More than 17 hours ahead of the NBA’s Thursday trading deadline, the Hawks have been the team of the week, focal point in a pair of major transactions that followed up an earlier trade from last month. The headliner is new center Clint Capela, brought in from the Rockets as part of a blockbuster four-team trade, but in the past three weeks, the Hawks have been part of four transactions affecting 10 players either leaving or coming into Atlanta, plus four future draft picks.
The most recent came on Wednesday night as the Hawks brought back center Dewayne Dedmon from the Kings.
Dedmon had left Atlanta last summer to sign a three-year contract with Sacramento but the Kings quickly demoted him because of the performance of center Richaun Holmes. Dedmon was fined in January for saying he wanted a trade.
The Hawks gave up Alex Len and Jabari Parker in the deal. Atlanta will get second-round picks from Sacramento in 2020 and 21 as part of the Hawks eating the last two years of Dedmon’s deal, which will run $26.6 million combined. (Or $14.3 million, as Dedmon’s contract is only guaranteed for $1 million in 2021-22.)
Len is a free agent this summer and Parker has an option for next season.
That’s one player in (Dedmon), two out (Len, Parker) and two picks in. Here’s the running tab for the rest of the Hawks’ past three weeks.
- January 16, trade with Minnesota.
IN: Jeff Teague, Treveon Graham.
OUT: Allen Crabbe.
- February 4, four-team trade involving Minnesota, Houston and Denver.
IN: Capela, Nene.
OUT: Evan Turner, 2020 first-round pick (from Brooklyn), 2024 second-round pick.
- February 5, waiver wire.
OUT: Chandler Parsons.
Atlanta Hawks Projected Starting Lineup & Roster After Trades
As it stands, the Hawks have vastly bolstered the middle, where they went from having Len, Damian Jones and Bruno Fernando as their primary options (or pushing forward John Collins out of position) to having talented veterans Capela and Dedmon.
They were able to do so without giving up any of their core young players, including Collins, whose name had surfaced on the rumor mill. This bunch still figures to be built around Trae Young, Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter, all of whom are 22 or younger.
Capela, who turns 26 in May, is signed for four more years so even though he is now an elder statesman, he’ll be in the meat of his prime just as his young teammates begin to hit their peak years.
Here’s how things set up for the Hawks in the starting five now, when everyone’s healthy:
PG: Trae Young
SG: Kevin Huerter
SF: De’Andre Hunter
PF: John Collins
C: Clint Capela
Here’s how the depth looks:
G: Jeff Teague, DeAndre’ Bembry, Vince Carter
F: Cam Reddish, Treveon Graham, Nene
C: Dewayne Dedmon, Damian Jones, Bruno Fernando
Hawks’ Payroll Remains Flexible
The addition of Dedmon means the Hawks now have only eight contracts that run past this year, and Dedmon’s ($13.3 million) is the second-most expensive, behind Capela ($16 million). None of the other contracts top eight figures, which leaves the Hawks with more than enough cap space next summer to sign a max free agent.
There’s not much by way of franchise-changers in free agency in 2020 but the Hawks should be able to address shortcomings at backup point guard and power forward.
They still have a cavalcade of draft picks in the coming years, even with the trade of Brooklyn’s first-rounder this season. The Hawks have a lottery-protected first-rounder from Oklahoma City in 2022, have all their own first-rounders intact and will have eight additional incoming second-rounders and two outgoing in the next seven drafts.
Of course, the Hawks may not be done. Given how busy this team has been and given the time left before the deadline, don’t be surprised if another Atlanta deal in coming up.