5 Players the Hawks might replace De’Andre Hunter with by the trade deadline

Atlanta Hawks, De'Andre Hunter. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, De'Andre Hunter. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks, Karl-Anthony Towns
Atlanta Hawks, Karl-Anthony Towns. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /

Making KAT a Hawk

There is increasing buzz outside of the Minnesota Timberwolves is they will have to break up their big-man duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert.

Sparked in part by the team’s success playing a defensive-oriented brand of basketball, it is Towns who has been viewed as the potential odd-man out. He is in the final year of a five-year, $158.2 million contract but will begin a four-year extension worth up to $224 million beginning in 2024-25.

Gobert still has three years and over $131 million still owed to him and, as the older, more offensively limited player, figures to have less of a trade market. The Timberwolves are also trying to navigate the dynamite between Towns and budding superstar Anthony Edwards.

Edwards isn’t getting traded this year but Towns very well could be, based on growing sentiments around the league.

Towns averaged 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists last season, making just 29 appearances due to injury. But Minnesota was one game above .500 with or without Towns last season.

This could require a third team since sending Capela to Minnesota is counterproductive. But the Dallas Mavericks have been one of the teams the Hawks big man has been linked to while they could seize an opportunity to unload one of their less favorable contracts to Minnesota who adds shooting around Edwards in the scenario above.

And Hardaway’s contract expires after the 2024-25 season.

Even if this deal doesn’t go down during the season, the Hawks may want to explore this potential option next summer if Towns’ situation doesn’t improve.