Atlanta Hawks showing interest in Philadelphia 76ers’ Matisse Thybulle: Report

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks suffered a 128-108 loss to the Denver Nuggets giving them three losses in their last five games. They fell back to .500 on the season at 27-27 one more stop on their five-game road trip to go, a showdown with the New Orleans Pelicans who despite being the 10-seed in the Western Conference boast an identical 27-27 record.

But the loss to Denver was telling even if it came with Trae Young sidelined by a non-COVID illness.

Atlanta had no answer for Jamal Murray who went off for a season-high 41 points.

That makes the lates report of where their focus could be ahead of the trade deadline on February 9 that much more understandable. The Hawks are said to have eyes on a stout wing defender.

Matisse Thybulle on Atlanta Hawks’ radar ahead of Feb 9 trade deadline

According to Marc Stein of the Stein Line (subscription required), the Hawks are showing an interest in Philadelphia 76ers swingman Matisse Thybulle. Thybulle was the 20th pick in the 2019 NBA draft, the same year the Hawks emerged with De’Andre Hunter and the since-traded Cam Reddish.

He has earned his keep as a supreme wing defender, notching back-to-back All-Defensive team selections in 2021 and 2022.

But he has also become an offensive liability after knocking down 35% of his threes as a rookie.

Thybulle was always a low-volume player on offense but he has shot just 31% from the outside while his total attempts have fallen below 3.0 per game. Part of that is because his playing time has been slashed by more than half but it’s been cut because he has not developed as hoped.

Still, there are just four other shooting guards to register a defensive rating of 110 or better over the last four years since Thybulle entered the league, per Stathead. He has played the most games and has the best defensive rating among that group. The 6-foot-5 wing is in the final year of his rookie deal.

That is where things get interesting because the 76ers are said to have an interest in avoiding the luxury tax – just as the Hawks are.

Thybulle’s $4.3 million salary is very tenable but getting a deal done would require additional assets. The Hawks could offer up swingman Justin Holiday, 33, who is also on an expiring contract but offers more offensively than Thybulle albeit at the expense of youth. Philly could add in reserve guard Shake Milton to close the salary gap.

But they would essentially be paying to rid themselves of Thybulle which makes little sense unless the Hawks are willing to attach draft compensation which seems unlikely.

Thybulle has plenty of shortcomings offensively but the Hawks are built to support him.

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Stein makes sure to say that it is unclear if Thybulle ultimately ends up in Atlanta but they are not the only team interested in him with the Sacramento Kings also being mentioned. The Hawks traded Kevin Huerter to Sacramento this past offseason in a cap-related move and could be duking it out with them for Thybulle’s services.