The Hawks could take advantage of the Timberwolves’ logjam
There have been rumblings that the Hawks could look to move center Clint Capela this offseason with Okongwu potentially poised to take over and the Hawks already engaging with the Dallas Mavericks in talks for the veteran starter.
In the West, the Minnesota Timberwolves could be looking at a multi-faceted numbers crunch on their roster and salary cap.
They already went over the top with two centers being paid like superstars in Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns who played power forward last season. But they also just handed Anthony Edwards a rookie supermax contract and gave backup big man Naz Reid a new deal this offseason as well.
That foursome will account for more than $145 million against the salary cap in 2024-25.
If nothing else, the Timberwolves could strive for better roster balance on a team that finished as the eight-seed just as the Hawks did this past season.
The Hawks might wish they could put Capela in this deal instead of Okongwu, and perhaps with the aid of a third team they could. But the Timberwolves do not need another non-shooting center in this scenario in which Towns’ availability could be growing imminent.
“There has been some discussion about Towns, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if that gets much louder as the trade deadline nears,” wrote ESPN NBA insider Tim MacMahon on July 5. “The face of the franchise for the Timberwolves has transitioned to Edwards…If Minnesota is going to make another major change, it would need to be by trading Towns.”
Towns averaged 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists, shooting 36.6% from deep in ‘23.
The 27-year-old big man is finishing a five-year, $158.2 million contract and will start a four-year, $234.5 million extension in 2024-25.
This deal seems fine in a vacuum but, in reality, only really makes sense if the Hawks figure out what to do with Capela and at power forward, assuming they are still looking for options there and wouldn’t just look to re-create what Minnesota has.