With the NBA season in full swing, we have already seen a flurry of trade speculation. The Atlanta Hawks have been no stranger to the rumors with forward John Collins being joined by swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic as hot commodities in hypothetical trade scenarios. But most of the deals are quite lofty and aimed at adding another star-level player.
Even if the players being suggested aren’t stars, because of the money Bogdanovic and Collins make, the contracts involved are.
Few proposals have come with the explicit intent of improving the current Hawks.
That still hasn’t happened but Bleacher Report’s Tim Daniels is closer in his latest suggestion for whom the Hawks could pursue. In Daniels’ estimation, the Hawks are among a few spots that would be ideal for Orlando Magic veteran Terrence Ross.
Terrence Ross could be a realistic trade target for the Atlanta Hawks
“Atlanta sits 29th in threes per game (9.6) and 26th in three-point percentage (32.7),” Daniels concedes, “but the team still ranks ninth in scoring (114.8 points per game), which suggests the offense has top-five potential if it’s able to add another outside shooter or two.”
Daniels points to the trade of Kevin Huerter in the wake of the move to acquire Dejounte Murray as leaving the Hawks razor-thin on three-point shooting. The deal for Murray also saw them trade Danilo Gallinari to the San Antonio Spurs. Gallinari has since torn his ACL after signing with the Boston Celtics.
But Huerter has been a revelation in Sacramento with the Kings averaging 15.9 points and shooting 47.3% from beyond the arc – both career highs.
The Hawks also lost Lou Williams and Delon Wright leaving them leaning on rookie AJ Griffin as the primary floor spacer along with De’Andre Hunter as Bogdanovic continues to work his way back from injury.
“Ross certainly fits the bill given his success from long-range so far this season, and he’d also provide some veteran leadership for a squad looking to reach contender status.”
Ross, 3, is averaging 8.9 points – his fewest since 2017-18. He is still knocking down 39.2% of his threes this season and, in his 11th NBA season, would be the most experienced player on the roster despite being two years younger than Hawks wing Justin Holiday.
The issue is getting Ross to the Hawks.
Aside from Holiday – who has a connection to Hawks head coach Nate McMillan – the Hawks are short in contracts to match up with Ross’ $11 million salary.
They would have to add reserve Vit Krejci which shouldn’t be too much of an issue. But they would also have to include second-year forward Jalen Johnson which should be off the table, at least in this deal. He has not broken onto the scene as Griffin has but doesn’t turn 21 until December 18; his ceiling is still theoretically higher than Ross’.
Even the most logical deals, especially one-year rentals, are hard to see going through for the Hawks who are still very cognizant of avoiding the luxury tax line.