The Hawks traded for Jeremy Lin last week in a deal that cleared a path for the Nets to create the cap room necessary to take on a pair of unwanted contracts – and a pair of draft picks – in a trade of their own with the Nuggets.
According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), based on the conversations he had in Las Vegas, there was some confusion about why Atlanta used a chunk of its cap room on Lin rather than making a deal like the one Brooklyn did to add long-term assets.
As Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes, a source familiar with trade discussions said that the Hawks could have made a deal with Denver similar to the one the Nets made. However, Atlanta GM Travis Schlenk sounds high on Lin, Cunningham relays.
“We had the opportunity to add a veteran point guard to the locker room,” Schlenk said. “We’ve said all along that it takes high-character, good guys to help a young team grow. Jeremy fits the bill. We had two point guards on the roster, and we needed a third.”
Here’s more on the Hawks:
- While Schlenk won’t come out and say it, acquiring Lin would also provide some insurance in the event of a Dennis Schroder trade, according to Cunningham, who says it’s “obvious” that the Hawks want to move on from their starting point guard. A source tell Cunningham that Atlanta has been trying to trade Schroder for weeks, but hasn’t found much of a market for him.
- Schroder’s below-average shooting and defense limit his appeal to some extent, but his legal troubles are the primary deterrent for potential trade partners, says Cunningham. Two people with knowledge of Schroder’s battery case tell Cunningham that the player and his lawyer have discussed a settlement with the alleged victim, and Hawks officials have expressed confidence internally that Schroder won’t spend any time in jail. However, other teams “apparently aren’t so sure,” Cunningham writes.
- Speaking of Hawks point guards, last year’s backup Malcolm Delaney hasn’t technically had his free agent rights renounced by Atlanta, but he looks like a good bet to head elsewhere. According to a report from Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net, Delaney – who played overseas before joining the Hawks in 2016 – has received a contract offer from Turkish club Anadolu Efes.