Are the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings engaged in trade discussions? If you believe what is being said in the most recent NBA rumor, the Hawks are in talks with the Kings for Rudy Gay. According to a recent report by Yibada, the Hawks are the just the latest team interested in acquiring the high-scoring forward.
The Atlanta Hawks are rumored to be one of several NBA teams who have checked with the Sacramento Kings about Gay. Atlanta joins the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, and Minnesota Timberwolves as teams who have reportedly had at least internal conversations of acquiring Rudy Gay.
Like each team listed, the Atlanta Hawks have a need for more scoring. They had a busy offseason prior to being named as a team in the hunt for Gay. It is possible that the Hawks are looking at a Rudy Gay trade with the Kings as a perfect way to put the finishing touches on their summer. This offseason has featured some incoming and outgoing players. Depending on how the new players blend in with the remaining Hawks’ roster members, possible playoff seeding will be hanging in the balance.
The Hawks essentially replaced forward Al Horford for future Hall of Fame center Dwight Howard. That was a move which favored more length and defense over offensive versatility.
Howard gives the Hawks a legitimate presence in the middle as long as he can stay healthy. Playing with Atlanta will differ from being on the Rockets for Howard. He will be grouped with teammates who share the basketball in a free-flowing offense that demands ball movement. Should Dwight Howard have additional post moves in his arsenal, things will fly high in Atlanta.
Also added to the Hawks’ roster is veteran point guard Jarrett Jack.
Jack, coming back from a torn ACL he suffered while with the Brooklyn Nets, will play in the reserve guard role. He will be the backup to Dennis Schroder.
Paul Millsap returns after being involved in several NBA trade rumors himself. He is the go-to player on the Hawks’ team that is limited on proven scoring options. This is perhaps why they have looked at Rudy Gay as an option in a trade. The Hawks’ rumored counterpart have to eventually move their small forward.
It was reported by CBS Sacramento that Rudy Gay wants nothing to do with the Kings. Gay has issued a trade request to land with a new team. The Kings would be wise to deal Gay because he has a player option for next season. He could walk away next season, leaving the Kings with no compensation.
A trade with the Atlanta Hawks could work if the right pieces are swapped. The aforementioned story in Yibada suggested that center Tiago Splitter and next year’s first round draft pick is what the Hawks could be offering.
That is not a grand slam of an offer, using a pun from another sport, but it is a beginning. More dialogue will have to take place between the Hawks and Kings.
Tiago Splitter, who missed much of last season with injuries would simply be a salary dump for the Hawks. Splitter is coming off statistically, the second-worst season in his career. Trading him makes sense for the Hawks, but it would not help the Kings.
Sacramento is loaded at center with All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Kosta Koufos. Why would the Kings take on Splitter’s contract, worth over $9.5 million? Unless another deal would be on the horizon for one of the Kings’ centers, there is little chance that they will accept the trade.
A deal between the Hawks and Kings could get bigger, with additional players coming and going. If the Hawks were to add Thabo Sefolosha or Tim Hardaway Jr. in a trade for Rudy Gay, then the Kings might go for it.
Koufos’ contract could also be at play here. The odds are good that the Kings will want a team to take Kosta Koufos. If that indeed winds up accurate, that could ruin a deal or enhance it. The big potential return the Hawks could send the Kings is their draft pick.
Next season’s NBA draft is considered one of the deepest in years. With the Hawks expected to have a pick that will land in the middle of the draft, that is an appealing feature for the Kings.
It also must be noted that Sacramento’s pick for next season is owed to the Chicago Bulls if it lands out of the top-10. Any improvement by the Kings this upcoming year will make it difficult to keep their pick. Adding the Hawks’ pick would ensure that the Kings will have a selection in the next draft.
Rudy Gay’s fit with the Hawks is obvious. His addition gives the Hawks a more traditional lineup in terms of having all five players who fit the criteria of the NBA teams from just three seasons ago. Gay has some offensive versatility. He is good enough of an outside shooter that opposing teams have to respect his range. Slashing to the basket is also a strong suit of the forward.
The downside to the Hawks adding Gay is that he can be a ball-stopper at times. Gay’s penchant for holding on the ball too long has diminished over the years, but desperation to get a shot off can kick in at any time. The Hawks do not have the type of team for that. Even with this deficiency, the Hawks need him.
There could be a little more time that passes before the Sacramento Kings trade Rudy Gay. As the Atlanta Hawks has emerged as another team with interest this can drag on for a bit longer. Rudy Gay will have a new home soon if you believe the NBA rumors. Are the Atlanta Hawks leveraging themselves to obtain him?
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