Grades: Atlanta Hawks surprise trade addresses major issue

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks have made a (somewhat complicated) trade landing Saddiq Bey from the Detroit Pistons via the Golden State Warriors in a three-team deal that sees the Hawks send out five second-round picks in return.

The NBA is a numbers game and three points are worth more than two points. As obvious as that may seem, the Hawks have regressed so tremendously in that department going from being the second most-efficient team from beyond the arc, albeit on the 18th most attempts last season, to the ninth-worst shooting team on the third-fewest shots.

To remedy that, the Hawks went and traded for the 6-foot-7 Bey who comes in shooting 34.5% from three this season on 5.6 looks and 35.7% on 6.7 deep looks in his career.

He did shoot 38% as a rookie and is still shooting 37%-plus on catch-and-shoot looks this year.

It does not sound as though the plan is for him to take away from any of the major contributors – at least not right away since anything can happen – judging from the words of head coach Nate McMillan in his postgame media availability.

Bey, 23, is in the third year of his rookie contract effectively putting him under team control for the next three seasons including restricted free agency in 2024.

His qualifying offer will be roughly $6.5 million, a fairly reasonable price if he pans out.

The Hawks have had previous interest in Bey and he joins a team that found itself happily holding onto John Collins through another trade deadline and is still trying to earn a guaranteed playoff spot. Ultimately, that will be the determining factor in whether or not this trade was worth it – despite the seemingly low cost, second-round picks grease a lot of trade wheels.

Grade: B+

Atlanta Hawks make cost-cutting trade, still improve depth

The Hawks were not content with simply adding Bey, though their other trade figures to be far less impactful. They sent swingman Justin Holiday and big man Frank Kaminsky to the Houston Rockets for former Hawk Bruno Fernando and sharpshooter Garrison Mathews.

At 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, Fernando, 24, falls right in the middle of Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu on the size chart. He is in the first year of a four-year, $10 million pact that does give the Hawks asset control through the 2026 season or, if they are unsatisfied, in 2025 thanks to a $2.8 million team option in the final year.

A second-round pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019, he is averaging 4.1 points, 3.9 boards, and 1.0 assists in just over 11 minutes per game this season making 31 appearances with four starts.

Grade: C

Mathews, 26, is a former undrafted free agent on a four-year, $8.2 million deal.

He is in a down shooting season – just 34.2% of his threes have fallen. But He shot 36% last season and has even shot as high as 41% as a rookie, though the downward trend is a bit concerning if the Hawks were planning on him having a significant role which they are not.

Grade: C

Next. Landry Fields gets brutally honest about Hawks’ roster. dark