Trae Young and the Hawks entered last season with big hype.
Young met it. The Hawks didn’t.
Atlanta finished 20-47, which frustrated Young but at least brought the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer:
The Hawks are shopping their first-round pick and intend to push for the playoffs, according to multiple league sources.
Most draft rumors warrant significant skepticism. But this is the type of report that deserves the most trust. It comes from a credible writer. Atlanta has already shown a desire to accelerate its rise. To shop the No. 6 picks, the Hawks must talk to other teams – who might not rush to keep Atlanta’s intentions private.
But that doesn’t mean the Hawks will trade the No. 6 pick.
Who wants to trade for a high pick in this wide-open draft? Maybe some teams fall in love with a certain prospect, but assessments vary wildly. Plus, there are other high picks are available – which drives down the return for a team trying to trade one.
Atlanta can also improve significantly next season in other ways. Young, John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish should continue to develop. Injured when traded for in February, Clint Capela could become a major contributor. Another solid veteran acquired in-season, Dewayne Dedmon, can make more of an impact in a full season. And the Hawks project to have about $43 million in cap space with a flat salary cap.
Of course, that cap space could also be useful in a trade – especially for a good, expensive player. Atlanta can offer another team both salary relief and a prime asset in the No. 6 pick. It’s an intriguing package.
Which is why the Hawks’ desire to push for the 2021 playoffs could lead to a big move this offseason.