This is essentially the dry part of the calendar for the Atlanta Hawks and the rest of the NBA. That doesn’t mean the chatter stops and, with that, all of the trade rumors that were left unresolved from the Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trade situations. Only one player was traded but both situations are resolved for now.
That still leaves the Hawks – who were rumored in connection with Mitchell and made an offer for Durant – in a state of limbo.
While their offer for the Brooklyn Nets superstar was viewed as unserious, it signal they know there is another level this group can get to. And to do that, perhaps, they still end up tapping the Nets as a trade partner.
The target is Ben Simmons whom the Hakws have been linked to multiple times.
Trade Proposal: Atlanta Hawks move John Collins, more for former No. 1 overall pick
This hypothetical scenario comes from Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report who admits this is a “weird” move from the Hawks’ vantage point.
“There would be serious concerns about spacing,” writes Bailey. “Long term, putting Simmons in the frontcourt with a stretch big would probably be necessary. But right away, this team would be a nightmare in transition, and the ball-hawking of David Nwaba, Murray, Onyeka Okongwu, and Simmons could create a lot of those open-floor opportunities.”
Teams would struggle for easy points with one of, if not the best perimeter defenders playing next to a near All-NBA level center in Capela. Of course, that duo would also struggle for points with most of theirs coming from the same spots – within a foot or so of the basket.
Bailey argues that Simmons’ unique blend of skills makes him “one of the more unique playmakers we’ve ever seen” while noting the 6-foot-11 “guard’s” All-Defensive pedigree.
That would be something with Dejounte Murray also inserted into the lineup now.
“Before missing all of last season, Simmons had totaled 2,217 rebounds and 2,127 assists in 275 career games. Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson are the only players in league history who matched or exceeded both marks in their first 275 appearances.”
As for the Nets, Bailey says that they likely want to see what this group can do as a whole before making any drastic measures after the tumult of last season. But he says that Durant and Kyrie Irving’s ball dominance could be detrimental to Simmons. He says, while those concerns exist in Atlanta, Murray and Trae Young are more willing passers than Durant or Irving.
He adds that the pieces they get in return should make it worthwhile.
For Houston, it all boils down to the outgoing pieces not fitting their timeline while the incoming do.
As the summer has gone on, it seemed less likely by the day that John Collins would be moved. But more than one year full of rumors is hard to undo when not much else has changed. They offered Collins up for Simmons once. Perhaps they would be interested in doing it again if the Nets fall behind quickly out of the gates this coming season.