The Atlanta Hawks (22-29) are in a state of turmoil. Not only is their season seemingly in tatters, again, but they have shown over the last offseason and this trade period that their problems run deeper. The actions, or inactions, of their front office appear to be the biggest stumbling block to their success.
The Hawks have an All-Star in Trae Young, who was snubbed in the latest popularity contest again this season. He is putting up incredible numbers in points and assists per game. They have a young, up-and-coming star in Jalen Johnson, which shows that the Hawks know how to spot talent in the draft.
Where they are struggling is in their decision-making when it comes to making trades. There was the one exception of the offseason where they traded for players like Danilo Gallinari and Tony Snell. Then they flipped Rajon Rondo for Lou Williams mid-season and went on that extended playoff run. Since then, they have hesitated to make the hard call, which has cost the franchise dearly.
Where the Atlanta Hawks have gone wrong over the past season
The Atlanta Hawks front office did not have the courage in their convictions to trade John Collins at the highest possible value. The rumors kept swirling that he was unhappy, that the Hawks should trade him et cetera, et cetera. However, instead of making a decision, they kept holding out. The front office kept holding onto the hope that the Eastern Conference Finals run had given them.
Well, unfortunately, this cost the franchise dearly in what they were able to get back for the big man. Instead of getting first-round picks or a quality player, the Hawks settled for an aging Rudy Gay and two future second-round picks. The Hawks then shipped Gay, to the OKC Thunder with Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington for Patty Mills.
So, what did the Hawks' hesitancy net them for John Collins? A couple of future second-round picks and Mills. The NBA equivalent of a used box of tissues and a roll of paper towel. I love Mills but he is in the twilight of his career. Collins was entering his prime. The only positive from this trade is that it saved the Hawks' cap space and gave them a level of flexibility.
This issue has been further compounded by the Hawks inactivity at the current trade deadline. There was interest in Dejounte Murray and again the Hawks hit a stumbling block on getting the deal done. In a season going nowhere fast, the franchise did nothing to help their future.
No, to make matters worse, there was a report from Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer saying that there was a potential that they may look to move Young in the offseason. This would then mean that the entire future of the Hawks would change, This feels as though the front office is giving up trying to find the right fit to play around Young.
Given what the Hawks have invested into the star over the journey of their partnership, this could have a dire impact on the franchise. The Hawks could very well be back in the place that they were in before Young came to the franchise. The front office needs to step up and make the bold calls, the ones that they have been too timid to make until this point.