Grade the trade: Hawks deal AJ Griffin to Rockets, land polarizing prospect

The Atlanta Hawks were active on Day 2 of the draft, making a pair of moves that ultimately saw them trade former first-round pick AJ Griffin.
Atlanta Hawks, AJ Griffin
Atlanta Hawks, AJ Griffin / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Heat land sharpshooter & cash to be 3rd party for Hawks

It seems rare to see one rival helping another facilitate a transaction, even if divisions don’t hold the same weight in the NBA as other leagues. Still, this one saw the Heat get the prospect they likely would have chosen initially for the gain of cash considerations.

All they did was move one slot down, selecting Arizona wing Pelle Larsson No. 44 overall. 

“Shades of Desmond Bane, Grayson Allen,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote pre-draft. “Versatile offensive role player who goes hard on defense and has the upside to be even more.”

Measuring 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 212 pounds, Larsson is of a similar build and experience to 2023 sensation Jaime Jaquez, though the latter was taller and heavier. Still, if Larsson can fit that mold – or O’Connor’s comps – it will only validate the Heat’s preconceived notions.

In an unrelated move, the Heat reached an agreement with Bam Adebayo on a new contract.

“The Miami Heat and Bam Adebayo – a three-time All-Star and three-time All-Defensive player – intend to reach a three-year, $166 million maximum contract extension, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium,” The Atletic’s Shams Charania reported on X on June 26. “Heat expect to lock in their cornerstone center through the 2028-29 season.”

Combined with their pick of center Kel’el Ware with the No. 15 overall pick and it was a solid two-day stretch for the Heat.

Grade – B+: The impact on the on-court product will end up being minimal, but hats off for being opportunistic.