Update: Sarah Spencer of the AJC reports that Khyri Thomas will be waived by the Atlanta Hawks before is guarantee date arrives.
Less than 24 hours ago, the Atlanta Hawks invested in the future of their frontcourt, tabbing USC’s Onyeka Okongwu with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. After doing so, many speculated that Travis Schlenk may aim to search for value in a deal for veteran center Dewayne Dedmon and, on Thursday afternoon, the Hawks reportedly found a trade partner.
Multiple sources report that Dedmon is heading to the Detroit Pistons, with the Hawks acquiring Tony Snell and Khyri Thomas.
Detroit is trading Khyri Thomas and Tony Snell to Atlanta for Dewayne Dedmon, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 19, 2020
The Hawks re-acquired Dedmon in February, bolstering their frontcourt and parting ways with Jabari Parker and Alex Len in the process. With Clint Capela already on board, the move was for depth purposes but, at the same time, the Hawks valued Dedmon’s influence in the locker room as a veteran voice.
Still, the dynamic changed after the addition of Okongwu and, from a depth standpoint, the Hawks also have second-year big man Bruno Fernando. From there, salary becomes an important piece of this swap.
Dedmon is owed $13.3 million for the 2020-21 season and, while he is under contract for $13.3 million in 2021-22, only $1 million of that salary is guaranteed. Detroit is sending back Snell, who is set to make to $12.2 million in 2020-21 in the final year of a multi-year contract, and Thomas has a $1.66 million salary that is guaranteed for only $744,000. Thomas’s contract will become guaranteed on Nov. 22, if remains under contract at that point.
On the court, Snell’s contributions do not add up to his $12.2 million salary, but he would provide a rotation-caliber wing option. The 29-year-old wing has converted 40.2 percent of his three-pointers over the last four seasons, and Snell has been a durable contributor for the Bulls, Bucks and Pistons.
As for Thomas, the 24-year-old guard was selected with the No. 38 pick in the 2018 draft, though he has appeared in only 34 games for the Pistons in two seasons. As such, it is not clear whether the Hawks are interested in keeping Thomas, or simply parting ways in an effort to save nearly one million dollars in salary cap space.
It certainly isn’t a surprise to see Dedmon moving elsewhere after the Okongwu selection, but the Hawks may need to add another body in the frontcourt in the near future. In adding Snell, Atlanta nets a ready-made option to provide depth and floor-spacing, and this is a transaction that checks multiple boxes for the Hawks.