The eve of free agency is officially upon us and with deals expected to start leaking shortly after 6 p.m. on June 30, Atlanta Hawks fans will want to be on high alert.
One summer after making a blockbuster trade to acquire Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs, the Hawks went the other direction, trading forward John Collins – the longest-tenured player on the roster – to the Utah Jazz ending years of speculation.
But the rumor mill continues to churn out the names of Hawks players with all but Trae Young said to be available in a potential trade for the right price. In Collins’ case, that price was breathing room under the luxury tax and a $25.3 million trade exception that they have one year to use before it expires.
With Collins gone, De’Andre Hunter appears to be the Hawks’ next rumor mill mainstay.
The Hawks are $13.4 million below the luxury tax threshold and will have the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($12.4 million) at their disposal.
Otherwise, their best course of action to improve the roster is via trade hence the amount of chatter that has also included center Clint Capela and even Murray, though the latter is said to be in a tier of his own in trade value within the organization.
Something, it would seem, has to give.
2023 Hawks free agents:
- Trent Forrest
- Aaron Holiday
The Hawks, fortunately, do not have any concerns over flight risks with either Forrest – who was on a two-way contract last season – or Holiday who was brought in in part because of his connection to former head coach Nate McMillan.
Holiday could return after having a serviceable season as Young’s backup when Murray wasn’t on the floor.
But Atlanta spent a first-round pick on Kobe Bufkin and could look to further beef up that spot.
Hawks free agency tracker:
With word of potential deals leaking even before the official July 1 start of the free agency period, be sure to check back here regularly for updates!
07-01: Atlanta Hawks agree to trade with Houston Rockets – Atlanta is sending the draft rights to F Alpha Kaba (No. 30 overall, 2017) to Houston for C Usman Garuba, G TyTy Washington, a 2025 second-round pick (via MIN), a 2028 second-round pick, and $1.1M cash, per Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
06-29: Hawks agree to delay guarantee on Bruno Fernando’s contract – The deadline to guarantee Fernando’s $2.8 million salary for 2023-24 was set to expire on Thursday. Fernando, 27, averaged 3.9 points and 3.7 rebounds this past season.
06-29: Hawks guarantee Garrison Mathews contract – The Hawks acquired Mathews, 26, from the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline in a package for Justin Holiday and Frank Kaminsky. He averaged 4.8 points and 1.4 rebounds and shot 40% from beyond the arc across his nine appearances with the Hawks. His contract is worth $2 million.
06-28: Hawks complete trade with Boston Celtics – Atlanta traded a 2027 second-round pick for draft rights to C Mouhamed Gueye (No. 39 overall, 2023 NBA Draft) – This deal took place on draft night but had to wait to be completed with the Hawks bringing in the 6-foot-11 Gueye.
06-28: Hawks extend qualifying offer to Trent Forrest – Forrest, 25, averaged 2.3 points, 1.7 assists, and 1.6 rebounds this past season. He did make 23 appearances including three starts, though he did fail to hit his only two three-point attempts in that span. His status as a restricted free agent gives the Hawks the right of first refusal on any contract offer sheet he signs.
06-26: Hawks waive G Donovan Williams – Williams, 24, was on a two-way contract. He appeared in two games for the Hawks last season averaging 2.0 points and 1.0 rebounds.
06-26: Hawks trade F John Collins to Utah Jazz for F Rudy Gay, future 2nd round pick – three years of trade speculation come to an end as the Hawks unload the remaining $78 million on Collins’ contract. The deal cannot be made official until July 6 under league rules while Gay, 36, has to accept his $6.4 million player option.
Atlanta will absorb his contract into a pre-existing trade exception, opening up the $25.3 million exception in the Collins deal.