The Atlanta Hawks have completed 40% of the regular season, and the results have been mixed. Atlanta is 17-16 and roughly in the middle of the pack in most advanced stats categories.
With Christmas Day in the rearview mirror, trade talks around the league will gradually begin to heat up before hitting a fever pitch on the February 9 trade deadline. Atlanta will almost certainly make some moves before the trade deadline, and below are the most-likely trade candidates.
5. A. J. Griffin
Of the five players most likely to be traded, AJ Griffin is the least feasible. The rookie has exceeded all expectations by starting eight games and becoming a legitimate source of offense.
More importantly than what Griffin provides in the short term, his ceiling is sky-high for a 19-year-old son of an NBA coach. The only reason Atlanta should ever consider trading Griffin would be to net a third All-Star caliber player.
After playing historically low minutes during his rookie season, Jalen Johnson got off to a hot start in his sophomore campaign. However, Johnson’s defensive shortcomings and outside shooting struggles have caused Hawks head coach Nate McMillan to significantly reduce his minutes.
Currently, Johnson is out of McMillan’s rotation. That can and will change over time. But if Atlanta considers itself a buyer at the trade deadline, Johnson would be a part of any trade package.
3. Aaron Holiday
Aaron Holiday is a capable backup point guard. Unfortunately, he finds himself behind two All-Star point guards that often stagger their minutes. To make matters worse, Holiday’s time on the court has dwindled since the start of the season – even netting four DNPs (Coach’s Decisions).
By the trade deadline, there will be plenty of teams looking to add a trustworthy 26-year-old floor general on a veteran’s minimum contract. However, if Atlanta’s goal is to avoid the luxury tax, Holiday should get comfortable in his current role.
2. Justin Holiday
Like his brother, Justin Holiday started the season as an important contributor coming off the bench. Thanks to the return of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Holiday’s minutes have crumbled, resulting in five DNP (Coach’s Decisions).
The 33-year-old becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, and there could be a team looking for a veteran two-way wing. Holiday is one of the most expendable players on Atlanta’s roster.
Atlanta recently celebrated the third anniversary of wanting to trade John Collons. Despite being the most tenured player on the roster, and the glue that holds so much together, Atlanta is deadset on trading Collins.
After so many false alarms, Hawks fans have understandably grown numb to trade rumors involving Collins. However, this is the year the front office finally pulls the trigger on moving Collins. The combination of Atlanta degrading Collins’ trade value and his career-low shooting splits will hurt what the team gets in return for the 25-year-old.