition. So you never really know, and in today’s NBA, those guys can kind of pick where they’re going to go, too. It’s not like the good old days where you make the best offer and you get the guy.”"

That reads like a guy who kicked the tires on, perhaps even made a preliminary offer for, that elusive “second star”.

Some would argue that John Collins is that star, or that he will be. In any event, he will be the highest-paid player on the roster next season.

Names like Bradley Beal and Karl-Anthony Towns were floated around but neither has made it known they want out of their current situations and their organizations have been adamant they aren’t looking to move on either.

Schlenk expressed his optimism that Atlanta’s young talent will grow into those second and third stars teams typically need to win a championship.

He also said he thinks last season’s playoff run helped put Atlanta back on the map for being a free-agent destination.

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We’ve gone over several scenarios the Hawks may explore, including moving Huerter, Reddish, or possibly one of their veterans. Especially, with their inching ever closer to the luxury tax, a reason Schlenk cited for the team sticking with a 14-man roster. Clearly, every option is on the table at this point.