Atlanta Hawks: more talk that a “consolidation trade” could be coming

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

The Atlanta Hawks offseason has gone well enough. They have made smart moves, received praise for those moves, and even got “apologies” for previous opinions. It’s enough to make one forget this was a team on the verge of imploding before a heart-to-heart and coaching change set their course for prosperity instead of despair.

If there have been any distractions, it’s been the constant murmurs about trades, in particular, rumors around Cam Reddish. Cleveland was the latest rumored to be interested before they traded for Lauri Markkanen.

Well, the trade rumors won’t be dying down anytime soon as The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner lays out why it might be a necessity (and not because of finances).

The Atlanta Hawks depth could lead to a trade in order to keep everyone happy

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In his article, Kirschner breaks down the Hawks offseason (subscription required) into several parts. He gives his opinion on their best move, biggest remaining question, and agrees with us on their preseason power ranking.

As has been the case throughout the offseason, there are plenty of superlatives for the overall job.

Several years of doing a good job, however, have left the Hawks with a glut of talented players. Which begs the question, what does Nate McMillan do with them all?

That’s what Kirschner attempts to sort through and explain. We’ve talked at length about the Hawks injury woes last season. It’s a large part of the reason we feel some of the power rankings of the Eastern Conference were a little out of whack.

But Kirschner’s point is a simple one. Guys are trying to prove their worth all the time. For a team as young as the Hawks are, that can often be an issue when the focus needs to be on “the greater good”. Several of the younger players are in line for new deals after just seeing the top guys get handsomely rewarded.

Could that cause the Hawks or the players themselves to explore the possibility of a trade in order to keep the peace in the locker room? It’s a strong culture they have built so it’s probably not a big worry. But it’s also smart to be proactive in preventing it from becoming a thing.

Two things immediately stood out. First, we’ve heard the question about playing time before, only it was in reference to rookie Jalen Johnson. Now it’s about the entire team, and rightfully so.

The other thing is the article clearly states “when the time comes”. In other words, nothing is imminent. But we also know how fast situations can change when a season isn’t going well. The thought that the Hawks could pursue a trade closer to the deadline, or maybe next offseason, is a lot more realistic than one coming before this season.

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We’ve heard trade rumors and we’ve heard rotation questions. But the two haven’t really been combined as the primary reason for a blockbuster trade. And yet, here we are.