Blockbuster new trade proposal sends Clint Capela to Chicago, Nikola Vucevic + 1st-round pick to Atlanta

Blockbuster new trade proposal sends Clint Capela to Chicago, Nikola Vucevic + 1st-round pick to Atlanta

The Atlanta Hawks will kick off the NBA Summer League tomorrow against the Washington Wizards and it will be the first chance for Hawks fans to see No. 1 Zaccharie Risacher in a Hawks uniform. Risacher will play a big role in the Hawks’ plans this season, but some players might not.

One of those players is Clint Capela, who has been with the Hawks since 2020. Capela has been a defensive stalwart for the Hawks during that time, but his defense has dropped off a bit and he still isn’t much of an offensive threat. Capela is also on an expiring contract and that has left many wondering if he could be traded in favor of letting Onyeka Okongwu take over at center. The Hawks have yet to move Capela, however, and many of the teams that were rumored to be interested in him have found other options.

That won’t stop speculation about a possible trade, though. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report has proposed a new proposal that would send Capela to the Chicago Bulls:

Trade Idea: Clint Capela to Chicago Bulls for Nikola Vučević, Julian Phillips and a 2025 first-round pick (lottery protected, via POR)

“While the Hawks could opt for a fire sale, they could delay a total dismantling since they don’t have control of their next three first-round picks.

So they could try to reshuffle the roster around Trae Young, trading rim-runner Capela for a much more capable offensive center like Vučević, plus Phillips, who was last year’s 35th pick and a future lottery-protected first-rounder.

Having a pick-and-pop threat like Vučević could give Young even more breathing room. It would also help differentiate this center rotation, as the Hawks would have one center for offense and finesse (Vučević) and one for defense and athleticism (Onyeka Okongwu). Adding a stretch piece at center would also give last season’s star Jalen Johnson even more breathing room and hopefully accelerate his development.

I think this would be a terrible trade for the Hawks and it would make them even worse.

While Capela is far from a perfect player, he is still very good on defense and that is the kind of skill the Hawks need around Trae Young. Vucevic is one of the worst defensive players in the league and that would be a problem with Young at point guard. Phillips hasn’t shown that he can be a reliable rotation player and Portland’s 2025 pick isn’t going to translate into success because Portland will almost certainly be in the lottery. The Hawks would be better off keeping Capela instead of trading him for Vucevic, who has two years left on his contract.

I think it’s possible the Hawks will trade Capela, but I think it’ll be for other pieces and not another center. If Capela is traded, I think Okongwu will finally get a chance to start and show that he should be part of Atalanta’s long-term plans.

The Hawks made some roster changes yesterday.

After not receiving a qualifying offer, Saddiq Bey became an unrestricted free agent, but there was a possibility the Hawks would pick him up. Tonight, however, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Bey is signing a three-year, $20 million deal with the Washington Wizards.

He was a key player for the Hawks this season until he tore his ACL late in the season in a loss to the Pelicans. Atlanta acquired him at the 2023 trade deadline from the Detroit Pistons. The Hawks were unable to sign him to a rookie-level contract extension before the start of last season, which paved the way for him to be a restricted free agent this offseason.

Last season, Bey averaged 13.7 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game for the Hawks. He played in 63 games, including 51 as a starter. He shot a career-low 31.1 percent from three-point range this season.

Earlier in the day, the Hawks re-signed forward Vit Krejci to a four-year, $10 million contract.

Due to injuries throughout the Hawks’ lineup, Krejci was forced to play a lot late in the season, especially as a starter. He played in 22 games last season, including 14 as a starter, averaging 6.1 points per game, 2.4 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game. He shot 49 percent of his shots, including 41 percent from three-point range. At 6’4″ and 190 pounds, Krejci has become a wing with the size and shooting the Hawks lacked. His best performance came in the Hawks’ comeback win over the Boston Celtics, a game in which he scored 16 points, including 13 points in one quarter. He finished 4-7 from three-point range that night.

What could Krejci’s role be on this team? The Hawks have gotten bigger and better on the wing and offensively in the early parts of the offseason. They drafted Zaccharie Risacher with the first overall pick and just acquired Dyson Daniels in the Dejounte Murray trade. De’Andre Hunter is also on the team. Krejci is young and showed potential last season, but that was also in a very small sample size. There’s no clear path for him to play a lot of minutes this season, but that could change. I think the Hawks made the right choice today in re-signing Krejci and I look forward to seeing him continue to develop in Atlanta.