ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks and general manager Travis Schlenk are in a tough spot right now and are on the clock in regards to what moves they should make.
With the news of Quin Snyder stepping down for the Utah Jazz, Mark Zinno on the 'A to Z with Mark Zinno' podcast says the Hawks may have to act fast in regards to Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert because other teams will also be looking to add key pieces as well.
The Hawks have to be very swift but very careful with how they handle this whole thing, Zinno said.
“If the Jazz are going to break up, their two best players Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are going to be put out there to the highest bidder," Zinno said. "It’s not only a question of do the Hawks want one of those players, will they fit here, can they get them at the price they want. But the other part is, can they stop other teams from doing it?”
Zinno said while the Hawks have to be to the playoffs each of the past two seasons, it's clear they need another big time player to work with Trae Young to help take the team to the next level. He says the way the current roster is constructed, the Hawks are at best the sixth best team in the Eastern Conference.
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"What would it look like if Donovan Mitchell went to Philadelphia, say they dump Harden," Zinno said. "Or somehow Brooklyn? What if Rudy Gobert ends up there? What happens if Toronto gets one of those guys? Even if you take Donovan Mitchell and put him on the Knicks or Cavaliers, are they equal to where the Hawks are? There’s an argument they could be."
“That’s the challenge Travis Schlenk faces," Zinno continued. "Not only is it how does he make his team better. But how do you get ‘more better’ than the other Eastern Conference teams. And ‘more better’ isn’t proper English but work with me. Do you go get Mitchell or Gobert? Do you change the construct of your future to get better now and how much better will one of those guys make you?”
Zinno said if Atlanta wants to get past the hump they're currently sitting on in the East, and get up to compete with Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, they're going to need to act with urgency and not allow these teams to continue to improve without making smart, worthwhile moves of their own.
“Sixth is not a good place to be in the East. It’s not going to get you far," Zinno said. "See what Boston did to Brooklyn? See what Philadelphia did to Toronto? There’s some really good teams in the East and it’s not going to get any easier for the Hawks.”