Proposed Offseason Trade Would See Atlanta Hawks 'Build Toward 2025'

This trade proposal would have the Atlanta Hawks ship out up to three players for a large expiring contract and future draft capital.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks (34-39) are on a roll, winning four straight contests and five of their last seven outings. There isn’t much confidence in their postseason staying power, though, especially amid a slew of injuries and inconsistency this season.

That means speculation about how this team will look next season has already begun.

“For the Hawks, this would be a financial reset that sets them up nicely for the 2025 offseason,” Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz wrote on March 29.

Swarts presents a hypothetical trade scenario that would have the Hawks “build toward 2025.”

Hawks-Nets salary dump

“By swapping two players under long-term deals for Simmons' expiring contract, Atlanta would clear $39 million in salary. Add in Clint Capela's expiring deal, and the Hawks would be shedding $61.3 million from their books in 2025,” Swartz wrote. “The Hawks would also acquire the Suns' unprotected 2025 first-round pick and a pair of future second-rounders in this deal, and they could see whether they get anything out of Simmons in a contract year.”

This trade would have been far more appealing for the Hawks several seasons ago when Simmons was a productive member of the Philadelphia 76ers’ rotation. Then, the Hawks showed interest in the three-time All-Defensive Team selection in multiple transaction windows.

Since then, though, Simmons has mostly been dead weight on the Brooklyn Nets, who acquired him in a trade for James Harden at the 2022-23 trade deadline.

Rather than the upgrade to the roster, Swartz argues for the chance to reset a bit.

Hawks would lose valuable rotation players in trade proposal

Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter popped up often in trade rumors ahead of the deadline. 

The former will be in Year 2 of a four-year, $68 million contract extension signed last March. Hunter’s $90 million contract extension will also kick in. The difference is Bogdanovic signed his extension before the current front office iteration took over.

Could that factor into the Hawks’ plans in a potential reset of the roster?

Bogdanovic has been a valuable part of the rotation and starting lineup in his Hawks tenure, while Hunter’s two-way versatility has proven similarly valuable this season.

Injuries have hurt both in the last few seasons. Bogdanovic has been less of an injury concern this season, missing just three games. He has already made his most appearances since the 2018-19 season and is on pace to tie his career high with 78 appearances.

At 31 years old, though he is five years Hunter’s senior.

As for Capela – who would be an expiring contract in the second year of his two-year, $46 million pact – he is on track for 73-plus games for the fourth time in his career.

Hunter’s knee issues are a concern as he finishes the first year of his four-year, $90 million contract. But Simmons’ back injury has cost him the better part of three seasons now, the last two in Brooklyn.

Acquiring him for players who have been useful in that span is only valuable in a salary dump.

That is unequivocally what this would be. Hawks general manager Landry Fields denied entertaining taking a step back at the trade deadline.

However, assistant coach Mike Brey admitted they will examine the backcourt pairing of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Changes could well be coming. But there might be a better middle-ground between breaking up the star duo and moving key players in a salary dump.