The Hawks are looking to acquire a high second-round pick in exchange for either guard Marco Belinelli or forward Ersan Ilyasova, league sources tell Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week that Belinellii and Ilyasova are among the Hawks veterans who are expendable as the team looks to stockpile more draft picks and young players.
While the Hawks are well out of the playoff race in the East, both Belinelli and Ilyasova have been their usual productive selves this season. Belinelli has matched his career high in scoring with 11.8 PPG so far, converting 38.6% of his three-point attempts. Ilyasova has also been effective from long-range, posting a .400 3PT% to go along with 11.2 PPG.
Neither player has an exorbitant salary, making them attractive trade pieces for contenders in need of another rotation piece. However, both veterans would likely be rentals for any team acquiring them — Belinelli is on a $6.6MM expiring contract, while Ilyasova is earning $6MM before becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.
Scotto likens the Hawks’ situation to the Suns shopping P.J. Tucker at last season’s deadline. Tucker, who was in the final year of his contract, was sent to a contender in Toronto, with the Raptors surrendering a pair of second-round picks for him. Like last year’s Suns, who acquired Jared Sullinger‘s expiring salary in that Tucker deal, the Hawks wouldn’t want to take back any undesirable multiyear contracts.
Of course, if Atlanta wants to land a high second-round pick for Belinelli or Ilyasova, working something out with a playoff team may be tricky. For instance, would-be contenders like the Timberwolves and Thunder hold their own second-rounders, but those picks figure to fall in the 50s, or at least the late-40s. The Sixers, who hold multiple 2018 second-round picks, including the Nets’ selection, are among the clubs that might make more sense as potential trade partners for Atlanta, given the Hawks’ asking price.