The latest buzz around the Atlanta Hawks would suggest that another significant move is possible if not likely.
Their moves to this point have moved them in the opposite direction, geared more toward shedding salary than boosting the team’s ceiling. But their roster – and coaching staff – are built to compete right now.
With John Collins gone, traded to the Utah Jazz in one of those primarily cost-cutting moves, the next player to enter the rumor mill for the Hawks has been forward De’Andre Hunter whose four-year, $90 million contract extension starts next season. The Hawks also have to consider future new deals for Saddiq Bey and Onyeka Okongwu.
They’ve traded the last two draft picks they gave new money to in Collins and Kevin Huerter.
Hunter, 25, averaged a career-high 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists this past season while 35% from deep.
At 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, Hunter is the prototypical size for the modern forward. That much is evident by the list of players he’s spent the most minutes guarding which is dotted with names like Jimmu Butler, Brandon Ingram, Kawhi Leonard, and Jayson Tatum among others
Still, with Saddiq Bey and, more specifically, AJ Griffin lurking, a trade could make sense.
A De’Andre Hunter trade could make sense for the Hawks
The Hawks are projected to be more than $20 million below the luxury tax threshold in 2024-25 even with Dejounte Murray’s four-year, $120 million contract extension kicking in. But new deals for Bey and Okongwu could and likely will eat that cushion up rather quickly leaving the Hawks in a similar position as they entered this summer.
Reports have connected Hunter to trade talks with the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, and Indiana Pacers while the Hawks have been said to be in hard pursuit of Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam.
That makes him a good place to start.