Veterans Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver are two of the longer-tenured players for the Atlanta Hawks. But they could be dealt before the trade deadline according to latest NBA rumors.
The Hawks have been inconsistent this season after changing two key starters last 2016 offseason. While they are still in the playoff picture, they need to play better if they want to survive in the Eastern Conference, which features a lot of mid-tier squads that can possibly battle for the playoffs.
Hawks could trade veterans before deadline
According to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Constitution-Journal, the Hawks are worried about the eventual free agency status of Millsap. The team reportedly will consider a trade of one or two of their key pieces if they continue playing inconsistent basketball this season.
“Even with the uncertainty surrounding Millsap, I don’t see a major move coming unless the Hawks completely fall out of the playoff race. I understand they risk losing Millsap for nothing, as they did with Al Horford,” Vivlamore wrote when asked about Atlanta Hawks’ trade talks at this point of the season.
ALSO READ: Celtics sweep season series vs. Grizzlies
“However, this team has shown glimpses of competing with the best in the league. The won at the Cavaliers and Raptors. They nearly won at the Warriors.”
The NBA analyst insists that the Hawks need to improve. Especially on giving consistent effort for the rest of the season. He mentioned the names of Millsap and Korver plus other veterans like Thabo Sefalosha and Kris Humphries as possible trade candidates this year.
“There is a need for consistency. However, if the Hawks figure things out between now and the February trade deadline, I don’t see a major move. If they don’t figure things out, all bets are off,” Vivlamore added.
“I’m sure they will do something but at this point I would consider it minor. A lot can happen between now and the trade deadline and that will be the determining factor, in my opinion.”
Chemistry issues with new starters this season for Hawks
The Hawks lost previous starters Al Horford and Jeff Teague to the Boston Celtics (in free agency) and Indiana Pacers (in a trade), respectively, last summer. Dwight Howard and Dennis Schroder replaced them as starters this season.
Atlanta has a 15-16 win-loss record so far this season, tied for sixth place in the hotly-contested Eastern Conference. The 11th and 12th teams, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic at 15-18 are just two games behind the Hawks.
ALSO READ: Russell Westbrook Triple-Double Watch
Atlanta needs to prove that they are closer to East contenders Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors. If they can’t play consistently near the trade deadline in February, expect some players like Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver to be shipped.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons