How different, if at all, will the Atlanta Hawks look on February 10? The trade deadline is almost here (February 9) and there appear to be many different directions that these Hawks and their rookie front office could choose to go and what they do – or don’t do – could be very telling about their view of this team’s future.
The obvious path is to do nothing and, perhaps, continue to wait for this team to figure out something they have not done to this point and be consistent with their winning habits – locking in defensively, winning the 50-50 situations, playing smart offensively, etc.
They are furthest away from the other extreme path, the nuclear option of blowing up a core group that is made up of four players under the age of 27.
That leaves them plenty of wiggle room, however, for veterans like Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Cavs ‘have contacted’ Hawks about Bogdan Bogdanovic, says insider
“The Cavaliers, two league sources said, have also contacted the Hawks about Bogdan Bogdanovic,” reported Matt Moore of The Action Network on the latest whispers with the deadline looming.
This is not the first time that the Cavs (34-22) have popped up in the rumor mill with interest in a Hawks player.
They were one of the many teams that have been linked to John Collins this trade cycle.
Moore’s report notes that the Cavaliers have explored the market for veteran swingman Caris LeVert, 28, and have a “good idea” of what he can bring back. Moore does not say that the seventh-year man was part of the talks between Atlanta and Cleveland but it is worth noting that Bogdanovic and LeVert’s salaries work for matching purposes.
Bogdanovic, 30, is in the third year of a four-year, $72 million deal that has an $18 million player option for the 2024 season. The Cavs are not alone in their interest with “half the league” showing interest, per Sam Amick of The Athletic (subscription required).
He has proven to be a vital piece for the Hawks both off the bench and as a starter but has also dealt with knee injuries in each of the past two seasons including this past offseason which caused him to miss the first 22 games of the campaign.
The sixth-year NBA swingman is averaging 15 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.
LeVert is in the final year of a three-year, $52.5 million pact that he signed when traded to the Indiana Pacers (who drafted him 20th overall in 2016) in 2021 making him an unrestricted free agent after the season – perhaps a bonus for the luxury tax-conscious Hawks. He is averaging 12.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists while knocking down 37% of his triples.
Osman’s 2024 salary is not guaranteed though while Okoro will be a restricted free agent. The Cavs would have the right to match any offer sheet he might sign, Since he is not a star-level player, it is unlikely a team would want to tie up their cap space for the 48-hour window.
There are not many viable paths to a deal outside of a Bogdanovic or Collins-for-LeVert swap.
Cleveland wants more shooting but the Hawks need the same thing while LeVert, who can be a streaky shooter, also comes with a lengthy injury history, though the move would open up more playing time for promising rookie AJ Griffin (9.7 PPG, 40.7% 3P) since LeVert can also function as a backup primary ball handler — a role Bogdanovic has often filled in the past.
This will be a story to keep an eye on as the Hawks try to further fill out this roster on the fly and make a push for a deep playoff run with the trade deadline just days away.
Contract info courtesy of Spotrac.com.