The Atlanta Hawks have been linked to a number of trades. A rumor has been circulating about a potential trade with the Toronto Raptors where they would receive Pascal Siakam. While this is appealing it would depend on who the Hawks had to give up.
However, one of the latest trade ideas that Bleacher Report cooked up was to send John Collins and Onyeka Okongwu to the Dallas Mavericks. The Hawks would receive Davis Bertans, JaVale McGee, and the No. 10 overall pick in the upcoming 2023 NBA draft.
While this trade looks like a bad idea for the Hawks, there needs to be some thought given to the future. The Hawks have some major issues coming in the form of the salary cap where they are going to be paying huge amounts for a team that has not been good enough to get out of the first round for the past two seasons.
Why do the Atlanta Hawks benefit from this trade?
The first benefit of this trade is simple mathematics. Collins is due just under $80 million over the next three seasons. To put it simply, his production since the extended playoff run where they were beaten in the Eastern Conference Finals has not justified that kind of money.
While Bertans is being overpaid at the moment, he is only due $17 million next season and then the final year of his deal is not guaranteed. What he does bring to the table is a 39.8% accuracy from deep for his career which is what the Hawks are desperately in need of. His defense is poor but Collins has never been great in a half-court setting either, except for his rim protection.
The next part of the equation is the one that hurts the most. Having watched Okongwu develop into a really good player, seeing him play for another team would be heart-wrenching. However, if you are forced to choose between Okongwu and Dejounte Murray, you have to go with the former All-Star. This is simply the reality of the current salary cap situation.
While getting McGee slightly eases the pain, Okongwu is at the start of what is going to be a tremendous career, and McGee is nearing the end of his. He does bring championship experience to a team in desperate need of some but he does not have the same future upside or work ethic as Okongwu.
Lastly, there is the first-round pick that they will get back as part of the deal. This gives them back a pick they sent away in the Murray trade last off-season. On top of that, the Mavs pick is in the lottery and hopefully, none of the Hawks picks that they sent away were likely to be as good. The Hawks also own the 15th pick in this year’s draft.
With the two picks, the Hawks could package them, potentially with another player, and move up the draft, They could also use both these picks and get two quality younger players. Either way, the Atlanta Hawks get the chance to move on from the Collins contract and potentially fill some of their needs of the offseason.