For the Atlanta Hawks, this season has been defined by indecision. The team traded Kyle Korver to the conference-rival Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in the season. At that point, the expectation was that Atlanta might blow this whole thing up.
After all, it came mere months after fellow former All-Stars Jeff Teague and Al Horford departed during the offseason.
Now, right in the thick of earning a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference, Atlanta seems set on making a run. The team acquired Ersan Ilyasova from Philadelphia on Wednesday and was active during Thursday’s trade deadline.
The Atlanta Hawks made aggressive draft pick-centric trade offers for Paul George and Jimmy Butler today, league sources tell ESPN.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017
The interesting dynamic here is that the Hawks really don’t have the assets to acquire a player up to the level of a Jimmy Butler or Paul George, both of whom were on the block prior to Thursday’s deadline.
Hence, the report that their conversations surrounding these two stars included draft pick compensation. That’s magnified by the fact that the team clearly stated earlier this week that Paul Millsap was not on the block (more on that here).
While a deal of this magnitude did not go down, it tells us a story of a Hawks squad that’s all in for this season. That’s a dramatic change from just a couple months ago.
Atlanta heads into the unofficial second half of the season as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 32-24 record.