The Hawks could spread the wealth of Trae Young’s contract
Say the Hawks don’t feel like a Young trade would be the beacon of a rebuild that it would likely be viewed as, they could look to spread his contract out over a few pieces, possibly replenishing their draft capital and bolstering the ranks
This deal has to include the Lakers’ 2029 pick and the Hawks should push for a pick swap.
Russell, 27, is in his second tour with the team that drafted him No. 2 overall in 2015.
He scored 0.5 fewer points with the Lakers than he did with the Minnesota Timberwolves before being traded at the deadline.
In 17 regular season games, Russell averaged 17.4 points, 6.1 assists, and 2.9 rebounds for L.A. His efficiency did rise from 46.5% from the floor in Minnesota to 48.4% in Los Angeles. He also went from canning 39.1% of his triples to 41.4% despite taking just 0.5 fewer attempts.
Russell is coming off a four-year, $117.3 million contract meaning this would have to be a sign-and-trade, while Jarred Vanderbilt‘s $4.6 million salary for 2023-24 becomes fully guaranteed on June 30. The draft compensation would have to do some heavy lifting to get this deal across the finish line and, given that Young would effectively reset the Lakers’ title window, those future picks become far less valuable.
The Hawks had eyes for Malik Beasley, a Georgia native, at one point in time, according to the 26-year-old Beasley himself. L.A. would have to exercise his $16.5 million club option to include him in a deal without making him the sign-and-trade piece.
Beasley averaged double-digit points for the fifth straight season but logged precious few minutes late in the postseason.
He also shot 35.7% from deep this past season, his second consecutive decline.
Beasley, Russell, and Vanderbilt were teammates in Minnesota before Beasley and Vanderbilt were traded to the Utah Jazz for Rudy Gobert. Vanderbilt – a switchy defender – averaged 7.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals as a Laker.
His defensive efforts are often belied by his lack of offense but he’s still young enough to improve. He’s still a valuable piece for a team that has struggled with perimeter defense and, specifically, dribble penetration for a while.
Big man Mo Bamba had a career year in 2021-22 with 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.2 assists while shooting 38.1% from deep earning a two-year, $20.6 million contract.
While he shot 38.7% from three this past season, he dealt with injuries.