NBA PM: Hawks Exploring Trade Options
With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Atlanta Hawks are definitely a team to keep an eye on. With the team’s recent struggles, sources close to the situation say that the Hawks are looking to make a move, and are shopping everyone outside of Joe Johnson and Al Horford.
Atlanta has been working the phones and has targeted point guards such as Ramon Sessions and Kirk Hinrich. Yesterday, the Hawks also discussed a potential Devin Harris trade before he was dealt to the Utah Jazz this morning. In these talks, Atlanta is dangling Jeff Teague, Marvin Williams, Mike Bibby and Maurice Evans.
But the Hawks have also explored the possibility of making a major move that could involve Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford, or Jordan Crawford. Atlanta hasn’t entered serious discussions involving these players, but they have floated them in several trade scenarios and gauged interest in their services.
Sources close to the situation made it clear that while these players aren’t untouchable, the price tag attached to each player is high. Atlanta isn’t going to break up their core unless it improves their roster today and puts them in better position to contend. Sources believe that the Hawks are searching for an upgrade at the point guard position or a true center that would allow Horford to return to his natural position at power forward, a move he and his camp have pushed for this season.
Even if the Hawks don’t complete a major deal, don’t be surprised if some combination of Teague, Williams, Bibby and Evans is dealt. The Hawks have been shopping these players for much of the season.
Prior to the season, head coach Larry Drew was one of Teague’s biggest supporters, but the young point guard hasn’t lived up to expectations and his minutes have dwindled. Williams and Bibby were shopped last offseason after the team extended Johnson, and Atlanta continues to search for suitors for the veterans. Evans is an expiring contract and his camp has acknowledged that he is being shopped.
After watching the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic and now the New York Knicks complete blockbuster trades in the recent months, the Hawks may be thinking that it’s time for an overhaul of their own. Dropping four of their last five games also plays into Atlanta’s thinking.
Whether they decide to go with a minor tweak or a major move remains to be seen, but the Hawks are certainly looking to make a move in the next twenty hours.
Major Moves Unlikely in Detroit: The general consensus around the league leading up to the trade deadline was that the Detroit Pistons would be active. With veteran pieces like Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton, the Pistons were expected to be sellers and start rebuilding around their young core.
But now that the deadline is looming, sources close to the situation insist that the team won’t be making any major moves. The team wants to hold on to Prince and other moves are unlikely because the ownership situation is limiting talks.
"The new ownership deal has yet to close, but they’re close. Until then, no major moves will be made," a source close to the situation told HOOPSWORLD.
The only way that Detroit makes a move before the deadline is if the incoming and outgoing salaries match perfectly. Otherwise, the team doesn’t want to alter their salary situation before new ownership takes over.
"Unless a deal becomes available that matches dollar for dollar, Joe Dumars has hands tied," said the source.
The Pistons would love to deal Hamilton, but his contract makes this nearly impossible. A buyout has also been discussed with contenders such as the Boston Celtics expressing interest in his services, but that is also difficult in their current situation.
While it wouldn’t be adding salary, Hamilton is owed $25 million over the next two seasons and it’s unlikely he settles for anything significantly less in a buyout. That’s a big check to sign just to make a player go away.
Despite Detroit’s struggles and lack of direction, a trade before the deadline is unlikely. But once this ownership situation is sorted out and the handcuffs come off of Dumars this summer, expect major changes to occur.
Players Being Bought Out: While a Richard Hamilton buyout remains unlikely, there are other players around the league that either have or will receive a buyout in the near future.
After being dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of their three-team trade with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, Eddy Curry has had his contract bought out. The Timberwolves agreed to waive the center and he won’t be reporting to Minnesota.
Instead, Curry will head to Chicago where he’ll work out with trainer Tim Grover and prepare to make a comeback. He has only played in ten games since 2008, but sources insist he believes he can still contribute for a playoff team. Curry wants to join a contender and he and agent Leon Rose have their eyes set on Miami.
The other big man that will receive a buyout in coming days is Troy Murphy. After being acquired by the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright, Murphy will be bought out and become an unrestricted free agent.
Many contenders, including the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat, are expected to show interest in Murphy.
Trade Deadline Diary: HOOPSWORLD will keep you up to date through tomorrow evening with our trade deadline diary. The running diary will be continually updated as rumors surface and news breaks. When one of our writers hears something, they’ll be submitting it here first and it’s the best place to keep track of all of the rumors that are floating around. Bookmark it and refresh it throughout the day if you want all of the latest inside information.
Twitter: HOOPSWORLD has launched a new Twitter module where we will be releasing more breaking news and insider-type information via Twitter. Make sure you are following all of our guys to insure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @AlexKennedyNBA, @jfleminghoops, @TheRocketGuy, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @stephenlitel, @YannisHW, and @DPageHOOPSWORLD.
NBA Chats: There were two NBA chats today. Salary cap guru Larry Coon hosted his Salary Cap Chat at 3pm EST. HOOPSWORLD rookie Mark Nugent hosted his NBA chat at 5pm EST, which just wrapped up. Mark is one of our Newsline editors and covers the entire NBA. Steve Kyler will not be chatting today, as he and Bill Ingram will be hosting our annual Trade Deadline Chat Wrap on Thursday night at 7pm EST. You can always find the next chat here: Upcoming NBA Chats.