It is a poorly kept secret that the Atlanta Hawks are open for business when it comes to trades. The trade deadline arrives later this week (Feb. 8) and, with the Hawks firmly out of the playoff picture and into rebuilding mode, virtually the entire roster appears to be available.
Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reaffirmed that belief on Monday, noting that “just about everyone” on the roster is on the block with one (very) notable exception.
General manager Travis Schlenk, hired last May, has put the Hawks into full-scale sell mode approaching the deadline on Thursday, with just about everyone on the roster outside of rookie John Collins up for discussion.
It should be noted, though, that the picture painted within the piece is relatively bleak for Atlanta’s available assets. Dewayne Dedmon seems to be the most in-demand player when it comes to deals but whispers about commonly included players like Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova aren’t overly enticing right now.
Deveney indicates that “executives around the league expect (Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova) to be bought out if they are not traded” and, while that isn’t a shock, it does speak to a potential lack of interest on the market. Of course, those players have been in the mix for a while and Deveney’s analysis also includes nuggets on Dennis Schröder and Kent Bazemore.
There has been some emptying of the Schröder bandwagon this season and the report points to “surprisingly little interest” on the market for his services. Because he has three additional years left on his contract extension, there is no overwhelming surprise there but, in the same breath, Deveney says “there is doubt among league executives” when it comes to his upside as a leader and performer for a top-tier team.
As for Bazemore, the money quote (literally) is that “there’s a dozen teams who could use [Bazemore], but no one wants to pay him that.” That comes directly from a league executive and, while Bazemore has been (easily) Atlanta’s best player this season, it is a big ask to take on his $37 million over the next two seasons.
The Hawks have significant decisions to make in the coming days but, on one hand, there is only so much Atlanta can actually do if the interest isn’t there. With plenty of available big men to deploy, moving Ilyasova could be an urgent task, though he is, at the very least, a productive rotation player at power forward. In Belinelli’s case, though, there is reason to believe (and the numbers back this up) that he is actively harmful on the court because of his defensive limitations and Tyler Dorsey is due for an uptick in minutes, if only for evaluation purposes.
Every bit of information circulating this time of year should be taken with something of a grain of salt but this is a credible source indicating that the Hawks could be quieter than expected over the next few days... even if that isn’t by design.