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The Vertical Insider Bobby Marks, a former longtime assistant general manager with the Nets, breaks down the Atlanta Hawks’ situation as the Feb. 18 trade deadline approaches.
HANG UP IF THEY ASK ABOUT …
Schroder’s value is at an all-time high. Although inconsistent, many people around the NBA feel the lighting-quick point guard has the intangibles of a young Rajon Rondo. Still on his rookie contract, Schroder’s salary cap hit is below average for a point guard on the rise.
Bazemore has put himself in the conversation for the NBA Most Improved Player Award. The Hawks will have to pay Bazemore more than the $2.6 million he is earning this year, but that shouldn’t be a reason to move him.
Millsap made a commitment to the Hawks in July and has not disappointed. Versatility puts Millsap in a category hard to find among bigs.
The norm would be to move an All-Star center going into his walk year. Al Horford is not the norm in Atlanta. Potential salary demands nearing $20 million per year should not deter Atlanta from signing him this summer.
Atlanta’s 2016 first-round pick
Although the pick is projected to be in the 20s, there will come a time when the Hawks need to have a plan in place for developing draft picks. Atlanta has only Dennis Schroder to show for the past five drafts.
UP FOR DEBATE
The question Atlanta management has to ask: Is Dennis Schroder ready to take over the team? If the answer is yes, then Atlanta should look to move Teague, but only for the right price. Teague is under contract through 2016-17 and has one of the best value contracts in NBA for the point guard position. With a below-average point-guard market in free agency this summer, teams like Philadelphia and Brooklyn should be the first teams the Hawks call.
WORTH TAKING THE CALL
2018 Minnesota first-round pick
Even with lottery protection, there is still some value despite the potential of the Timberwolves becoming a playoff team in three years.
NO-TRADE CLAUSE OR WITH A RESTRICTION
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Hardaway, who was acquired from New York, cannot be traded back to the Knicks for the 2015-16 season.
Tiago Splitter, who was acquired from San Antonio, cannot be traded back to the Spurs for the 2015-16 season.
MOVE THAT PUSHES THE NEEDLE
No move pushes Atlanta any closer to Cleveland in the East.
Look for the Hawks to look around the edges for a wing off the bench. The draft-day acquisition of Tim Hardaway Jr. has not provided the Hawks with the shooting off the bench Atlanta wanted.
TREASURE CHEST OF PICKS
Full but not with diamonds
Atlanta has its own first-round pick this year, projected to be in the mid 20s.
The Hawks own their future first-round picks.
The Hawks do have the Timberwolves’ first-round pick, lottery protected for 2018, 2019 and 2020. If they do not receive a first in any of the years the pick will turn into a second in 2020 and 2021.
AVAILABLE TRADE EXCEPTIONS
POST-TRADE DEADLINE ROSTER MOVEMENT
Barring a move to create a roster spot, Atlanta has 15 guaranteed contracts. There are no buyout candidates on the Hawks’ roster.
SNEAK PEEK TOWARD JULY
The key for Atlanta this summer is retaining its own free agents.
Even with free-agent cap holds, the Hawks still project to have close to $7 million in room with the ability to create more. The big question will be what salary guard Kent Bazemore will command. Anything north of $6 million and Atlanta will need to use some of its projected cap space.
Although early Bird rights will limit Atlanta on Bazemore’s contract, the Hawks should have ample cap space if they need to dip into it to take care of Bazemore.
Al Horford is arguably one of the league’s top centers as well as one of its most underpaid. He will be due for a large increase in salary. Atlanta will have a clear advantage over other teams with years, money and a solid product on the court.
Although Tiago Splitter has a trade bonus in his contract, that clause was eliminated this summer when Splitter was traded from San Antonio.
A player cannot receive a trade bonus if already traded.
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