After buying Dejounte Murray to pair with Trae Young, the Atlanta Hawks had been going to should even out the depth on their roster a bit bit extra. Playing Young with Murray and Kevin Huerter or Bogdan Bogdanović collectively most likely wasn’t going to work. President of basketball operations Travis Schlenk seemed to be within the search of some extra conventional 3-and-D wings to spherical out the rotation. That’s apparently the place the Sacramento Kings come into the combination.
The Hawks are buying and selling Huerter to the Kings in change for Justin Holiday, Mo Harkless and a protected first-round decide.
The first-round decide the Hawks obtained is lottery-protected in 2024, top-12 in 2025, top-10 in 2026 after which turns into two seconds if it hasn’t conveyed but.
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) July 1, 2022
This is an opportunistic transfer by the Kings entrance workplace, and on the floor, it’s precisely the kind of transfer that was anticipated from the Hawks after buying Murray. It might even assist make them one other commerce if the rumors and conjecture in regards to the Hawks wanting to maneuver on from John Collins are plausible. Either approach, we’ve obtained some crimson ink, and we’ve obtained some grades.
Sacramento Kings purchase Kevin Huerter
This is the kind of transfer the Kings wanted to make extra usually over the past 15 or so years. The Kings’ entrance workplace noticed a surplus on one other group at an excellent contract, and so they grabbed him in a commerce. You might argue Huerter isn’t the precise participant the Kings have to tie this entire factor collectively, however that is nonetheless a really optimistic pickup for them.
Huerter is on team- and cap-friendly deal by means of 2026. He tops out within the fourth season at slightly below $18 million. For a participant like Huerter who can rating, shoot the ball and is a stable sufficient defender, that’s good long-term worth. Huerter isn’t some crimson carpet to the ring on protection. He competes and may work in defensive construction. We noticed it occur when Nate McMillan took over as coach in Atlanta in 2021. The drawback is whether or not Mike Brown can get this specific roster of gamers to achieve his fashion of protection. That’s not a problem particular to Huerter although.
It’s been a little bit of a crowded backcourt for Huerter to navigate in Atlanta the final two seasons, and he nonetheless carried out fairly nicely. He’s menace from deep, and you may count on him to flirt with 40 % or larger from 3-point vary as his profession progresses. He can put the ball on the ground and create for himself. He’s not an incredible playmaker and turns the ball over a bit an excessive amount of, however these are issues that may get higher with extra expertise in making performs.
Huerter will be anticipated to play nicely off Domantas Sabonis in a two-man recreation with dribble-handoffs. He must also pair within the backcourt nicely with De’Aaron Fox, and it helps push Malik Monk to a sixth-man position off the bench, which fits him lots higher. The Kings giving up the protected first-round decide isn’t an enormous deal both. If they find yourself conveying the decide in 2024, it means they made the playoffs.
Atlanta Hawks purchase Justin Holiday, Mo Harkless, protected first-round decide
This is an efficient commerce for each groups. I’ve lengthy contended that the NBA undervalues Holiday. He’s traditionally an above-average 3-point shooter. Holiday is 36.5 % from deep for his profession, and he made 38.2 % from distance on practically six makes an attempt per recreation over the past three seasons. He’s additionally a really succesful defender, each on the ball and off it. The Hawks misplaced loads of defensive depth following their look within the convention finals, and that occurred regardless of zero modifications to the rotation. They simply misplaced that defensive feeling.
Holiday and Harkless ought to assist repair that. Both are guys who can swap a number of positions on the perimeter and assist with the flexibility to recuperate to shooters on the perimeter. They can shut out with size and athleticism to each shooters. Harkless may even defend some fours if wanted. Harkless just isn’t the shooter Holiday is. He’s had two seasons with nice accuracy on low volumes, so it’s been in there sooner or later. However, his 32.0 % 3-point accuracy for his profession isn’t an indication of made photographs to return.
Still, that is Schlenk fleshing out the wing defenders with some adults on the ground. Holiday and Harkless gained’t blow you away, however they’re stable and dependable for what you want them to do. It’s not a knock on Huerter to maneuver him and purchase these gamers. The Hawks simply had a troublesome resolution to make and releasing up some cash whereas additionally including to your depth is sweet. The first-round decide is offered beginning in 2024, nevertheless it’s lottery protected. They simply have to attend for the Kings to be playoff-bound (it’s been 16 seasons) or as near it as potential for this to convey within the subsequent few years. Otherwise, they get two second-round picks.
(Photo of Kevin Huerter: Brett Davis / USA Today)