Proposed Hawks trade lands former 1st-round pick, veteran sharpshooter

Atlanta Hawks, Clint Capela, Tim Hardaway. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, Clint Capela, Tim Hardaway. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Things are quiet around the NBA and the Atlanta Hawks and their rumored pursuit of Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is no exception.

But other parts of that potential deal remain of interest, namely the Dallas Mavericks’ potential pursuit of another center to bolster their back line behind Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving next season.

“To bring aboard their sought-after shot-blocking, board-hoarding center, the Mavericks have to cough up a package headlined by Josh Green,” wrote Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report on July 28. “If he can replicate the 40.2 percent he shot from distance last year, Green, still just 22, could be a huge get for the Hawks.”

Hughes described Green as “a promising connective wing who can cut, pass on the move, defend and hit open threes”. The youngster was a key reason previous talks between the two sides are said to have fallen through.

Green averaged 9.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists last season, and is also a superb athlete.

The former No. 18 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Green is highly-regarded in Dallas.

Green was one of two prospects the Hawks tried to pry loose for Dallas in exchange for Capela, 29, who is starting a two-year, $46 million contract extension he signed in 2021 under a different front-office regime. Dallas has – or at least had – eyes on adding Capela to an already-loaded frontcourt.

It already includes trade acquisition Richaun Holmes, 2023 No. 12 overall pick Dereck Lively II, and could even include three-time champion JaVale McGee, though that seems unlikely.

Capela averaged 12.0 points and 11.0 rebounds last season, making 65 total appearances.

Swingman Tim Hardaway Jr., 31, averaged 14.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 38.5% from the floor. He would obviously bring floor spacing and veteran savvy in a potential second act with Atlanta.

But his skillset overlaps – and even lags behind in many ways – that of Bogdan Bogdanovic, 30, who averaged 14.0, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 40.6% from deep. Bogdanovic is starting a four-year, $63 million extension he signed in March seemingly giving him more security than Capela and rendering Hardaway a luxury.

Hawks’ faith in Onyeka Okongwu could spur Clint Capela trade

Capela is still a valuable player but the Hawks need to find out just what Onyeka Okongwu is as he heads into the final year of his rookie contract. Okongwu, 22, averaged 9.9 points, 7.2 boards, and 1.0 assists last season.

He also showcased a budding ability to step out a make shots outside of the painted area, even connecting on some threes.

The former No. 6 overall pick in 2020, Okongwu is undersized but strong and athletic.

Atlanta has fought off suitors to this point leaving themselves on a collision course to make this very decision. Again, there is absolutely no rush since Okongwu will be a restricted free agent next summer giving the Hawks the right of first refusal should he sign an offer sheet with another team.

But surely they would like to have a better idea of what their plans are long before getting to that point if they can help it and evaluating him in live game action is the only way to do that.

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Perhaps head coach Quin Snyder can get creative in how he deploys his bigs next season, alleviating the need for a trade at all. It seems as though someone will have to go both to clear up the log jam and to make way for new money for players like Okongwu and Saddiq Bey.