Home » ESPN’s proposed Hawks-Raptors trade is a genuine lose-lose deal

ESPN’s proposed Hawks-Raptors trade is a genuine lose-lose deal

by TLD

NBA trade speculation is heating up two weeks out from the deadline, with the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors two teams that could find themselves active before February 9.

The Hawks have won four of their last six games, including 137-132 against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. Still, their 25-24 record is slightly underwhelming, and it seems John Collins’ name is perennially mentioned in trade discussions.

The Raptors have won back-to-back games against the New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings, yet have otherwise been one of the disappointments of the season with a 22-27 record and sitting 12th in the Eastern Conference.

ESPN’s proposed trade would fly in the face of the perceived direction the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors are wishing to head in.

In his overview of the Hawks’ situation, ESPN’s Bobby Marks has outlined a trade that he’d like to see Landry Fields exercise — John Collins and Vit Krejci to the Raptors for Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young, Khem Birch and a 2024 top-10-protected first-round pick.

Toronto Raptors’ Chris Boucher shoots over Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins earlier this season. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images).

In terms of the respective players’ value, this is a realistic trade. The problem for Atlanta is that they’ve held on to Collins for far too long, and, unsurprisingly, they’ve always valued him far more than the rest of the league. Even if they’ve been willing to move him for a couple of years, their valuation of Collins has made potential deals undesirable, including this hypothetical one.

The prize here is the top ten protected pick, although Boucher and Young could get sporadic minutes in the Hawks’ rotation. We’re talking about a team who just gave up a haul of draft assets for Dejounte Murray though — what does Atlanta want with a first-round pick unless they’re confident they can flip that almost immediately for another player who fits their system better than Collins?

Atlanta should want an upgrade from Collins, not pick(s) that seem as if they’re headed towards another rebuild. Given they’re unlikely to get that upgrade, they may find themselves stuck with Collins for a while longer yet.

From Toronto’s perspective, would the idea be to pair Collins with Pascal Siakam? That’s a talented offensive duo, but it’s doing nothing to address the desire for greater rim protection. Do they think that acquiring Collins would magically shoot them up the standings and into any major playoff relevance?

Now, of course, the goalposts could change if we see these teams make other moves in addition to this proposed one, but in a vacuum, it’s nothing short of a lose-lose deal where 28 other teams come out as winners.


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