NBA Trade Rumors: Chris Paul and 5 Players Atlanta Hawks Should Go After
They have the young upstart Jeff Teague, the former draft bust but still surprisingly athletic Marvin Williams (despite his back issues), the defensive perimeter stopper Kirk Hinrich, the five-time All-Star with an overly hefty contract Joe Johnson, the two-time All-Star center with the all the right intangibles Al Horford and one of the hottest names on the trading block, the uber-athletic, all-world defender and two-time All-Star snub, Josh Smith.
No matter what a team wants, the Hawks can supply it (unless it's a bona fide superstar), and according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, no one is off limits.
With the Atlanta Spirit Group (hopefully) finally realizing that this group is not the 2005 Detroit Pistons and will not win a championship, the Hawks might start moving in the right direction and feel out some offers.
Compiling a more fan-friendly roster will only help the ASG in their quest to sell the Hawks.
Here are five players that the Hawks should use those valuable assets on.
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Might as well get the totally ludicrous one out of the way first.
People say the Hawks have no chance with Dwight Howard. That is incorrect. They have an extremely minuscule chance of landing Dwight Howard.
Outside of Atlanta, no one is talking of a potential Dwight Howard trade. But for a city that hasn't seen a superstar slip on a hometown jersey since the late '80s, it's only reasonable to think that such a city would want its born-and-raised star to play for their own team.
It probably won't happen. Howard might love Atlanta, he might love Josh Smith, but it just doesn't seem to be what he wants. Being realistic, the limelight isn't at it's brightest in Atlanta.
It's not dim, though, and Orlando is probably a worse place to be, but Howard seems set on bigger and better things than the Hawks.
Teaming up with Josh Smith may be on a short list of his, but going to a team with dysfunctional owners probably isn't in their grand scheme. Maybe they'll meet up in New Jersey or somewhere else, but Howard isn't going to willingly walk into a situation where the ownership is trying to book the first flight out of town.
However, if the owners want to sell the team, what would be more enticing to potential buyers than to buy a team with arguably the NBA's best player?
The ASG has done nothing but rip the hearts out of Atlantans. Before they get out of dodge, trading for the hometown hero would make seven years of hell go unnoticed.
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The Clippers are looking for a small forward; the Hawks are looking for a center. How convenient that each team has just what the other one wants.
Chris Kaman and Al-Farouq Aminu for Josh Smith wouldn't be a terrible trade for either side. The Clippers, assuming they retain him, commit to DeAndre Jordan as their center of the future and get a small forward in Smith who has reportedly lost 30 pounds and is in perfect shape to play the 3.
The Hawks get a center and can play Al Horford at his natural power forward position and fill Smith's absence with a Williams-Aminu combination.
A potential lineup of Teague/Hinrich, Johnson/Wilkins, Williams/Aminu, Horford and Kaman/Pachulia would be a difficult one to stop. Suddenly there would be less of a logjam up front despite adding a frontcourt player, as Horford is freed up to play his natural position.
Kaman is a player that can take the Hawks from one level to the next, but it doesn't come without sacrifice.
With Jamal Crawford likely gone via free agency, the Hawks will be looking for a dynamite scorer off the bench to help their offensive attack.
Look no further than the former Yellow Jacket and Atlanta native, Anthony Morrow. A Marvin Williams for Anthony Morrow swap would get the Hawks rid of their perpetual reminder of what could have been (Chris Paul is what could have been). In return they get a streaky shooter who is a homegrown product and a poor man's Jamal Crawford.
He won't be banking three-pointers with two seconds left against Orlando in the playoffs, but Morrow will his shots. He won't pull off the shake-and-bake and then bury a four-point play, but he'll get to the cup and maybe drain a pull-up.
He's a change of pace that the Hawks would love to have on their team as they look for backcourt scoring help for Joe Johnson with the likely loss of Jamal Crawford.
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There was a time when Josh Smith trade rumors zipped through the Internet as Yahoo! and ESPN looked for the inside track. While those rumors have largely broken down, the fact remains that Smith is still unhappy and on the block.
With Andre Iguodala and Monta Ellis each on the block, a three-team swap in which the Hawks would get Iguodala, the 76ers Ellis, and the Warriors Smith would be a trade that would get rid of each disgruntled star.
The Hawks would throw Iguodala at the 3 and then vehemently shop Marvin Williams for anything at all, maybe someone like Channing Frye. With a backcourt of Teague, Johnson and Iguodala, the Hawks would have one of the most feared and dynamic guard trios in the NBA.
Iguodala's versatility would help the Hawks in several facets and despite the loss of Smith's defense, he would provide a much more stabilized and consistent offense.
Iguodala can play the point forward and is a constant triple-double threat. He's the type of player you want on your team; he's unselfish and can match Smith's athleticism to boot.
If Smith has to go, I'm sure the fans in the "Highlight Factory" at Philips Arena would love to see Iguodala in Smith's place. The high-flying jams wouldn't be going anywhere with Iggy in the open court.
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While seemingly every team is interested in Chris Paul, Chris Broussard of ESPN has mentioned Atlanta as a potential destination for Paul.
He and Howard are the hottest commodities of the offseason and if you're wondering who Atlanta's priority should be, it should be Paul.
Atlanta could probably successfully ship out either Horford or Smith, along with Kirk Hinrich, Marvin Williams and Jeff Teague for Paul, Emeka Okafor and potentially Trevor Ariza.
All of a sudden, the Hawks have arguably the best backcourt in the NBA with Chris Paul and Joe Johnson, followed by a frontcourt of some combination that would include four of these five: Ariza, Okafor, Smith, Horford and Pachulia.
That would be a team ready to compete for a championship and a great exit gift as the ASG looks for that buyer.
Who wouldn't want to buy that team? If I had enough cash I'd be lining up for the chance to own a team with a healthy Joe Johnson (keep in mind he played injured all last season), a megastar in Chris Paul, one of cornerstones of Smith and Horford and a shot-blocking guru in Emeka Okafor.
The Hawks should pull out all the stops to get Paul to Atlanta, where he should have been all along (Marvin Williams...).