But not so fast, Hawks president/GM Travis Schlenk said. Despite reports, the Hawks aren’t looking to make a major overhaul of the roster.
“We’re the easy target,” Schlenk said, via Jeff Schultz of The Athletic. “Every rumor out there has the Hawks in it.”
Schlenk speaks the truth, as the Hawks have not only been linked to multiple opposing starters, but a recent report suggested they are also in talks with the Trail Blazers for the No. 7 overall draft pick.
Schlenk did admit that the Hawks are talking with multiple teams every day ahead of next week’s NBA Draft, as well as preparing for the free agency period that quickly follows. The goal is indeed to get to another level, with star Trae Young and coach Nate McMillan leading the way.
“It’s a lot easier to become a good team, a playoff team, than it is to become one that contends for a title,” Schlenk said, via Schultz. “We feel we’ve become a competitive team, but now we have to take the next step, and these are difficult decisions. If you make a mistake in the draft, you can overcome that. It’s a two-year mistake. If you make a mistake in free agency or in a sign-and-trade, when you’re giving somebody a four-year, $150 million contract, that can be detrimental for a long time.”
Granted, most GMs throughout the history of sports have kept things close to the vest, denying that they are contemplating any sort of move. That’s usually because, in the event a trade falls through, the player at the center of the conversation isn’t moping or displaying bad vibes.
So yes, the Hawks are talking. But according to Schlenk, just not as determined to make a splash as you might think.