4 Biggest Atlanta Hawks Trades

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Trae Young during the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.
(Wikimedia Commons/Erik Drost)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Jul 19, 2023, 4:19 PM
  • Here's a list of the biggest Atlanta Hawks trades in franchise history.
  • Dominique Wilkins leads the list of players Atlanta received through trade.
  • Other notable players the Hawks acquired were Joe Johnson, Kyle Korver, and Trae Young.

Since moving to Atlanta in 1968, the Hawks have built a strong reputation in the NBA’s Eastern Conference as a top contender in basketball odds. This perpetual appearance of Atlanta in the playoffs was largely due to the strong roster they put together every season. The Hawks were able to acquire these star players via the NBA Draft and through blockbuster trades.

Because of these picks and trades, Atlanta qualified for the postseason 37 times, starting in 1968. But who is considered the biggest among the superstars that the team has picked up through trades? Also, who among them has significantly helped the Hawks make a serious title run throughout their stay with the team? Here’s a top-four list.

Dominique Wilkins

The acquisition of Dominique Wilkins from the Utah Jazz in 1982 is arguably the best trade that Atlanta has made in team history. Wilkins was the third overall pick of the Jazz in the 1982 NBA Draft, and the Hawks quickly made a deal for him and traded away John Drew and Freeman Williams. The trade paid off for Atlanta, as the former Georgia standout became one of the best players in league history.

Wilkins has helped Atlanta reach the postseason in nine of his 12 seasons with the team. He also made nine All-Star appearances and one All-NBA 1st Team. The “Human Highlight Film” racked up a career average of 26.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 882 games with the Hawks. Furthermore, the 6-foot-8 forward still leads the franchise in points with 23,292 and minutes played with 32,545.

Joe Johnson

Because of the six-year playoff drought from 2000 to 2005, Atlanta needed a player to lead them back to another run in the postseason. In the summer of 2005, they finally made the big-time move of shipping Boris Diaw and two first-round picks to the Phoenix Suns for super-scoring guard Joe Johnson. “Iso Joe” instantly brought his elite offensive bag and led the team in scoring.

In 2008, Atlanta finally cracked a spot in the playoffs as the eighth seed but crashed out in the opening round. Following that playoff run, Johnson led the Hawks to four more postseason campaigns from 2009 to 2012 before he was traded away to the Brooklyn Nets. In 508 games, Johnson accumulated an average of 20.9 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds for the Hawks.

Kyle Korver

Atlanta was able to acquire one of the most prolific three-point shooters in NBA history in Kyle Korver. In 2012, the Hawks got the former Creighton star from Chicago for cash considerations, and he became a vital piece to the team during his five-year stint. Korver racked up 45.2% from three-point range from 2012 to 2017, with his best shooting year with the team coming in 2015 at 49.2%.

The 6-foot-7 guard was selected to his lone NBA All-Star Game as a member of the Hawks team in 2015, as they became the number one team in the East with 60 wins in the regular season, topping the LeBron James-led Cavaliers, who only had 53 wins. Korver suited up for Atlanta in 332 games, producing 10.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.

Trae Young

The most recent blockbuster trade that Atlanta has engineered happened during the 2018 NBA Draft, where they traded their third overall pick Luka Doncic for Dallas’ fifth overall pick Trae Young and a first-round pick. This trade was considered one of the most fair and equal trades in league history because Doncic and Young have solidified their places as the cornerstones of their respective franchises.

Young brought his unlimited range and crafty playmaking to Atlanta by averaging 25.5 points, 9.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in his first five seasons. He also led them to three playoff campaigns, where they even reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021. “Ice Trae” has been selected to two NBA All-Star Games and became one of the few players with a $200 million contract.

Atlanta Hawks Biggest Trades

Player AcquiredTrade DetailsYear
Dominique WilkinsHawks received: Dominique Wilkins / Jazz received: John Drew and Freeman Williams1982
Joe JohnsonHawks received: Joe Johnson / Suns received: Boris Diaw and two first-round picks2005
Kyle Korver Hawks received: Kyle Korver / Bulls received: Cash2012
Trae YoungHawks received: Trae Young and a first-round pick / Mavericks received: Luka Doncic2018

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.