Atlanta Hawks, NBA Free Agency, Sacramento Kings

Hawks could be set up for big splash

The Atlanta Hawks have traded Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings, suggesting a bigger move is on the horizon for this contending franchise.

While the Sacramento Kings have traded for wing Kevin Huerter, the Atlanta Hawks could be up to something once again in the early stages of NBA free agency.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday afternoon that Atlanta was sending Huerter to Sacramento in exchange for former wing Justin Holiday, veteran small forward Mo Harkless and a future first-round pick.

Holiday will get to play alongside one of his younger brothers Aaron, who just signed a one-year deal to play for the Hawks.

Wojnarowski followed up with the first-round pick Atlanta is getting from Sacramento will be in 2024. This will be a lottery-protected first-round (top-14) pick for 2024. It becomes a top-12 protected pick in 2025 and a top-10 protected pick in 2026.

While the Kings get a wing who should thrive playing alongside De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis in Sacramento, we have to wonder if the Hawks are up to something again…

Atlanta Hawks could be up to something again after trading away Kevin Huerter

Atlanta made some noise in the final days of June by orchestrating a blockbuster trade for former San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray. The Hawks gave up a boatload of first-round picks to add him to their roster. Murray is expected to be a secondary ball-handler, another go-to scorer and a great defensive addition to play alongside Trae Young on the Atlanta starting backcourt.

Recently promoted Hawks general manager Landry Fields wanted to add an All-Star-caliber player to pair with Young and got just that in Murray. If we want to read between the lines, Atlanta could be in the mix to land former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton in a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns. The Hawks could use this pick to sweeten the pot, as Phoenix is expected to move off Ayton.

As far as if the Hawks are in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, technically yes, but let’s not bank on that. A trio of Ayton, Murray and Young is infinitely more likely to happen than Durant agreeing to be traded to a team that has never won anything of note in his lifetime. Plus, he is older than Atlanta’s two star players and much of the core Fields and Travis Schlenk have already assembled.

By trading away Huerter, it frees up space for the Hawks to pursue another big piece this summer.

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