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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Report: Hawks could entertain trading core players at deadline

Mike Budenholzer

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly discussing breaking up their core before the February 18 trade deadline.

That core, including Al Horford, Jeff Teague, and Kyle Korver, could reportedly be moved, according to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst.

Team management reportedly believe that this year’s team is little more than a fringe contender after winning 60 games last season, and with Horford in the final year of his contract and likely to get a max contract that the Hawks are reluctant to offer, he would be an attractive trade chip for the team to get younger.

Teague may also be considered expendable, as Dennis Schroder has emerged as a starter-caliber player for Atlanta and Teague’s affordable contract would interest many teams.

While it makes sense for a team that may not be going anywhere to look for younger, more long-term talent, the decision is not that easy. Coach and team president Mike Budenholzer is reportedly disinclined to tear up a team less than nine months removed from appearing in the conference finals, and trading away the key players could have a negative impact on the fanbase, season ticket sales, sponsorships, and television ratings.

We had already heard that the Hawks were gauging interest in Teague, and if they don’t think they’re going anywhere, moving Horford – who sounds bound for free agency – does make sense. However, the fans would undoubtedly not be pleased, especially since this is a relatively new ownership group in charge of affairs who will want to keep the fanbase onside.

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