Atlanta Hawks executive blasts rumors of major roster turnover

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Much has been made of the Atlanta Hawks’ offseason plans. But team president Travis Schlenk thinks that all of it is being a bit overblown. Schlenk, Hawks governor Tony Ressler, and Hawks CEO Steve Koonin all voiced varying levels of certainty that changes would be coming this summer.

None of them have put a number on how many new faces we could see next season.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported that sources around the NBA believed the Hawks had made “everyone but Trae Young” available. He added that they were now expected to retain De’Andre Hunter as well.

Schlenk, speaking with The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz (subscription required), hinted that even that may not be enough scaling back on talk of what Fischer deemed “wholesale changes”.

Travis Schlenk pushed back on rumors that the Atlanta Hawks are seeking drastic changes

The Hawks have seemingly been linked to every notable trade target in the NBA. Rumors have had them revisiting a trade for Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, and forward Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons. They are also considered one of four “realistic” landing spots for Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton.

Maybe some of the rumors are true. Perhaps most are not. Schlenk’s biggest concerns lie in how the information reaches his players. But he still notices the buzz and tried to temper expectations for a frenzy.

By his admission, though, he had a hand in the frenzy with his comments during a radio appearance on 92.9 The Game’s Morning Show with John Fricke and Hugh Douglas.

“We made the decision last year to run the same group back and…we probably should have tried to upgrade as opposed to stay status quo. So, certainly this year, the way the season ended…we’re certainly going to try to upgrade the roster moving forward into next season.”

His rather moderate statements were somewhat undercut by Ressler.

“I think every team should add a superstar to their team when they can. We’re no exception to that.”

Koonin did reign expectations some, saying that the trade rumors “starts with bull, and ends with…”, adding that “trades are not that simple”. He also left the entirety of his comments open for interpretation.

“I do think we will be…very active. Because I think last year, kind of the first year out of the last two, we had a full season. We had playoffs. You could see where the strengths and weaknesses of the teams are.”

Schlenk assured that this would be no massive undertaking and that the roster only needed to be tweaked slightly while noting that the front office is currently exploring multiple avenues.

He also noted the significance of this offseason on the franchise’s long-term outlook, specifically when it comes to Young. He just signed a five-year contract that is now worth $212 million following his All-NBA selection, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Next. Hawks announce “non-surgical procedure” on 20-year-old forward. dark

While Young is nowhere close to requesting out – as Kirschner notes, he is currently happy in his situation – things in the NBA can change very quickly.