3 Clint Capela trades the Hawks should explore to build around Trae Young

These trades would see the Atlanta Hawks upgrade their starting center position to build around Trae Young.
Trae Young, Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young, Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
1 of 3

Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela has been named in connection to several potential suitors in trade rumors. It is a continuation of speculation that surrounded the former rebounding champion during the season. 

Capela averaged 11.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists last season. He is entering the final year of a two-year, $46 million contract.

He carries a $22.3 million cap hit in 2024-25.

There is no guarantee the Hawks move Capela. He has been a steadying presence over the years. But they could make use of his expiring contract either by itself or in a package to secure an upgrade at the position or elsewhere. Here are three trades the Hawks should pursue for Capela.

Hawks land long-rumored target for Clint Capela in proposed trade

The Hawks’ trade with the New Orleans Pelicans has yet to be finalized. Dejounte Murray is still going to the Pelicans. But they will have to add salary to satisfy league rules. 

That could be as simple as sending a player like Matt Ryan, per an example from ESPN’s Bobby Marks. But the Pelicans also need a center after Jonas Valanciunas left for the Washington Wizards in free agency.

A package with De’Andre Hunter alongside Capela for Ingram and Ryan could make sense.

CC/Dre to NO

The Hawks had been linked to Ingram before trading Murray to the Pelicans. However, that Ingram was not included in the initial framework could signal the Hawks are indeed out on him.

Ingram, 26, 20.8 points, 5.7 assists, and 5.1 rebounds last season. A 36.2% career shooter from beyond the arc, he shot 35.5% from deep last season. He has dealt with injuries in his career, including last season.

But his 64 games were the second most of his career. 

He is also entering the final year of a five-year, $158.3 million contract with a $36 million cap charge for 2024-25.

The Pelicans have said they are continuing to explore extension options with Ingram. But trade speculation has continued. He is not a strong defender. But he is 6-foot-8 at the shooting guard position.

Notably, New Orleans posted a plus-4.4 net efficiency differential with Ingram on the floor, per Cleaning The Glass. They had a plus-4.5 mark without him.

That could suggest a less impactful player than Ingram’s counting stats suggest.

Still, adding Ingram would allow the Hawks to add another versatile player with length next to Trae Young in the starting lineup. It would also add another complimentary playmaker with Jalen Johnson.

The Hawks would have a chance to make another run for the postseason with Ingram in the mix and help facilitate a sign-and-trade next offseason if that pairing also failed.

The Pelicans get their center in Capela, who is on an expiring contract.

New Orleans does not need Hunter with Herb Jones and Trey Murphy, so a third team could still be needed to put a scenario like this over the top. But he is a relatively cheap replacement for Ingram and has defensive chops.