The Atlanta Hawks are scouring the trade market for centers and have reportedly expressed interest in the San Antonio Spurs center, Jakob Poeltl.
Trade rumors have been heating up as the February 6th deadline approaches and teams look to take a final opportunity to improve their rosters mid-season. The Atlanta Hawks have been linked to several prominent big men such as Andre Drummond and Steven Adams. According to Bleacher Report’s Michael Scotto, they have also expressed interest in San Antonio Spurs’ center, Jakob Poeltl.
The Hawks started the season as a dark horse pick to take one of the final Eastern Conference playoff spots but have struggled to live up to expectations. They currently have the second-worst record in the NBA so it makes sense that they would be trying to improve.
Adams and Drummond are great players to be sure, but they’ll come at a much higher cost than Poeltl would. Additionally, Drummond reportedly intends to opt-out of his contract after this year. If the Hawks aren’t sure they want to sign him to a long term max deal it’s understandable that they would be interested in Poeltl who would likely cost them less.
Poeltl’s fit with the Hawks is a good one. He’s a great player in pick and roll, which the Hawks run a ton of, averaging 1.21 points per possession as the roll man. He’d instantly step in as a great dance partner with Trae Young. He doesn’t shoot the ball well but he’s a good offensive rebounder and does all of the gritty things you need out of a bruising big man.
On the defensive end, Poeltl has developed into one of the better young protectors in the league. He’s averaging a career-high 2.9 blocks per 36 minutes this season, better than any player currently on Atlanta’s roster. Defense is something that the Hawks other young star, John Collins, has struggled with through the early parts of his career. Poeltl could play with Collins and cover for his lapses on that end of the floor.
The San Antonio Spurs declined to extend Poeltl earlier this year and would probably listen to an offer for their rising young big man. Atlanta has a very interesting group of young players and would be able to put together a very convincing package if they decide to make an offer.
De’Andre Hunter has shown a lot of promise in his rookie season and is the player that the San Antonio Spurs should be targeting if they do decide to sit down with Atlanta. He was just drafted fourth overall this past June so it could take a little bit more than Poeltl to bring the promising young forward to the Alamo City but San Antonio has the assets to get it done.
Adding DeMarre Carroll and two future second-round picks should be enough to get Atlanta to bite. Carroll is wasting away on the Spurs bench. His return to Atlanta would add a veteran presence to one of the youngest teams in the league. Vince Carter has been a great mentor to the Hawks young players but you can never have too many respected veterans speaking wisdom to the future of your franchise. Adding in two future second-round picks gives Atlanta flexibility in future deals down the road or additional chances to find a second-round gem in the future.
We’ve already seen the Atlanta Hawks make one trade in recent days and they might not be done yet. Keep your Woj notifications on as trade season heats up, things are bound to get interesting.