We are just 2 days away from the highest anticipated NBA Draft for Atlanta Hawks fans since 2007, when the Hawks also had the 3rd overall pick. Not only is the NBA Draft the best day of the year for fanbases like the Hawks who don’t experience much hapiness during the year, but it also opens up the offseason where anything can happen. LeBron, CP3, and Kevin Durant are all free agents, and while the Hawks have no shot at them, the Hawks have plenty of opportunities to pick up young talent and hopefully a face of the franchise. Here’s what a perfect offseason would look like.
*These are all hypothetical situations. They have all been rumored/brought up by verified sources, but in no way does that mean that it will happen. Also, this is realistic. Every situation here is something the Hawks have a chance at pulling off.
#1: Draft Luka Doncic
Because Real Madrid won the ACB today, Doncic will be in attendance for thursday’s draft. Just imagine how awesome it would be to see Doncic shaking Adam Silver’s hand in an Atlanta Hawks hat…
Anyway, with Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley being highly predicted to go #1 and #2, Doncic is clearly the best player avalaible at this point. Doncic arguably has the highest floor in the draft, and his versatility and playmaking ability makes him a no-brainer.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 19, 2018
#2: Trade Dennis Schröder
The Hawks are openly shopping Dennis Schröder on the trade market before thursday’s draft, and I think two teams would be interested in his talents: the Los Angeles Clippers and the Orlando Magic. The Clippers have the #12 and #13 pick, and they could acquire Schröder, a starting PG and another pick while still keeping the #12 overall pick.
Informal Trade Scenario:
Hawks get #13th pick and 1/2 role players (Let’s say Boban Marjanovic)
Clippers get Schröder and 30th pick
Acquire Kenneth Faried from the Nuggets
Kenneth Faried is due 13.8 million dollars next season, and the Nuggets are willing to trade their 14th overall selection for a team willing to take his contract. The Hawks ate Jamal Crawford’s contract for a first round pick, and I bet they are willing to do so here, as they don’t need to save cap space for any big free agents.
Atlanta Hawks pondering trade for Denver Nuggets' Kenneth Faried
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 15, 2018
Informal trade scenario:
Hawks get #14, Faried
Nuggets get a future second, maybe a role player
The Nuggets want to do this trade to clear Faried’s salary, but they may ask for more, which is why I put role player there.
The Hawks could trade up, but I don’t think there’s a team inside the top 10 that would accept this deal from the Hawks. And with the draft supposedly not as deep next year, trading back for future picks might not be plausible either.
13: Miles Bridges, F, MSU
Many believe he won’t be there at 13, but I think he will. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s stock is soaring and Kevin Knox’s stock has been improving as well. And, when there are prospects that get drafted higher than expected, there will be prospects drafted lower than expected. Bridges is versatile, and I see him playing SF or a small-ball power forward.
14: Jerome Robinson, G, BC
Robinson is another versatile player, and I think the Hawks will gravitate towards that because of the uncertainty of next year’s roster. With no pieces set into place besides John Collins, I predict that Atlanta will try to pick versatile players that can fit with whoever is added to the roster. Robinson is long, can finish at the basket, and shot 41% from three, adding some much-needed floor spacing.
The Hawks could go with other prospects, but it wouldn’t make much of a difference in how the roster looks. The early teens are guard-heavy, so if the Hawks don’t pick these two guys, it’ll probably be another guard that is selected.
Take on Luol Deng’s Contract… for a price
The Lakers’ front office has a ton of pressure on them this summer. Free agency is coming, and Paul George and LeBron James have potential interest in signing with the Lakers. In order for the Lakers to do that, they need to move Luol Deng’s 18 million dollar salary (2 seasons left).
Bobby Marks of ESPN reported on their NBA Mock Draft show that it would probably take either Lonzo or Kuzma packaged with Deng to move Deng’s contract. Last year, when the Lakers weren’t even pressured to sign anyone, they had to give the Nets D’Angelo Russell to take on Mozgov’s contract. Now, with pressure to clear cap for LeBron and company, the Lakers would most certainly need to package Lonzo/Kuzma, especially with fewer teams with cap space to take Deng.
The greatest NBA drama this summer is not where Lebron James lands. It's if the Lakers trade Lonzo Ball (along with Deng's contract) to free up cap space to get 3 stars (James, CP3 and PG13). The Lavar Ball explosion would be SPECTACULAR!
— Aaron J. Fentress (@AaronJFentress) June 12, 2018
There has also been reports that Lonzo could be traded if LeBron chooses LA. LeBron already doesn’t like LaVar, and I don’t think the Lakers need LaVar scaring LeBron or Paul George away. There were even rumors of Lonzo getting traded earlier in the season that were completely unrelated to whether LeBron was coming to LA.
Should the Lakers trade Lonzo Ball? pic.twitter.com/T6nkjGHLBZ
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) June 14, 2018
Hawks receive Lonzo Ball, Luol Deng (buyout)
Lakers receive: 19th pick (2018)
Last year’s deal was:
Nets receive Mozgov and Russell
Lakers receive Brook Lopez (expiring contract) and 27th pick
I think the 19th pick would be more valuable than an expiring contract and the 27th pick. And, this trade would give the Lakers a solid first round pick, clear cap space to allow the Lakers to pursue multiple stars, and allow LaVar Ball and the BBB circus to leave town.
Don’t sign anyone to a long-term deal worth a lot of money. If we did all of these trades above, we wouldn’t even have the space to do so, but in a rebuilding phase, the Hawks have to remain financially flexible in order to receive draft picks and young players.
PG: Lonzo Ball, Isaiah Taylor (maybe), Josh Magette (maybe)
SG: Luka Doncic, Kent Bazemore, Jerome Robinson, Tyler Dorsey
SF: Taurean Prince, Miles Bridges, Deandre Bembry
PF: John Collins, Kenneth Faried
C: Miles Plumlee, Boban Marjanovic
This roster does look a little lopsided. But, many of these players can play multiple positions. Doncic and Bazemore can play SF, Robinson and Dorsey played PG some last year, Collins played center last year, and Prince and Bridges have the size to play PF in a small-ball lineup.
Obviously, this roster has holes. But, we aren’t expecting the Hawks to be anywhere near good next year. And again, the probability every scenario happens and the roster looks like this is very close to zero. These hypotheticals, trades, and draft selections were based off of what I thought would make a perfect offseason for the Atlanta Hawks.
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