If it’s not one thing, it is certainly another. The Atlanta Hawks fell from third to seventh in the Eastern Conference with their deflating 114-102 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And while the trade rumors have persisted even as they were winning and sitting higher in the conference, the loss will not quell them.
First, and for the longest, it was John Collins.
The high-flying forward has been the subject of trade rumors for the better part of two years and remains a popular topic in that regard.
There are reports that the Utah Jazz could be a team with interest but he is not the only member of the Hawks’ rotation that has piqued rival teams’ interest. That other, somewhat surprisingly, is last year’s sixth man Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Phoenix Suns interested in Hawks sharpshooter Bogdan Bogdanovic
“On name that wasn’t mentioned, he hasn’t played this season…but he’s a name that I’ve heard floated around, Bogdan Bogdanovic with Atlanta,” offered The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor on the November 18 episode of “The Mismatch” podcast with Chris Vernon. “I’d like the Bogdanovic fit [with the Phoenix Suns].”
Bogdanovic has been out rehabbing from offseason knee surgery.
He remains without a concrete timetable for his return with Hawks head coach Nate McMillan offering few clues.
The sixth-year swingman was vital last season averaging 15.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.1 steals last season. Perhaps most significantly for this Hawks squad, he shot 36.8% from beyond the arc last season and 43.8% the year before.
On Tuesday, O’Connor returned to double down on his previous reporting.
League sources say Bogdanovic remains on Phoenix’s radar; he checks a lot of boxes as a shooter, ball handler, and rock-solid defender,” O’Connor writes. “It’s important to remember that the Suns could potentially package Crowder’s $10.2 million deal with Landry Shamet ($9.5M), Dario Saric ($9.2M), and Torrey Craig ($5.1M), plus add draft picks as sweeteners.
It presumably would not take all of that for Bogdanovic.
And, per NBA salary-matching rules, it could not unless the deal included Collins as well but Phoenix reportedly is not interested in Collins despite rumors.
The Hawks were 4.4 points per 100 possessions better offensively and 1.4 points per 100 possessions better defensively with the 30-year-old on the floor last season, per Cleaning the Glass, giving him the best net rating of any returning rotation player.
He is not as quick as he once was but he remains a high-IQ player and averaged 1.6 steals over his final 10 games last season (while shooting 44% from beyond the arc). While he won’t lock anyone down, he won’t completely submarine what you want to do either. Bogdanovic has two years and $36 million left on his contract with a player option in Year 2.
The Hawks could move him in an attempt to get ahead of contract situations with rookie AJ Griffin coming on.
Collins, 25, credentials have been profiled enough but he remains a fixture in trade chatter.
He is coming off of a 16-point performance in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers that saw him hit 3-of-5 tripes – a welcomed sight for Collins and the Hawks.
Crowder, 32, has been away from the Suns since asking to be traded over the summer.
Craig, 31 is a solid wing defender who is splashing 50% of his threes this season. Shamet has value as a part-time ball handler with some creation ability and a streaky deep ball (36% 3P this season).
Saric is a bit of a wild card he was a big part of their rotation two years ago when Phoenix went to the NBA Finals. But he suffered a knee injury during the series and missed all of last season rehabbing. But, when healthy, the 28-year-old has shot as high as 39.3% from downtown and has shown the ability to put the ball on the deck and be a playmaker.
One reason this deal could ultimately appeal to the Hawks (and probably less so to fans), this deal shaves nearly $7.5 million off the Hawks’ payroll.
Ducking the luxury tax played at least some part in the departure of Kevin Huerter this summer.
The Hawks got a pick back in that trade and, with this deal, could replenish some of that with more quantity over quality. Add to that they would be getting one or multiple picks and the only thing standing in the way of this deal could be Phoenix’s stance on Collins’ contract.
Perhaps they are persuaded by acquiring Bogdanovic as well but it just goes to show, despite interest on both sides in several different aspects of a deal like this, one remains distant.