Those unfamiliar with Kyle Korver’s style and game, one might not see such a big deal in the Atlanta Hawks trading a 35-year old swinger averaging nine points a contest on 40.9% shooting from the three. Those familiar with Kyle Korver’s game, however, know how lethal Korver can be, especially now that he’s in Cleveland. Rumors are swirling around the association that Atlanta is looking to blow things up and start to retool their roster.
The deal between Atlanta and Cleveland would be sending a 2019 protected first round pick from the Cavaliers to the Hawks. The Hawks are looking to find a third team to take Mike Dunleavy Jr. as he is another older sharpshooter that doesn’t fit in Atlanta’s future. Atlanta is reportedly willing to take Dunleavy if they are not able to find a third team. With fellow sharpshooter J.R. Smith out for the next two-three months, Cleveland fills an immediate void with one of the best shooters the league has ever seen.
The next domino to fall in the Hawks’ scheme might just be Paul Millsap, who is due to be a free agent at the end of the season. Biggest talks surrounding the power forward surround Toronto and Denver, but Sacramento is also emerging and making strides in talks with Atlanta. Philadelphia is also expressing interest in Millsap’s services.
Any trade for Millsap is risky as he is expected to use his player option to become a free agent. Millsap’s willingness to re-sign in the offseason will depend on the team and the team’s situation. The Hawks asking price for Millsap is uncertain; sources say they are looking to stockpile draft picks and maybe a young player or two if possible.
Toronto’s biggest obstacle in pulling the trigger on a potential trade will be Masai Ujiri, the Raptors’ general manager, to sacrifice some assets to try and topple Cleveland in the East, as they will also be looking to re-sign Kyle Lowry next offseason, making for a potentially dicey cap situation next offseason.
Another rumored player to be on the market in Atlanta is Thabo Sefolosha. Not much is surfacing around him; it’s expected teams may wait to see what Atlanta does with Millsap before they deal anyone else. However, sources tell the Hoops Inquirer that the New York Knicks are interested in Sefolosha’s services.
A few other players are expected to be on the move before the February 23rd trade deadline. Other names like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Mike Muscala (among others) are generating interest around the league. At this point, it’s going to be easier to name the players who are safe on the Hawks. The only safe players in Atlanta are Dwight Howard, Dennis Schroeder, Kent Bazemore, and rookies DeAndre Bembry and Taurean Prince.
Dominoes are going to fall in Atlanta, along with a few inches of snow, with Kyle Korver being the first one. Atlanta’s management thinks that they have a plethora of options on how to retool the roster going ahead. The next 48 days are going to showcase which direction management plans to take with Atlanta as they hard charge towards the February 23rd trade deadline.