Hawks made it clear that Millsap is off the market for several weeks now as the trade deadline approached. With contracts such as Tiago Splitter, who hasn’t played a single minute this season, it was almost a forgone conclusion that a deal would be done to improve the roster heading into the playoffs.
Last night it came into fruition when Ersan Ilyasova was sent in exchange for Splitter and two 2017 second-round picks to the Sixers. The Hawks received Philadelphia’s 2017 second-round pick they hold from Golden State, most likely pick 60. Also the draft rights to Cenk Akyol. Coach Budenholzer has high praise for Ilyasova, when asked about the deal he stated, “He’s a high-character, proven veteran who we’ve liked for many years and believe fits well within our system,” also stating, “I can see him being a significant contributor. I think we’ll give him opportunities.”
This exchange is greatly needed for the Hawks as they are one of the worst 3 point shooting teams in the NBA as well as one of the worst bench scoring teams. He is a 6-foot-10 forward, who is averaging 14.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 56 games with Philadelphia and Oklahoma City. He will be able to fit well alongside either Paul Millsap or Dwight Howard, spacing the floor giving the Hawks a new dimension much desired.
Another deal involving Mike Scott and the Phoenix Suns circulated during the late hours of the trade deadline, including the draft rights to Cenk Akyol and cash considerations to the Suns for a top-55 protected 2017 second-round draft pick. The Hawks also received a $3.3 million traded player exception in the deal. Scott has fallen out of the rotation since returning shooting a abysmal 4-for-27 on 3-pointers (15%).
The front office had their minds solely on shipping out players that weren’t needed at their position and upgrading it to either a future pick or a newly backup forward Ersan Ilyasova. The Hawks latest trade buzz after the trading deadline seems to be positive. According to various reports such as ESPN and Bleacher Report give the Atlanta front office an A (BR) and (ESPN).
Looking forward to the last 26 games of the season, in order for the Hawks to secure home court seeding, they would need to improve on offense and being consistent. Last year around this date the Hawks played their best basketball of the year being a top 5 team in both offense and defense. The new lineups and players contributed to the inconsistent play, but each year Coach Budenholzer has made the necessary adjustments.
The Hawks start their second half of season tonight vs Miami with Ersan Ilyasova questionable to play and Thabo Sefolosha expects to play.