The Atlanta Hawks are 20-27 on the season, just one game in the loss column back of the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings.
That is far from the expected pace entering the season. But it is also encouraging given how the season began and continues to go, with the Hawks notching wins over the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers, bringing their record to 2-1 on their six-game homestand.
They are just 5-4 in their last nine games. But strong performances from some of their players rumored to be on the trade block are forcing the front office to re-think their plans.
“Despite the goal of trimming future salary, one player with a sizable contract going forward the Hawks seemingly want to keep past the trade deadline is Bogdan Bogdanovic, according to rival executives and league sources who’ve spoken with HoopsHype,” HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto wrote on January 31.
Bogdanovic, 30, is averaging 17.1 points per game.
That is the second most of any bench player with at least 30 appearances behind former Hawk and current Dallas Mavericks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr., per NBA.com. Scotto notes Bogdanovic’s 56-game streak with at least one three-pointer made is the second-longest active streak in the NBA.
He is shooting 37.1% from deep this season, the second-worst mark of his four-year Hawks tenure. But Bogdanovic has hit a groove, shooting 45.7% over the last four games.
Bogdanovic also signed his four-year, $68 million extension in March 2023.
That is notable mostly because that was after the Hawks’ front office underwent its transition with General Manager Landry Fields assuming control of operations from former team president Travis Schlenk.
Most of the Hawks’ other trade candidates who are on big contracts predate that transition, arguably making their potential trades more likely.
Bogdanovic joins Dejounte Murray as the latest Hawk to perhaps turn the trade tides.
Hawks’ Dejounte Murray continues to make case against trade
Murray has been a staple of trade rumors this transaction cycle, and he has chosen to mostly avoid discussing them. More importantly for the Hawks, he has strung together several strong performances to encourage them to reconsider their plans to trade him too.
Most recently, Murray dropped 24 points with nine assists, four rebounds, and two steals in the Hawks’ 138-122 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the top rumored suitor for his services.
He’s gotten a vote of support from Head Coach Quin Snyder.
“Another interesting wrinkle to emerge on the Murray front: League sources say Coach Quin Snyder has lobbied the Hawks to keep him,” The Stein Line’s Marc Stein wrote in his latest batch of intel on January 29.
The most impactful part of the performance was Murray’s pressure on Lakers guards Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell, the two players linked back to the Hawks in a potential trade.
Reaves and Russell combined to go 3-for-6 from the floor on the night for five points.
With Bogdanovic and Murray potentially off the trading block, that leaves the onus on Saddiq Bey, Clint Capela, and De’Andre Hunter – who made his return after a 19-game absence with a knee injury – to continue the trend. The Hawks want to keep Trae Young, Jalen Johnson, Kobe Bufkin, and Jalen Johnson.
Like Bogdanovic and Murray, both Capela and Hunter are said to have value in the trade market. But they might be more valuable to the Hawks on their roster.