While they were part of the revelations of the second part of last season, the Hawks are currently in a tailspin. Nate McMillan’s troops are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 17 wins for 25 losses and have just chained ten defeats in a row at home.
Travis Schlenk has already expressed his impatience, brandishing the threat of a possible upheaval before the “trade deadline” to try to shake up a group that we no longer recognize. He went a step further last week by sending Cam Reddish and Solomon Hill to the Knicks.
Put pressure on the rest of the roster
The operation was not intended to upset the hierarchy already in place but rather to sting its players, about what could await them if the situation did not evolve, as the GM of Atlanta explained. .
“One of the reasons we wanted to do this trade a little early, when I saw some people asking why we didn’t wait, is because we wanted to see if a little tweaking would have an impact”, did he declare. “That gives us two, three weeks before the deadline to see if a small modification would change the trajectory of the season. Doing it early enough gives us some leeway to assess. We hope it will change the course of the season for us.”
The temptation to put together a “move” likely to revive his team tickles Travis Schlenk all the more because it is what he did last February, when he sacked Lloyd Pierce to promote Nate McMillan, with the success that we know.
The absences of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela hurt
This time, the manager’s fuse seems less obvious, and the former Warriors strategist knows that such a risk can also be a double-edged sword. That’s why he still gives himself some time to think about the best scenario to get the Hawks off the ground again.
“If there was one thing I could do and change everything, I would do it”, he added. “At the end of the day, we are dealing with human beings. It’s not just Fantasy GM where you just put names together on a piece of paper. There you are dealing with people, their personality and their emotions, the fact that they may have other things to sort out in their lives. You try to take all of these things into account. But if I knew the magic formula to make the right choice, I would do it”.
If Travis Schlenk plays the clock, it may also be because he knows how much injuries have disturbed the balance of Atlanta this season. Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela are two players who allowed the Hawks to take a step forward when they arrived. But their absence is very expensive, especially in the defensive impact that Clint Capela could bring or in the creation of the Serbian exterior, able to relieve a Trae Young.
As a reminder, the five Young-Bogdanovic-Huerter-Collins-Capela, which made the success of the Hawks last year, could only be aligned nine times this season, for eight victories obtained. Sometimes the best reinforcements are simply found in the infirmary. But it will be up to Travis Schlenk to decide by February 10.