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Four deals the Atlanta Hawks could make before the trade deadline

The Hawks have some pieces to move and it is about time to get started.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Portland Trail Blazers Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline is quickly approaching, so here are some last-minute trade ideas (in addition to the five-pack we put forth in January) that could make some sense for the Atlanta Hawks to get you all primed and ready for Thursday afternoon.

Dewayne Dedmon and Hawks own unprotected 2020 second round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Markelle Fultz

For the Hawks, Dewayne Dedmon has been a nice surprise since coming over in free agency during the summer of 2017 after spending time in the Spurs, Magic, Warriors and 76ers organizations. Dedmon had never really been given much playing time as a career backup big man but felt he had more to offer and bet on himself by signing a 1+1 contract in Atlanta.

Well, the gamble has paid off and Dedmon has turned himself into an NBA starter for many teams and can be a major backup contributor on any team. Dedmon especially added some value to his game when he suddenly became a 37 percent shooter from beyond the arc after coming to Atlanta with just one career three-point attempt.

Now, for this trade the 76ers have a real dilemma on their hands. This trade would entirely hinge on their opinion of former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and there is no clear consensus yet on what Fultz can still be in the NBA after being injured for pretty much his whole career along with his jump shot being a mess.

This would clearly be a “win-now” move for Philadelphia which makes sense as they have a solid core three of Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid who are ready to contend immediately, while Fultz cannot be a major contributor. Even if Fultz were to be cleared to play in the next few weeks, it would be unlikely that he would give them strong play as they vie for a championship.

For Atlanta, this is basically like buying a lottery ticket. Dedmon’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season and the Hawks are not competing for a playoff berth this season, so losing Dedmon wouldn’t be all that painful. They would also be getting a chance to see if a change of scenery might help Fultz get back on track to becoming a high-level NBA player as so many analysts had him pegged to be before he was drafted. From the Hawks’ perspective, this deal would also hinge on Fultz’s medical information, which has been as mysterious as any in NBA history.

Taurean Prince to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Tyler Lydon, Jarred Vanderbilt and a future first round pick with protections

Hawk fans should be able to remember when Taurean Prince was drafted No. 12 overall in the 2016 draft, after Atlanta traded point guard Jeff Teague to Indiana for the pick. When the Hawks selected Prince, the consensus was that he was one of the best 3-and-D players in the draft; the 3 part has come to fruition more than the D part has thus far in his career

Prince offers some sharpshooting for a Nuggets team that could use all the shooting they can get. He’d give Denver another depth piece to aid in their playoff run this year, plus they’d be able to extend him over the summer or get him into restricted free agency in 2020.

Vanderbilt has only played in one game this rookie season due to injuries but played well as a freshman at Kentucky and is still just 19 years old. Lydon is in the deal to make the salary matching work; he’s already had his option declined for next year and looks to be well on his way out of the league entirely.

Denver has an impacted draft pick situation that would make the deal slightly more difficult, but they could move a pick as early as 2021, two years after they satisfy their obligation to Brooklyn this year. For Atlanta, a 2021 first-rounder makes sense, as they’re not looking to add more picks in the 2019 draft but are interested in future draft assets.

Overall this deal is solid for the Hawks and Nuggets as Atlanta has reportedly been shopping around Prince anyways. With the Nuggets in “win-now” mode it would make a ton of sense for them to get a player that can help the team win now with shooting.

Taurean Prince and Tyler Dorsey to the Miami Heat in exchange for Wayne Ellington and a future unprotected first round pick

Taurean Prince would be a fun experiment in Erik Spoelstra’s system as defense is not an option but is mandatory. For Miami this is a low-risk deal that cuts salary and gives them two shooters for their run down the stretch and into the playoffs.

On Atlanta’s side this trade is 100% about the first-round pick coming back. Wayne Ellington is a non-starter for a team like the Hawks who would probably look into trading the veteran sharpshooter or just buying him out. The future unprotected first could be interesting though as Miami has put themselves into a sticky situation with a bunch of guaranteed contracts to some mediocre players. Miami famously traded their 2021 pick to Phoenix in the Goran Dragic trade but have the rest of their first-rounders to send to Atlanta, though 2020 and 2022 would be blocked from being moved due to the Stepien Rule.

Prince offers Miami the shooting of Ellington and the Heat would have the security of Prince for at least another season after this one and possibly more, along with a wild card in Dorsey who could flourish with the right coach. This trade all hinges on Miami’s desire to cut salary for the remainder of this season or their desire to lock up a premium three-point shooter for multiple seasons.

Kent Bazemore to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Marqueese Chriss, Brandon Knight, a future unprotected first round pick and a future unprotected second round pick

This trade is a lot to unpack.

Let’s begin with the fact that Atlanta has all of the leverage here. Of course, Houston could always say no, but if the right offer that included Bazemore came along you see them hard-pressed to decline. They already showed interest in Baze back in the summer of 2016 when Kent signed a four-year extension with Atlanta.

The motivation here for the Hawks are obviously the two picks which could become very valuable with an unfortunate injury to one of the Rocket’s (injury prone) superstars. This is also a super risky trade for the Hawks who could just end up picking in the late 20’s as this trade would make Houston tremendously better.

More motivation for Atlanta is that it clears a year of Bazemore’s contract off the books which then allows the Hawks to either take on more salary and picks or even decide to go ahead and invest in a big free agent name for a run in the near future.

Bazemore offers the Rockets both a quality perimeter defender and solid play-maker that can knock down the catch-and-shoot three pointers. I have to imagine James Harden salivating at the thought of this trade after losing one of his favorite targets (Trevor Ariza) in free agency last summer.

As always, the trade deadline is totally unpredictable, but with all of the pieces the Hawks have, it would be at least mildly disappointing to see Atlanta pass on making any moves. Especially keep an eye on the Hawks’ expiring contracts which would probably be the first ones to go and stay tuned to Peachtree Hoops were we will have up to the minute coverage of any rumors or confirmed trades the Hawks might be involved in.