Though not every team in the NBA is “done” with their off-season moves, that might be the case for the Atlanta Hawks. There is, of course, the potential of a trade involving a player like Kent Bazemore but, at this moment, the Hawks have 15 players under guaranteed contracts and both two-way slots filled for the upcoming campaign.
With that as the backdrop, Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports released offseason grades for each and every team in the league and the Hawks came away with a passing mark of “B” with the following description.
The rebuilding Hawks gambled by trading Luka Doncic for Trae Young and a protected 2019 first-round pick, then got rid of Dennis Schroder to put the team entirely in Young’s hands. They also picked up another first-round pick for facilitating Carmelo’s exit from OKC. It’s going to be a while before the Hawks are good again, but they’re collecting assets along the way.
There is nothing shocking about this grade whatsoever, though the Hawks have received polarizing attention from a few national outlets in recent days. By any measure, the biggest move (and most controversial) move of the summer was the decision to pull the trigger on the deal involving Doncic and Young. Because of that inflection point, it is easy to see arguments on all sides but, for now, even skeptics of the move (raises hand) must note that Atlanta did receive an intriguing (and important) additional asset in the deal and that helps to soften the blow.
Elsewhere, Atlanta’s decision to part ways with Dennis Schröder was a long time coming but, despite a small minority in opposition, the execution was impressive. For 2018-19 purposes, the Hawks used the vast majority of their cap space on Jeremy Lin (in a still-curious trade) and Carmelo Anthony but, for the future, the books are now cleaner than they once were and that was the objective.
Teams that made deals with the Hawks received high marks (Dallas with an “A-” and Oklahoma City with an “A+”) but that didn’t stop the positive evaluation of Atlanta. It is probably fair to say that a lot of what Travis Schlenk did will be forgotten if the blockbuster draft-day trade doesn’t “work” in the future. Still, the other maneuvers should be lauded and that is the general takeaway here.