Grade the trade: 2 Hawks proposals to land polarizing $221 million star

These proposed trades offer two potential paths for the Atlanta Hawks to land a big-monied star coming off a rough stretch.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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Swapping Dejounte Murray for Karl-Anthony Towns would create a key problem

Bailey’s other suggestion would flip Murray instead of Young, sending Hawks sixth man Bogdan Bogdanovic to the Timberwolves for Towns.

There are a few questionable aspects to this one.

Atlanta Hawks Receive: Karl-Anthony Towns
Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: Dejounte Murray and Bogdan Bogdanović

DJ for KAT 6.2 2024

“For the Hawks, this move costs them some depth and financial flexibility, but a top two of Young and Towns would be among the league's most explosive,” Bailey wrote. “And though it'd be tough to fashion an average defense with those two in place, having multiple, switchy wings like Jalen Johnson and De'Andre Hunter would help.”

The first issue is the financial ramifications.

The trade sending Young would add roughly $6 million to the Hawks’ bottom line. This version would add roughly $7 million for the luxury tax-conscious Hawks. They are $8.2 million below the first apron and $19.1 million from the second. 

They will pass both aprons if they bring everyone back with the potential addition of the No. 1 overall pick.

There are also more defensive concerns.

Having perimeter defenders in Hunter and Johnson – and potentially 2023 first-round pick Kobe Bufkin – would help keep Towns clean in this hypothetical scenario. But 1-5 pick-and-rolls would be the norm. 

Towns was solid against ball handlers in those situations this past season. But that is still inviting switches onto Young.

Having a defensive anchor at the 5 appeals more for a Young-led group, especially at the cost.

Towns starts a five-year, $221 million contract next season. He has cap hits of $49.3 million in 2024-25, $53.3 million in 2025-26, $57.2 million in 2026-27, and he has a $61.2 million player option for 2027-28.

Grade – B-: Even if the Hawks are torn on their two guards, this hypothetical scenario deal creates a lot of question marks without any draft capital coming back to offset any potential on-court failings.