While the Atlanta Hawks are said to be comfortable taking the roster as currently constructed into the regular season, that does not mean they are not also pondering potential moves.
And, with their future finances still looming as a potential challenge, cost-cutting could be the move once again. They shed John Collins in a trade to the Utah Jazz, alleviating some of the pressure.
But they may not be done just yet.
“Another player to watch in potential trade talks is Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, who becomes trade-eligible on September 16,” wrote Michael Scott of HoopsHype on September 13. “Bogdanovic recently finished with the third-highest Global Rating at the World Cup and is owed $68 million over the next four seasons.”
While the Hawks shedding salaries is far from a new concept, Bogdanovic signed his extension in March, under general manager Landry Fields.
The other Hawks who have been most often bandied about in trade rumors – Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter – both got paid under former team president Travis Schlenk, now of the Washington Wizards front office.
Hawks’ Bogdan Bogdanovic could be primed for big year
Hawks general manager Landry Fields was effusive with praise for Bogdanovic.
“Bogi brings so many of the qualities we are looking for in a Hawks player. In addition to his elite shooting ability, he has the versatility to thrive as a starter or sixth man, and a competitiveness that is invaluable to our team and culture,” Fields said in a statement release through the team on March 16. “We are excited that he will remain a key part of our team going forward.”
Bogdanovic averaged 14.0 points while shooting 40.6% from beyond the arc last season, adding 3.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and nearly 1.0 steals per game.
The 30-year-old guard has enjoyed his first healthy offseason in some time, helping guide Serbia to a silver medal in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, and he could be primed for Sixth Man of the Year consideration despite not making ESPN’s short-list of preseason candidates.
He is also a favorite outlet of Trae Young.
Bogdanovic is one of just five players on the roster from the Hawks Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2020-21.
With so much change taking place over the last year or so, having Bogdanovic around maintains some level of continuity. But the Hawks – who are roughly $9.7 million below the luxury tax threshold – have to factor in potential new contracts for backup big man Onyeka Okongwu as well as 2023 trade deadline acquisition, Saddiq Bey.
Bey could be in line to start with Collins absent from the first five now. And the Hawks are said to have entertained Capela trades in part to clear the runway for Okongwu. The timing of Bogdanovic’s eligibility made him seem like a safer bet but that may not be the case after all.