The Atlanta Hawks are going through a disappointing season compared to the previous one, and might be considered the most aggressive sellers approaching the trade deadline with Al Horford and Jeff Teague on the trading block. But from the asking price they’ve been putting forth for teams to consider, it seems they’re not that interested in breaking up this team.
The Hawks finished with the best record in the East a year ago, making it to the conference finals (got swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers) and had big expectations heading into this season. Replacing DeMarre Carroll with Kent Bazemore hasn’t been a bad idea, and the Paul Millsap and Al Horford tandem has more or less been as good as last year (Horford a bit less, Millsap a bit more). But Kyle Korver is going through a terrible season by his standards while Jeff Teague hasn’t been able to run the offense in the same way.
Korver is the key to this mess (30-24, 4th in the East). The offense revolved around the threat of him being left open last season, but without his shot making ability, Teague can’t be the point guard he was a year ago, and seems to be the one most affected by defenses having an easier time against them. He’s been the name most heavily mentioned with trades, being a pretty good point guard overall on a deal that pays him $8 million next season.
Horford costs more ($12 million this season) but is a free agent in the summer of 2016. A few years ago expiring deals were the hottest thing on the market, but with the bump in the salary cap, taking expiring deals doesn’t sound all that hot when there’s a big risk of paying up with draft picks and good players for someone who is basically a two-three month rental.
Right now, the Hawks are asking for too much from teams (New York Knicks, Boston Celtics?) looking into the situation. As we approach the final 8 days before the deadline and the off time of the All-Star weekend could be time for the possibly retooling Hawks to configure their demands, while more teams, like the Grizzlies and Pelicans possibly entering the fray due to injuries that can possibly derail their whole plan this season.