After a trade that sent the No. 3 pick to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the No. 5 pick and a 2019 first round selection, the Atlanta Hawks made the decision to select Trae Young with their opening choice of the 2018 NBA Draft. Immediately upon completion, a great deal of attention seemingly turned to the desire to part ways with incumbent starting point guard Dennis Schröder, in part to allow for Young to assume control of the position.
Then, the Hawks made a move to acquire Jeremy Lin (and his $13.8 million salary for the 2018-19 season), further exacerbating the need to send Schröder elsewhere in a trade. While a deal did not come to pass immediately following that acquisition, a rumor came to light tying Schröder to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a swap involving Carmelo Anthony. From there, things reportedly moved from the rumor stage to completion, resulting in an executed trade that ends the Schröder era in Atlanta.
Oklahoma City has agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to Atlanta for point guard Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala, league sources tell ESPN. Anthony will be waived, and he will join team of his choice. Rockets are frontrunner.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 19, 2018
As noted when the rumor first came to light, this is a deal that benefits Atlanta in that it removes the long-term financial obligation to Schröder and replaces it with only year of salary for Anthony. Though it isn’t official at this stage, a league source confirms that Anthony will be bought out and waived (with details to come), having never suited up for the Hawks.
Beyond that, the Hawks add an intriguing asset in the form of the 2022 first round pick, which Royce Young of ESPN reports will be lottery protected for one year, before becoming two second round selections.
The pick the Thunder are sending the Hawks is 2022 lottery protected first rounder (1-14). If it doesn’t convey, it’ll become two second rounders.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) July 19, 2018
In addition, Mike Muscala is seemingly headed to a third team, according to reporting from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Sources: Muscala ($5M) is likely headed for a third team in near future. OKC GM Sam Presti and coach Billy Donovan were given permission to talk with Schroder, and they're enthusiastic about partnership. OKC wants more speed, another ball handler. https://t.co/VibPPXzlBW— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 19, 2018
Chris Vivlamore of the AJC brings word that the third team will be the Philadelphia 76ers, with the Hawks reportedly set to acquire forward Justin Anderson.
It's a three team trade. Muscala will got to Philly. Justin Anderson will come to Hawks. Carmelo will be bought out. Won't be a Hawk.— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) July 19, 2018
To recap three-team trade between Hawks, Thunder and 76ers: Carmelo Anthony and Justin Anderson to Hawks. Anthony bought out. Mike Muscala to 76ers. Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot to Thunder.— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) July 19, 2018
From the perspective of the 2018-19 season, this trade essentially wipes out any salary cap flexibility for the Hawks, though it is important to note that the removal of Schröder’s contract, worth $15.5 million in 2019-20 and again in 2020-21, will provide a great deal of flexibility moving forward. In addition, the road is now paved for a point guard duo of Trae Young and Jeremy Lin, with the added caveat that it would not be a surprise to see the tandem operating together on a semi-regular basis.
Stay tuned as more information becomes available, but the major takeaway at this point is that the Hawks were able to get off Schröder’s considerable contract (including the pending legal issue) without taking future salary cap pain and, in the process, succeeded in procuring an asset.