Jazz swingman Malik Beasley sounds off on Atlanta Hawks’ interest

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks (27-27) have a couple of stark deficiencies on a rather talented roster. They are short on perimeter defenders and have a striking lack of perimeter shooting. They could be looking to address the latter while at least throwing another body at the former with Utah Jazz swingman Malik Beasley.

Atlanta dropped their fourth of five road games in a 128-108 battle with the Denver Nuggets managing to get within five points before falling victim to Jamal Murray’s season-high 41 points.

This season, following the departure of several perimeter threats including Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter, the Hawks rank just 22nd in three-point efficiency. Perhaps even worse, they are 28th in attempts from beyond the arc.

Apparently, the Hawks have at least considered that Beasley can help with that.

Atlanta Hawks have checked in on Jazz swingman Malik Beasley

“I’ve heard…almost every team,” Beasley told Chris Haynes on the ‘#thisleague UNCUT’ podcast about who has checked Utah’s temperature about acquiring his services ahead of the February 9 trade deadline. “I know for sure Atlanta, New York, Cleveland, Phoenix. It’s been a lot of options.”

Beasley is averaging 13.5 points and shooting 35% from beyond the arc in what is a down season for him statistically. At his peak, he averaged 19.6 points while shooting just a hair under 40% from beyond the arc on over 8.0 attempts per game in 2021.

The 6-foot-4 sharpshooting found himself in trouble during that season too though.

He was caught with marijuana and a stolen firearm after confronting tourists mistakenly on his property resulting in 78 days in jail during the offseason and a 12-game suspension.

Beasley started off the following season slowly shooting just 35% from beyond the arc before going on to knock down over 45% of his deep looks after the All-Star break. He did go on to struggle for the Nuggets in the postseason last year shooting just 32% from three while averaging more turnovers than assists.

He has chipped in 1.7 assists this season with 3.5 rebounds for good measure.

Now in his seventh NBA season out of Florida State, the 26-year-old Beasley is in the third year of a four-year, $60 million contract. His deal also includes a $16.5 million team option for the 2024 season making Beasley a rather popular trade target, to his point.

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“I don’t even look at that stuff anymore,” Beasley said. “I try to…stay focused on my own goals and then whatever happens happens.”

Beasley, who has technically been traded three times (first when the draft pick used to select him was moved and then twice as an NBA player) said that he is “still blessed” to be in the league but added that he understands the nature of the business of the NBA saying that he goes so far as to avoid social media at this time of the season.

“If my agent calls me then I know what time it is,” he told Haynes and co-host Marc Stein.

Finding common ground with Utah over a deal could prove difficult given the respective teams’ situations.

Utah is in a rebuild and in the market for players with upside but they are also said to desire a first-round pick in return for Beasley. Would they have any interest in taking on Bogdan Bogdanovic’s remaining $18 million (player option) next season?

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At the same time, Atlanta is very conscious of their proximity to the luxury tax line – approximately $1.3 million below as things currently stand. They are .500 and a move seems needs to tip the scales in their favor but the level of that move will speak volumes about the direction this team – and the new front office – feels they are headed in.