The NBA trade rumors have been heating up around the Atlanta Hawks, with reports that the team is looking to blow up the roster and could be shipping off Al Horford and Jeff Teague.
Although the Hawks remain at the top of the Eastern Conference, several reports indicate that management isn’t happy with the roster’s ability to compete with powerhouse teams like the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, or even to make it past the Cleveland Cavaliers. That has made them sellers at the trade deadline, looking to stockpile young talent or pieces to make them more competitive beyond their division.
Bleacher Report noted that the NBA trade rumors indicate a lot of movement for the Atlanta Hawks, noting that both Kent Bazemore and Al Horford are headed to free agency and could be top candidates to move.
ESPN.com’s Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst added that league sources think “Hawks management and ownership have conceded internally that unless Atlanta can recapture the magic of last season’s run — when it went 60-22 and claimed the East’s top seed — this season’s team is a fringe contender.”
As Bleacher Report noted, moving Horford would make sense for the Atlanta Hawks, who could best maximize his value by sending him elsewhere.
“Shipping out Horford allows the Hawks to get younger and open up additional cap space ahead of the financial boons in each of the next two summers. Working on an expiring contract hurts his value, but he is still a patented superstar.
“Just five other players are averaging at least 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and one block per game. Horford is also one of six names logging more than 20 minutes a night and posting box plus-minus scores higher than 1.5 on both ends of the hardwood. Each of the other five players is an All-Star:”
The Hawks may be looking to move more than just Al Horford. Chris Mannix of CSNNE reported that the strong play of Dennis Schroder, the team’s 22-year-old point guard, is one of the leading factors in the decision to ship guard Jeff Teague. Schroder averages 10.7 points and 4.7 assists per game.
“Atlanta, I’ve been told, is ready to turn the page, to give the team to Dennis Schroeder, their young point guard, who is ready to step up and be a starter,” Mannix said. “Teague is available because Teague has some value. He has another year left on his contract, about $8 million per year, and teams across the league are looking to get him.”
Bleacher Report suggested a trade to the Boston Celtics, who would receive Horford, Kyle Korver, and Thabo Sefolosha in exchange for Avery Bradley, R.J. Hunter, David Lee, Jared Sullinger, and two first-round picks.
The New York Knicks have been floated as a potential landing spot for Jeff Teague. Sources say the Knicks would be looking for an upgrade over Jose Calderon, their 34-year-old starting point guard, and that the team could be looking to add pieces to make them a more attractive destination in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes expected to start this summer.
There are others reportedly in the mix, including the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers.
— Hawks Fan Zone (@Hawks_FZ) February 11, 2016
— theScore NBA (@theScoreNBA) February 11, 2016
The NBA trade rumors indicate that there could be a lot of movement at the deadline this year. Aside from Al Horford and Jeff Teague, there are a number of other superstars reportedly on the trade block including Dwight Howard and Kevin Love.
[Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]