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
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Hawks land former Most Improved Player in proposed Clint Capela trade

The Hawks and Utah Jazz held talks that would have sent Young to the Western Conference, per Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer on June 30. It is unclear how far those talks got. But the Jazz have also taken calls on Lauri Markkanen.

The Hawks could capitalize on that to upgrade their center position.

Hawks land Lauri

The Hawks would send the 2025 first-round picks from the Lakers (unprotected) and Kings (top-12 protected) as well as a swap option in 2028 and their first in 2030. It is a high price to pay after their last experiment ended after two years.

Walker Kessler could be available and would cost far less to acquire.

This, however, would aim to turn the Hawks into something resembling what the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets – the last two NBA champions – have boasted.

Markkanen is a 7-footer who can get his own shot and space the floor. He also won Most Improved Player in 2023. He isn’t as strong or as dynamic of a passer as Nikola Jokic is. Nor is he as long and defensively sound as Porzingis.

But he moves better than Jokic and has been more available than the Porzingis.

Markkanen averaged 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting 39.9% from downtown last season. Markkanen is entering the final year of a four-year, $67.5 million contract with an $18 million cap hit in 2024-25.

HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto wrote on July 2 that the Jazz are expected to want a package similar to what the Brooklyn Nets received from the New York Knicks for Mikal Bridges.

New York gave up six first-round picks, five of which were theirs either outright or swapped.

The Hawks don’t have that to give up after previous dealings. So this scenario could be dead in the water before it ever begins. Still, if the Hawks had the wherewithal to make such a move, it could help them reach new heights.

Markkanen is a power forward by trade. But he has always moonlighted at center. The Jazz had good results in limited minutes with him there last season.

It could also be a good way to show Young they are serious about winning.

As with Ingram, the Hawks could acquire Markkanen now and hope to work out a sign-and-trade in free agency next offseason. Fischer reported the Jazz are expected to work on an extension for him but that inquiries have continued.