The Atlanta Hawks are high on rookie Kobe Bufkin.
That much was made evident by a new report from Michael Scotto of HoopsHype updating the Toronto Raptors’ interest in the youngster.
“The Hawks were unwilling to part with rookie guard Kobe Bufkin in trade talks for Siakam, league sources told HoopsHype,” Scotto wrote on September 13. “Coach Quin Snyder is said to be high on the former Michigan guard.”
Toronto’s interest in Bufkin, and the possibility that he could be the piece to push the deal over the top was speculated on by Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun in August. He noted that Bufkin was on the Raptors’ radar during the pre-draft process before they decided to select Gradey Dick with the No. 13 overall pick.
Bufkin fell just a couple slots, though, landing with the Hawks at No. 15 overall.
“If the Atlanta Hawks really want to add Pascal Siakam … it appears the Georgia outfit will have to try a little harder to entice the Raptors,” Wolstat wrote on August 9.
The Hawks are said to have already offered former first-round picks AJ Griffin and De’Andre Hunter for Siakam to no avail. And his stance about signing a contract extension only complicates matters.
Atlanta traded John Collins to the Utah Jazz, leaving a void at power forward. They have in-house options in Saddiq Bey and Jalen Johnson and are said to be comfortable with the roster as is heading into the season. But their pursuit of Siakam could suggest they would prefer to find an upgrade if possible.
Siakam, a two-time All-Star and former champion would be that.
Atlanta Hawks stars high on Kobe Bufkin
“Young Fella Up Next,” Trae Young said in the caption of a picture he shared on Instagram in July.
“He could probably be pretty rangey with his athletic ability and defensive ability,” Hawks general manager Landry Fields said on draft night, per atlhawksfans on YouTube. “Even the floor as a player, with where he’s at today…he’ll be a guy that plays sooner rather than later.”
It makes sense then that the Hawks would be reluctant to part with Bufkin, especially with the lack of certainty about just what Siakam would do next offseason if he is traded.
There are just under three weeks until the Hawks open training camp on October 3. A lot can change between now and then, and even more between now and the trade deadline in February when motivation to make something happen often reaches a fever pitch. We could see the Hawks’ stance change on including Bufkin or pursuing a different target altogether.