The Atlanta Hawks got back in the win column with a victory over the Washington Wizards on New Year’s Eve, snapping a four-game skid.
But we got word before the game that, despite the New York Knicks’ blockbuster trade with the Toronto Raptors earlier in the day, the former was still likely to make a push for Hawks star Dejounte Murray via trade.
Murray is said to be a target of multiple teams ahead of the February 8 trade deadline.
No word of any trade requests has come out, only speculation given the Hawks’ current record and rumors of their willingness to explore all options.
The Hawks are just two wins out of the Play-In Tournament field. But that is not where they’d hoped they’d be coming into the season. And given that the Hawks are six games below .500, no options can be ruled out.
With that, let’s take a look at some of their options for replacing Murray if they do trade him, not all of which are 1-for-1 or even direct fill-ins.
Bogdan Bogdanovic is a Sixth Man of the Year candidate
The Hawks have needed Bogdan Bogdanovic’s scoring punch off the bench. He ranks second in scoring among all players with at least 20 games as a reserve this season with 17.5 points per game.
He’s averaged 18.0 points in his two starts, though he went from 58.3% true shooting as a reserve to 52.4% as a starter.
The Hawks are 37-28 when Bogdanovic starts since the start of the 2020-21 season.
Garrison Mathews has turned into a valued contributor
Mathews has taken advantage of the opportunity before him to become a player Head Coach Quin Snyder has turned to as a fill-in starter three times. He has only averaged 1.0 points in those starts, going 1-for-11 from the floor.
But Snyder has still spoken about Mathews’ ability to impact the game positively in other ways even when his shot isn’t falling.
That’s why he ranks over AJ Griffin in this quick list.
AJ Griffin has not been a big part of the Hawks' plans
Griffin recently made his return to the team after an extended absence due to personal reasons. But even before that, he had a difficult time locking down a consistent role in Snyder’s rotations, averaging 2.5 points and shooting 32.0% from deep this season.
He has the edge now, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see rookie Kobe Bufkin usurp him in the race to replace Murray should the latter get traded away.