The NBA trade deadline is less than one month away and the Atlanta Hawks are expected to be active. That, of course, doesn’t mean that Travis Schlenk and company will pull the trigger on a deal of any kind but, over the next few weeks, it is safe to assume that the Hawks will be linked with trade rumblings.
On Friday, one such report emerged from Sean Deveney of Sporting News, and he indicates that veteran point guard Jeremy Lin is drawing interest in the market. The Portland Trail Blazers, in search of an upgrade to their depth, could come calling.
Portland, too, would be willing to part with its first-rounder to add depth to a roster that badly needs help in the backcourt and on the wing. The Trail Blazers could be a player for (Terrence) Ross or (Jonathon) Simmons, too. But sources tell SN that they have expressed interest in another player expected to be made available for a first-round pick: Atlanta point guard Jeremy Lin.
When the Hawks traded for Lin last summer, the hope was that he could be a veteran presence for the first part of the season for young point guard Trae Young, then could be swapped for a rebuilding asset to help the woebegone Hawks’ future. A first-rounder would do the trick.
As noted here, Lin has provided a strong veteran presence in Atlanta and, on the floor, his pick-and-roll operation and general offensive punch have been quite valuable. With that said, he is operating on an expiring contract for more than $13.7 million and that can complicate matters under the realization that opposing teams must match salary.
In addition to Portland, the report also references two additional playoff contenders in the New Orleans Pelicans and Philadelphia 76ers.
The Pelicans and Sixers have also inquired about Lin (11.0 points in 19.3 minutes per game this season), and the Hawks may be able to create some bidding for his services ahead of the deadline. It’ll still be tough to wrestle one of those first-rounders away, but this time around, there are at least more on the market.
The notion of a potential deal involving the Pelicans and Hawks isn’t a new one, though most of the buzz centers on a swap involving Kent Bazemore. In the same breath, New Orleans could use an injection of talent on the perimeter in any form that it might come, and a backcourt featuring Lin and Jrue Holiday might make sense.
As for Philadelphia, the Sixers are in a similar boat in that they could use an upgrade at the point guard spot, though fit concerns are (very) tricky within that roster. Lin can function as an off-ball player when needed, bringing solid floor-spacing to the table as a shooter, but he could also operate as a primary ball-handler on the second unit (when Ben Simmons leaves the floor) and he would serve as a significant upgrade to T.J. McConnell.
With anything in the trade rumor space, it is important to note that there isn’t much in the way of specifics here and, again, Lin makes a salary that could throw a wrench in various discussions. Still, it comes as no surprise that teams are reportedly calling and that will continue over the next four weeks.