Trade Deadline: The Atlanta Hawks Make An Incredibly Unimportant Trade

Photo by Donald Lee Pardue on Flickr

The Hawks, as expected, didn’t make any major trades by today’s 3 p.m. deadline. Instead, they sent a second-round pick to Golden State for cash to help offset their first-ever luxury-tax bill that will be due at season’s end.

Under CBA rules, picks can be sold for up to $3 million but the Hawks will receive much less for their pick since first-round picks routinely sold for $3 million under the old CBA. In addition, under the new CBA there is an annual cap of $3 million on cash involved in trades, further driving down the price of picks.

via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Hawks Blog: Atlanta Hawks: Hawks trade second-round draft pick for cash

Lost in all the clamor and analysis of “meaningful” trades, benignity reigned in Atlanta. The Blazers dealt players with impressive frequency, the Lakers and Rockets upgraded at different positions, and the Nuggets made a leap of faith. What did the Atlanta Hawks do? The franchise enacted the most minuscule and practical deal of the day, and made the least eventful move possible.

If this is the first you’re reading of the Hawks’ sport-shattering deal, you’re not at fault. The system has failed you. The Internet has failed you. While the rest of the general blogs were off covering a myriad of shifting, ultimately meaningless trades, you were sitting at home, completely unaware of what the Hawks’ franchise was doing. But here at Hardwood Paroxysm, we wouldn’t allow that. The Hawks may not be our first priority in regards to astute coverage, but meaningless NBA moments certainly are.

Am I insinuating that the Hawks freeing up a couple million dollars in payroll is more interesting than Nick Young being traded to the Clippers? Maybe, maybe not. But do I believe singularly purposed, widely unrecognized trades deserve their moment in the sun? Yes, I do. There can be no question as to why the Hawks traded a second-round pick to the Warriors, but there can be many questions as to why a team like the Bucks chose to trade Andrew Bogut. It may have been a move grounded in improving team morale, stemming from a great belief in Monta Ellis, or based upon a simple wish to free up future cap space. The Hawks, in contrast, hold no interest in nebulous motivations.

While the NBA office whirred with activity, and media everywhere analyzed the fine points of complicated deals, the Hawks’ franchise (and by extension, the Warriors) allowed a quick respite from the madness. The Hawks made a simplistic deal with likely no long-term NBA ramifications on Thursday, and for that, they should be noticed, if not necessarily saluted or commended.

Seth Carstens