Is it really time to write off the new GM?
#Schlenking. It’s a hashtag most Hawks fans have fell in love with since Travis Schlenk has stepped in the Hawks building. A form of tanking, but still trying to stay competitive while doing so. Staying financially stable for years to come by signing team friendly deals to invest in the future.
Travis did exactly what he set out to do in the offseason. He let Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway walk. He traded Dwight Howard. He signed multiple players to short and friendly deals. He used the new 2-way contract to his advantage. With these moves, he ensured that the Hawks got younger and that their future looked bright with multiple picks in this year’s draft. For the most part, he got everything right at that point.
Fast forward to the trade deadline. Many people were hoping that Schlenk would make more moves to acquire more young talent and draft picks. There were rumors that Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova were the top two trade targets from the Hawks. And then this report came out:
It was said that everybody on the Hawks roster was available, except John Collins. On Schlenk’s part, that is understandable. The only person he was responsible for on the team was John Collins, everybody else came from past management. This report showed that Schlenk was all in to make some changes to the Hawks, just to ensure a better future.
When Thursday came around, it wasn’t the Hawks that had a fire sale. It was actually the Cavaliers.
After the talk of the Hawks trying to acquire draft picks or young talent, none of that came true. Luke Babbitt was traded. They received Okaro White and Sheldon Mac in trades, but they were both soon waived. Most of the roster was still intact after 3 p.m. Ersan Ilyasova, a trade target for maybe some playoff contenders is still on the team. He had the right to veto any trade as a One- Year Bird, and he really wasn’t interested in going to another team. Ilyasova’s complacency in life ruined any trades the Hawks had in mind. Sucks right?
Hawks fans were in shambles trying to figure out: where were all the big trades that were supposed to go down? What happened to the tank? And then Schlenk helped us understand.
Like I stated earlier: flexibility. Yes, the Hawks probably did try to trade most of their roster for some picks or more young talent. But in return they probably were going to have to take on a bad contract, something Schlenk has been totally against since he arrived. They don’t need another Miles Plumlee type contract on the team.
So don’t feel discouraged because he didn’t make any splash moves at the deadline. The Hawks are still at the bottom of the league and are on track to get a top 3 pick. On top of that, they still have those other first-round draft picks. And you can’t get mad because nobody wants to trade for anybody on our team. So at the end of the day, does Travis Schlenk really deserve to be in the hot seat?
Malik Brown (@_MalikATL)