Proposed trade swaps veteran Atlanta Hawks duo for former No. 1 pick

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

If the Atlanta Hawks want to take that next step into a perennial threat to go deep into the playoffs, there could need to be changes made to the roster.

In a new trade proposal from Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, they get just that. Swartz has the Hawks taking a couple of their higher-priced veterans and, in return, landing a former No. 1 overall pick.

There is also a potential added benefit that could appeal to the Hawks at the highest level.

The target is embattled Phoenix Suns big man Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the same draft that brought Trae Young to Atlanta. But, after a rocky road to his current four-year, $132.9 million contract that saw him sign an offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers, the time could be right for the Hawks to strike.

“While Ayton has All-Star potential, his touches will be limited if he stays in Phoenix given the amount of offensive talent already on the roster,” Swartz argues. “Ayton can thrive in Atlanta, playing pick-and-roll…all game long while expanding his overall game. “

Ayton, 24, averaged 18.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists this past season. But his effectiveness (and motor) waned as the postseason wore on leaving his future in question.

Former Hawks big man Jock Landale, now of the Suns, came to Ayton’s defense.

The pick-and-roll has been a staple of Young’s game in particular, with the dynamic point guard deftly mixing in floaters with lobs to Clint Capela, 29, and teammate John Collins who has dealt with his fair share of trade rumors.

Young ranked second behind only Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies with 12.7 P&R possessions per game while Morant averaged 12.8 pick-and-roll looks per game.

“Shamet gives this roster more shooting around the star guards as well,” Swartz adds.

The 26-year-old swingman, Landry Shamet, has bounced around the league a bit since entering the league as a member of that same 2018 draft class, with Phoenix marking his fourth team after stints with the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Philadelphia 76ers with no more than 78 games in any stop outside of Phoenix.

Shamet is heading into Year 2 of a four-year, $42.5 million contract with a 2025 player option.

He averaged 8.7 points, 2.3 assists, and 1.7 rebounds this past season while shooting 37.7% from deep, an appealing trait for the Hawks who already ranked 28th in three-point attempts during the regular season but fourth in the playoffs as Quin Snyder implemented his scheme.

And, according to Young on the “From The Point” podcast on June 1, they want to shoot even more threes next season, a defining trait of Snyder’s Utah Jazz squads.

Atlanta Hawks shed salary, land Deandre Ayton in proposed trade

The other major benefit of this potential deal for the Hawks is shedding nearly $7 million in salary off the books while simultaneously extending their window to build and contend.

Capela averaged a double-double for the sixth consecutive season, putting up 12.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game with 1.2 blocks for good measure. But recent leg injuries and eight NBA seasons of work appeared to have taken their toll on the 2021 rebounding champion whose block and rebounding numbers both dipped for the third straight year.

The Hawks big man – who is close with Young – inked a two-year, $45 million extension in 2021 that kicks in this coming season and runs through the 2025 campaign.

Swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, 30, has also dealt with leg injuries over the last few years but said during his exit interview that he feels healthy going into the offseason. He averaged 14.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 44.7% from the floor and 40.6% from deep.

Atlanta signed their sixth man and occasional spot-starter, Bogdanovic, to a four-year, $68 million contract that runs through the 2026-27 season with a team option in the final year.

However, Bogdanovic’s inclusion in this proposal is likely where things break down since he signed his new contract in March meaning he cannot be traded until around training camp in September. That is extremely late – although deals have been consummated at that time – and could lead to something being more likely at the trade deadline.

Notably, the Suns had no interest in taking on the remainder of Collins’ contract.

But Bogdanovic was “on the radar” for Phoenix during the season

Next. Twin brother of Kings’ lottery pick headlines Hawks’ workout. dark

The Suns will have a new head coach and could presumably give Ayton another shot to win them over and vice versa. If not, the Hawks have to at least consider a move of this magnitude to continue progressing toward their ultimate goal of a championship.