The Atlanta Hawks neither a buyer or seller be this fine trading season.
The deals the Hawks wanted and needed to make were done in the previous off-season and, as such, set in motion a season in which almost all players are on the last season of their contracts. The result has been a fun, unusually cohesive team that has won key games in Memphis and Oklahoma City while currently registering the third best record in the East so far this season.
If the Hawks were to make any moves during this season, it could be trading off a couple of these veterans on the last years of their deal to playoff contenders, but bear in mind the Hawks are also winning and the net effect of the offseason deals that sent Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams packing was a large supply of cap space when these deals expire and the Hawks aren't going to compromise that in any in-season deal.
If we were to choose three somewhat likely trade scenarios, this is what might be possible.
Josh Smith and Devin Harris to the Los Angeles Lakers for Dwight Howard
The Hawks don't want to trade Josh Smith, but you would have to think they would do this deal for another Atlanta product and franchise center in Howard. This would only be predicated on whether Howard would re-sign with the Hawks in the offseason and vice versa for LA and Smith.
If the Lakers believe that Howard is the problem rather than the solution, then this is possible. When even Magic Johnson is on national TV, as he was when the Hawks played the Nuggets on ESPN a little while back, and says that if Dwight doesn't bring a championship to the Lakers this season then he can go somewhere else, then you can be forgiven if imagining a Howard deal as being possible.
Best case scenario for Hawks fans might be Smith and Howard not agreeing to sign long term with their new teams, the trade happens anyway, and then have both sign with Atlanta next season anyway.
Worst case? The opposite.
Kyle Korver to the Denver Nuggets for 1st round pick
The idea is that the Nuggets can never have too many shooters in the rotation and they have a trade exception from the Nene trade that can be used here for Korver. The Hawks do the deal if they can get a first round pick back, even if in future seasons even though it's possible the Hawks might look to re-sign Korver after this season.
DeShawn Stevenson to any team with a small trade exception and a 1st round pick
Stevenson was left for dead after a miserable season in New Jersey last year. With the Hawks, he's re-discovered his three-point stroke and has played his usual defense, which might be interesting to another contending team with a similar situation as the Nuggets, bearing a trade exception and a #1 draft pick. It's important to note that while Stevenson's contract shows up as having two more years, they are non-guaranteed.
Exit Question: If you could make a deal this season, which one would you do?