The Atlanta Hawks are coming off an ugly first-round exit at the hands of the Miami Heat in the NBA Playoffs. It’s led to widespread speculation that front office head Travis Schlenk is going to blow it up behind Trae Young this summer.
Out west, the Portland Trail Blazers are coming off their worst season since all the way back in 2005-06 when Nate McMillan was leading the team. Both of these squads have a lot of work to do in order to become relevant on the broader NBA stage.
According to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, that could include a draft-day trade. The Atlanta Hawks’ insider notes that the two sides have discussed a deal that would include Atlanta moving up from the 16th selection to No. 7 overall with Portland. Presumably, the Hawks’ target would be fast-rising guard Dyson Daniels who starred in the G-League for the Ignite this past season.
Atlanta has several veteran players who could be of interest to the Blazers in a potential draft-day swap. New full-time Portland general manager Joe Cronin is looking to find more proven talent behind star guard Damian Lillard as well as up-and-coming wing Anfernee Simons. Meanwhile, the Hawks simply need to add more talent behind Young.
Focusing on how an Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers draft day deal could look
Portland simply isn’t looking for another mid-tier veteran to join its disappointing roster. That makes a potential trade a bit more complicated. Outside of big man John Collins, the veterans on Atlanta’s roster wouldn’t be enough to swing a deal of this ilk.
With that said, the Blazers have been linked to Collins in recent weeks. Atlanta is also said to be willing to move him if it means selecting in the top-10.
- John Collins stats (2018-22): 18.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 56% shooting, 38% 3-point
This is likely where the talks are centered with just over a week to go before the draft. Portland would like to keep its financial flexibility in order to add more pieces to the mix. We’re also pretty sure that the Hawks are not simply going to flip the 16th pick and Collins for the seventh selection. There’s no real value in that.
Instead, other moving pieces would have to be involved. Portland could entice Atlanta to take on Eric Bledsoe’s contract, a ton of which is non-guaranteed for the 2022-23 campaign. In the process, the Hawks add a solid three-and-D piece to the mix in Justise Winslow. Portland could also offer up its 36th pick in the second round to make this work.
Proposed Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers trade
- Hawks get: Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, 7th pick, 36th pick
- Blazers get: John Collins, 16th pick
This deal would still enable the Blazers to have assets and financial flexibility to continue building around Dame. It also picks up an All-Star caliber big to round out the roster.
As for Atlanta, Schlenk and Co. find themselves in a premium position too add Daniels or another big-time guard to team up with Young in the backcourt.