There is a good chance that the version of the Atlanta Hawks that takes the floor on February 9 will look significantly different from the one that faces the Indiana Pacers on January 5.
“The Hawks are absolutely open for business on trades,” ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said on Threads on January 3. “GM Landry Fields seems determined to make changes to that roster.”
Atlanta has been named as a potential trade partner for several teams.
The most persistent rumors have linked them to Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam, a link that may be even stronger in the wake of the New York Knicks’ trade for OG Anunoby.
Beyond that, the Hawks have also been linked to the Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans, and more in recent months. Nothing has gotten beyond that stage outside of rumored offers exchanged and rejected with Toronto.
Despite a two-game winning streak, the Hawks remain five games below .500 on the season, and they were in a 3-10 slump before that.
That has helped fuel trade rumors around players like Dejounte Murray.
Dejounte Murray the latest Hawks player featured in the rumor mill
Multiple sources have named Murray as a player of interest to the Knicks, even after the Anunoby trade. Murray has not said anything to suggest he is looking to be traded, though he did scrub his Instagram of Hawks content amid the swirling rumors.
The Hawks surrendered three first-round draft picks, two of their own, as well as valued veteran Danilo Gallinari to the San Antonio Spurs for Murray ahead of last season.
Murray and Trae Young matched some notable history in their first season together.
But Murray has admitted to it being a significant adjustment for him, going from being a lead guard – and earning his first All-Star selection – to playing off the ball again. He and Young returned this offseason with renewed enthusiasm and expectations.
“Be better than last year,” he said on October 2. “Win and be a top-four seed. Being a Play-In team is not optional.”
The Hawks were 17-16 at this point last season en route to a 41-41 finish.
They fought their way through the Play-In Tournament. But they suffered their second consecutive first-round exit, not how they envisioned things after the blockbuster acquisition of Murray.
Aside from him, Bogan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela, and De’Andre Hunter have been the players most consistently mentioned in trade rumors.
Will it be Murray – who is averaging 20.6 points per game on a career-high 55.9% true shooting and connecting on 38.3% of his threes – or one of the others? Or will the Hawks look at the impact the return of Jalen Johnson has had and give this group more time?
Major deals such as those the Hawks have been linked to often begin as chatter during the season before becoming reality in the summer.