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Atlanta Hawks Expected to Make Starter Available in Trade

Mar 18, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Atlanta Hawks coach Quin Snyder at a press conference during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Clint Capela

The Atlanta Hawks have many critical decisions to make this offseason. In addition to the likely trading star guard Trae Young, the Hawks also own the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft this summer. However, it appears the Hawks have other moves they might make. According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Hawks could trade center Clint Capela in the offseason.

“Capela, who turned 30 on Saturday, will have an expiring contract next season at $22.3 million after averaging 11.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots this season. The presence of Onyeka Okongwu and potential arrival of another big man through the draft, with Atlanta holding the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 1975, is expected to make Capela available.”

Capela has been the team’s starting center since 2020 and led the league in rebounding in 2021. However, the 10-year veteran averaged 10.6 rebounds per game last season, his lowest mark since the 2017-18 season.

Atlanta Hawks Expected to Make Starter Available in Trade

What Clint Capela Brings to the Table

Although his rebounding averages dropped last season, Capela is still a top-tier rebounder in the NBA. Furthermore, as a big man who primarily plays near the rim, Capela is also an exceptional rim protector. Last season, the former Houston Rockets big man averaged 1.5 blocks per game. However, despite being a good shot-blocker, Capela is not much of a defender outside of the paint. Offensively, he is an efficient scorer who can use his athleticism to his advantage. However, much like his defense, his offensive game takes a hit the farther away he gets from the paint.

Capela is not an elite center, but he possesses a lot of valuable tools. Especially for teams looking to upgrade at the center position, Capela could be a solid option. However, the Switzerland native has just one year remaining on his contract. Because of this, it could be difficult for a team to pull the trigger on a trade for Capela if he turns out to be a rental.

What a Clint Capela Trade Would Mean for the Hawks

If the Hawks decide to trade Capela, it will likely signify the official beginning of their re-tooling phase. This is especially true if the team also trades Young away, which seems inevitable at this point. Last week, Shams Charania of The Athletic spoke about the likelihood of the Hawks trading Young. Despite Young publicly expressing his desire to stay in Atlanta, Charania reports that Young may want a trade if the team decides not to build “a competitive team around him this offseason.”

“If Trae Young doesn’t feel the Hawks are planning to put a competitive team around him this offseason, there will be serious conversations about his future with the organization. Dialogue between Young and the Hawks is expected to begin this week and continue leading up to draft night.”

Although they made it to the Play-In Tournament this year, the Hawks officially missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2020. Moving on from Capela and Young may be the right decision for the team to move on and shift their priorities.


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