Despite the improvements they made in the last offseason, the Atlanta Hawks are still struggling to consistently win games in the 2020-21 NBA season. As of now, they are on a three-game losing streak, sitting in the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 4-4 record. The Hawks still have plenty of time to improve their chemistry and their performance on both ends of the floor, but if they are serious about fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship title this year, they should strongly consider targeting an All-Star caliber player before the 2021 trade deadline.
One of the players that the Hawks could pair with Trae Young is Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors have yet to make Siakam officially available on the trading block, but with his failure to live up to expectations as their main guy, there’s a growing belief around the league that he could be moved before the trade deadline. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Hawks could acquire Siakam, Aron Baynes, and Matt Thomas from the Raptors by sending them a package that includes John Collins, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, and Tony Snell.
“The falling figures might have the Raptors worried enough about the massive money still owed to Siakam ($136.9 million through 2023-24) to consider a swap, and the Hawks should be ready to pounce. Any issues he has with shot-creation might be swept under the rug if he were added to a high-powered Atlanta attack with Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo and Cam Reddish all keeping the scoreboard moving. Aron Baynes can handle spot starts at center or move into a depth role if Onyeka Okongwu eventually forces his way into the opening group. Matt Thomas and his career 47.7 percent connection rate from three has spark-plug potential as a catch-and-launch gunner.”
Siakam would be an intriguing addition to the Hawks. He may not be suited yet to play the role of the main guy on a playoff team, but his lone season of playing with Kawhi Leonard proved that he’s very capable of serving as a secondary scoring option. Siakam and Young still have plenty of things to improve with their game but if they grow together and build good chemistry, they could form one of the most promising All-Star duos in the league.
Aside from Siakam, the Hawks would also be acquiring two veteran reinforcements in Baynes and Thomas that would boost their floor-spacing. Baynes could immediately replace Capela as the team’s starting center, while Thomas could come off the bench and serve as the primary backup for Young.
Meanwhile, if the proposed deal pushed through, it would also be beneficial for the Raptors. By sending Siakam to Atlanta, they would be receiving three young and promising talents and two veterans. Collins, Huerter, and Hunter could join forces with Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby to form the core of the next title-contending team that the Raptors would try to build in Toronto.