It was already going to be a busy day for the Hawks.
It always is for the NBA Draft.
It got a whole lot busier for the Hawks with Wednesday’s agreement to trade Jeff Teague to the Pacers. The deal will be a three-team trade with Teague going to the Pacers; the Pacers sending George Hill to the Jazz; the Hawks receiving the 12th overall pick owned by the Jazz (the final portion of the trade that I can now confirm). The Hawks got the No. 12 pick and cleared $6.5 million in salary cap space for Teague.
The Hawks now have four draft picks – Nos. 12 and 21 in the first round and Nos. 44 and 54 in the second round.
The Hawks are looking actively looking into the possibility of trading one or both of the first-round picks, according people familiar with the situation. However, they very well could keep one or both. There are several options for the Hawks:
* The acquisition of established players who can help now.
* The acquisition of one or more players and their cap-friendly rookie contracts who would need to contribute and not necessarily be projects.
* The need to remain flexible with the salary cap for this and future offseasons.
There are a couple of interesting aspects to the day. Since the Teague deal won’t be official until after the NBA’s moratorium on July 6 (for some complicated salary-cap reasons), the Hawks are trading for the draft rights of the No. 12 pick. So if no other trade is made, the Jazz would make that pick on behalf of the Hawks tonight. The player’s rights would then remain with the Jazz until the deal is official.
Another point that has been brought up quite a bit in the last day is whether having two first-round picks affects the Hawks’ ability to re-sign Al Horford and sign another max players. As I reported earlier this month, the Hawks have the ability to give Horford a max deal and sign another such player. The Hawks have accounted for $18 million of Horford’s potential yearly salary with his cap hold. They have just under $25 million in available space. Subtract the money should they keep both first-round picks and the Hawks are at $20 million in space. That is enough to sign a younger max player, including their own Kent Bazemore with some of that money. If they choose to pursue a more veteran free agent, let’s say Kevin Durant, they would need a few minor moves. That would likely parting ways with Mike Scott and his $3 million. The Hawks would like to keep Scott but would be willing to move on should they be able to attract a player like Durant.
So, expect the Hawks’ basketball operations staff to be very busy today with more moves very possible before the night is over.