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New report sheds light on Hawks’ path forward, two untouchable players

Atlanta Hawks v Toronto Raptors Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/Getty Images

Jake Fischer, senior reporter at Yahoo Sports, recently released an article shedding light on the Atlanta Hawks and their future plans. Notably, Fischer identifies just two untouchables for the Hawks.

As anticipated by many fans, the article mentions Dejounte Murray as “a former All-Star whom the Hawks have made widely available, according to league sources.” Fischer describes the Hawks as open for business with several contracts on the table.

Yet Murray’s four-year, $114 million extension that begins in 2024-25 does make him an intriguing trade target for any team with backcourt questions. We’ll see just how preemptively front offices move this winter before harsher tax penalties kick into effect next season as part of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement. Future picks and value contracts such as Murray’s might become greater trade commodities than league personnel anticipated.

However, Murray isn’t the only player available for trade, as Fischer lists Trae Young and Jalen Johnson as the only untouchable pieces. Young, the franchise player, and the inclusion of Johnson as untouchable bring comfort to many fans. Despite their 14-19 record, the Hawks’ path forward remains unclear.

Pessimism surrounds the Hawks making a move for Pascal Siakam after the OG Anunoby trade, with teams like the Mavericks emerging as more likely landing spots.

Atlanta owes its 2025 first-round selection to San Antonio as part of the haul that landed Murray, so there’s plenty of sense for the Hawks, currently 14-19, to weigh selling some of its veteran contributors, incorporating a lottery pick alongside Young and Johnson, then stepping back toward Atlanta’s bigger goal of competing in the playoffs under head coach Quin Snyder next season. Atlanta has been one of the more active teams on the phones across the league, sources said. And that seller’s path becoming more likely has league personnel no longer considering the Hawks as a prominent potential landing spot for Toronto’s other trade-deadline darling, Pascal Siakam, now that the Raptors ultimately moved on from Anunoby.

While the Hawks have reportedly been one of the most active teams on the phone, their direction remains uncertain. They might sell now and prepare for a playoff run next season, as suggested in the article.

Regardless, it seems unlikely that the current roster has enough to make a genuine playoff push, especially with injuries. The Hawks may need to take a step back before moving forward to compete at the highest level.