Former Heat top-10 pick floated as potential ‘top target’ for Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

While the Atlanta Hawks have been active, at least according to trade rumors.

Talk of a potential deal to acquire Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam has slowed of late but the Hawks could still look to flesh out the roster on the margins.

“Atlanta is scouring the bargain bin for cheap sources of depth and defense. Justise Winslow might scratch both itches,” wrote Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report on July 5. “He’d be a versatile chess piece with quickness on the perimeter and strength in the post. He could also be a sneaky fun way of supplying some playmaking in the non-Trae Young minutes.”

Winslow, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, is still just 27 years old and offers a unique skillet albeit one that is admittedly lacking in scoring juice. At his peak in 2018-19, he averaged 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game for Miami.

He also shot 37.5% from three-point range on a career-high 3.9 attempts per game.

However, the former Duke Blue Devil has not averaged double-figures across an entire season since the Heat traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2020.

Winslow has averaged 6.3 points and shot 23.6% from beyond the arc in the three seasons since then including 6.8 points, 5.0 boards, and 3.4 assists this past season across 29 appearances for the Portland Trail Blazers. He is coming off a two-year, $8 million pact he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2021.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 222 pounds, Winslow can easily play 1-through-4 in today’s NBA and even some small-ball 5. And, to Bailey’s point, his playmaking ability would be a nice complement to Young and Dejounte Murray.

It would also allow the Hawks to keep Bogdan Bogdanovic’s minutes in check.

The only reason not to make the move would be because of second-year wing AJ Griffin whom the Hawks have contemplated shipping out De’Andre Hunter to make room for, per Fischer.

This is again where Winslow’s versatility could pay off because there is almost always a need for something that he can do, and the Hawks would have enough offense around him to keep him from having to score too often. But it’s unclear if they would view him over any of their other 15 fully guaranteed contracts or even the three others that have yet to lock in.

Bol Bol could make for an intriguing target for Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks aren’t limited in resources as much as they are in opportunity with their roster being at least two deep at every position. Any potential acquisitions need to be unique enough to warrant moving off someone else.

Former Orlando Magic big man Bol Bol, 23, is one of the most unique players in the league.

Orlando waived the 7-foot-2 Bol just over two months after their social media team put that hype video out.

It’s not a talent issue for Bol who averaged 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 1.0 assists – all career-high marks – this past season. He also made 70 appearances and averaged more than 21 minutes.

Bol was a victim of the numbers game with the Magic boasting strong frontcourt depth and facing a decision on his $2.2 million salary for 2023-24. They chose to take the savings and now Bol, the No. 44 overall pick by the Heat in the 2019 NBA Draft is a rare unrestricted free agent after just four NBA seasons.

He never played for Miami after being traded the day after the draft to the Denver Nuggets where he spent three seasons before they traded him to the Boston Celtics.

Bol would again not suit up for his “new team”, instead getting traded to Orlando days later.

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He could provide an interesting third body at the center and power forward positions which would create a path to minutes if the Hawks were to add him.