Talk about your extensive about-faces.
The Atlanta Hawks seemed ready to hold a fire sale back in January after they traded Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers. But then they took everyone off the chopping block. And then, leading into Thursday’s trade deadline, they traded for Ersan Ilyasova.
And then, after that, they targeted Jimmy Butler and Paul George, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
The Atlanta Hawks made aggressive draft pick-centric trade offers for Paul George and Jimmy Butler today, league sources tell ESPN.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017
The Hawks' pitches for PG-13 and Butler excluded core players. Asked if three first-rounder picks were offered , one source said: "More."
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 24, 2017
The Hawks own the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2018 first-round pick, which is lottery protected through 2020, at which point it becomes two second-round picks. They also own the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2019 first-round pick, which is lottery protected through 2020, before becoming two second-rounders in 2021 and 2022.
Chances are the Hawks offered their own pick this year and in 2019, plus those Minnesota and Cleveland joints. They might have also thrown in their own 2021 pick, bringing the grand total to five. Who knows?
If you’re the Chicago Bulls, you have to at least consider that offer, no matter which players are coming back, especially of the Hawks’ selections were unprotected. Then again, if the Hawks acquired Jimmy Butler, they’d probably be good for a while, provided they were able to keep him into his next deal. Chicago wouldn’t have really capitalized on anything until 2019 at the earliest.
Whatever the case, the Hawks shot their shot. Props to them for that, even though they missed.