Atlanta Hawks considered ‘winners’ of the NBA offseason following trades

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

The Atlanta Hawks are winners of the offseason, says at least one analyst. Significant changes to the roster have led to several new faces on the roster. That in and of itself is a drastic change from the message of last offseason and this past year’s trade deadline. Both times the Hawks banked on minor tweaks to the roster and better health.

This time around, they realized they needed to make moves to get back to the Conference Finals in an increasingly tough East.

Just this offseason, the Boston Celtics have added Malcolm Brogdon and the Philadelphia 76ers added P.J. Tucker. At the same time, the Miami Heat and New York Knicks are both rumored to be in on a potential trade for Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.

And yet the Hawks did enough to earn a win this summer in at least one analyst’s eyes.

NBA insider declares Atlanta Hawks among winners of offseason

During the July 27 episode of the “Hoop Collective” podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said that the Hawks were winners this offseason despite all of the upheaval and in many ways because of it. Atlanta added Dejounte Murray as well as Justin Holiday and his brother Aaron Holiday while losing several key players from the past seasons.

Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter were traded away while Delon Wright signed with the division rival Washington Wizards.

It sounds as though Windhorst believes that the math still worked out in the Hawks’ favor in his discussion of winners and losers with recurring “guests” Tim Bontemps and Tim McMahon when the Hawks came up.

“I think we should talk about Atlanta. They were a team that desperately needed some defense. They also needed to shake up their team a little bit. Getting Dejounte Murray…without subtracting any of their core players. This is a prototypical player you want to put next to Trae Young.”

Windhorst went on to point out that the Hawks still have John Collins and De’Andre Hunter as well as third-year big man Onyeka Okongwu to include in a trade if they wanted to further improve their roster.

He also noted that we have to see how well Bogdan Bogdanovic bounces back from his most recent knee surgery.

Bontemps was hesitant to label the Hawks “winners”.

“I think they got better. I wouldn’t have had them in the ‘winner’ category just because I’m not sure how much better they got. I love Dejounte Murray, though…They gave up a lot to get him. And, again, I’m not sure how much it changes their trajectory.”

Bontemps went on to say that if the Hawks can re-sign Murray following the 2024 season and extend their window for contention, then the deal looks better.

He did not have much faith in the roster as-is getting the job done in the next two years.

Windhorst was quick to interject that he did not believe that the Hawks were done wheeling and dealing just yet.

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“I don’t think they’re done. I think there’s another transaction coming for them. I’m not saying within the next two weeks. But there will be another transaction for them to make…This sets them up though, this opens a lot of doors for them and should make them better.”

McMahon chimed in and split the difference saying that, yes, the price paid for Murray was steep. But the potential payoff of putting Murray’s skill set next to Young is more than worth it if it works.

“The only reason to not automatically put them in the “winner” category is you can argue, ‘Hey did they give up too steep of a price…to get Dejounte Murray. But there’s no question that he makes them much better.”

McMahon cited the Hawks’ offense grinding to a standstill when Young would sit and how the Miami Heat shut the dynamic point guard down rendering the Hawks a virtual non-threat.

Windhorst punctuated his point by saying that Murray is the kind of player you spend on.

“If you’re going to give up multiple firsts, make it for an All-Star in his mid-20s that’s under contract.”

There has been a lot of chatter around the Hawks this offseason because of all that they have done.

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If their moves don’t pay off, they can still do something else if need be. But it seems to be clear that they have done themselves a lot of good this summer.