That includes their late-developing conversations with the New Orleans Pelicans in which the Pels were interested in Hawks guard Dejounte Murray and big men Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu.
But the Hawks’ interest included pending free agent Naji Marshall.
“The Hawks are known to value several players on New Orleans’ roster — including Naji Marshall, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer,” Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer wrote on February 8.
Marshall, 26, is averaging 7.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists this season, while also shooting a career-high 36.3% from beyond the arc.
Listed at 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Marshall’s impact on the Pelicans is palpable.
They boast a plus-6.3 net efficiency differential with Marshall on the floor, per Cleaning The Glass, ranking in the 81st percentile. And while they still had a positive efficiency differential without him, it fell to plus-3.2 and ranked in the 68th percentile.
In the final year of a four-year, $5.3 million contract, he also would have fit into the Hawks’ ethos from ahead of the deadline of not taking back salary beyond this season.
Now, the Hawks will have to wait until the offseason if they still have eyes for Marshall.
Hawks expected to re-engage with teams about Dejounte Murray trade this offseason
The two sides will have to reconvene this offseason for something on Capela, Murray, or Okongwu.
“League personnel expect Los Angeles [Lakers], of course, to re-engage Atlanta over Murray, and New Orleans will have the opportunity to resume conversations the Pelicans held with the Hawks this week,” Fischer wrote.
Fischer points to the Hawks’ not being under any deadline to trade Murray.
The one-time All-Star is having a great season and will start a four-year, $114 million contract extension next season.
Capela has been mentioned in several trade rumors over the last few months, most notably with links to the Dallas Mavericks and his former team, the Houston Rockets. He is in the first year of a two-year, $46 million contract extension.
Okongwu’s mention in the rumored talks comes as a surprise.
He was previously included in the list of players the Hawks wanted to keep, joining Trae Young, Jalen Johnson, and Kobe Bufkin.
Unlike Capela and fellow rumored trade candidate De’Andre Hunter (four years, $90 million, Okongwu received his four-year, $62 million extension from this version of the Hawks’ front office. Capela will be on an expiring contract this offseason, which could make him even more appealing in a trade.
How eager the Hawks are to actually part with Hunter or Okongwu remains to be seen.
They’ve already soured on the Murray-Young dynamic only to backtrack – perhaps because they couldn’t find a trade – just a few weeks later. They must finish this season strong to avoid another onslaught of trade rumors.