Atlanta Hawks floated as trade destination for $51M swingman

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Things got out of hand quickly for the Atlanta Hawks against the Orlando Magic despite the former coming in on two days worth of rest. They would fall 135-124 in a game that saw them trail by as many as 29 points (twice) and get as close as eight points in the second half dropping them below .500 at 14-15.

The Hawks are 0-2 on their current road trip and have lost four straight away from State Farm Arena.

They have dropped five of their last six games overall.

Ahead of the annual peak of trade speculation near the February 9 deadline, the Hawks have been a constant presence in rumors. That won’t stop with this loss further highlighting some of their most critical issues unless, of course, they do something about it.

Raptors swingman Gary Trent could fill a big need for the Atlanta Hawks

Generally, the rumors have involved the Hawks moving on from oft-discussed forward John Collins. But there have been several reports of their interest in players like Jae Crowder of the Phoenix Suns and even Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz. That list could soon expand per a new report from Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

“The Raptors have several decisions over the next 18 months, specifically the long-term future of Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, O.G. Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr,” writes Pincus. “If there’s one player who doesn’t stick through the deadline, it’s Trent.”

Trent is in the second year of a three-year pact with $17.2 million due this season and a player option for $18.5 million in 2023.

His 17.2 points per game and 55% true shooting are both the second-best of his career.

The 6-foot-5 wing was averaging 20.5 points and knocking down 40% of his triples over a four-game stretch before scoring just 11 points (on 55% shooting overall) in a 124-123 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Pincus doesn’t get specific about the Hawks’ interest in Trent, 23, at this time. But they allowed an Orlando team ranked 20th in three-point efficiency to shoot over 44% from deep.

Atlanta got Clint Capela and Trae Young back from their one-game absences. The duo combined for 35 points, 18 assists (Young set a season-high with 16), and nine rebounds as the Hawks were outdone on the glass 46-39 by a Magic squad boasting a unique blend of size and skill.

They are 1-3 since Dejounte Murray went down and figure to be without him for another four games or so.

Collins also remains out as well, though he joined the broadcast during the loss to the Magic and said he is close while declining to put an exact timetable on anything. For all the talk of him being traded away this season, they have gone 2-5 since he has been out.

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Pincus’ report didn’t so much as clear things up for the Hawks but it does create more questions as they try to right the ship sooner rather than later.