5 Potential trade targets that fit into the Hawks’ $25 million exception

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Bringing Malcolm Brogdon home could make sense

Looking at the first path, Boston Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon might not jump off the screen as an obvious option. For starters, the Hawks have two All-Star-caliber guards and just drafted Kobe Bufkin with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Brogdon, 30, is also dealing with an injury that was serious enough that it derailed a potential three-team trade that would have sent him to the Los Angeles Clippers.

But L.A.s loss could still be the Hawks’ gain with the reigning Sixth Man of the Year.

The Atlanta native averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists this past season, shooting 48.4% from the floor and 44.4% from beyond the arc setting a new career high. He is currently nursing – with a four-to-eight-week period of “resting and rehabbing,” per Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens on ‘Celtics Talk Podcast’ on June 23.

Despite a recent tough stretch with injuries, Brogdon’s 67 appearances this past season were his most since his rookie season when he won Rookie of the Year. It was also his first season operating strictly off the bench.

Brogdon is just starting a two-year, $45 million extension he signed with the Pacers ahead of the 2021-22 season and will earn $22.5 million in 2023-24.

He could provide value in the interim and still be a trade chip later.

And, if all goes well, and his homecoming proves to be a success, the Hawks would have a path to cap space assuming they further position themselves for it. This might be on the more unlikely end of the spectrum given Brogdon’s injury history having averaged just over 51 games per season from 2017-18 to 2021-22.

Brogdon’s ability on both ends of the floor could be worth the gamble for a Hawks team that has lacked both on top of a level of toughness and leadership at times in recent years. If not, the Hawks could opt to go expensive but on the other end of the age spectrum.