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Recently, I told a friend that it felt like the calm before the storm. The Atlanta Hawks will absolutely attempt to upgrade their roster this offseason, which will make for an exciting June and July. Over the past few days, the rumblings of potential acquisitions have grown louder.

In a recently published article, Jake L. Fischer of Bleacher Report wrote, "league insiders consistently mention Atlanta as a team willing to make wholesale changes." So, as we have suspected, everyone not named Trae Young is on the chopping block if it means acquiring a second star.

Fischer continued to write, "[Deandre] Ayton has been a popular rumored target for [Travis] Schlenk's front office, but multiple league sources with knowledge of the Hawks' thinking have also pointed to various wing scorers as Atlanta's prioritized endgame."

We know that Zach LaVine has already been linked to the Hawks, and Donovan Mitchell has been rumored to show interest in playing for the Hawks. But where things get interesting is the Hawks seemingly strong interest in Ayton. 

Last summer, the possibility of a sign-and-trade involving the Phoenix Suns center and Hawks center Clint Capela was unthinkable. Capela led the NBA in rebounds and would soon receive a two-year contract extension.

However, Capela regressed across the board this season. Then the Suns didn't offer Ayton the rookie-scale max contract extension. So now, the Hawks are interested in a blockbuster trade that would pair the 23-year-old center with their 23-year-old All-Star point guard Trae Young.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) reacts on the bench against the Dallas Mavericks in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center.

Deandre Ayton's time in Phoenix hasn't always been smooth.

For Atlanta's front office to pull off such a move, they would not only have to part with Capela but other key players and draft picks. It's worth noting that it's not set in stone that Capela must be involved in the deal; the Hawks have plenty of contracts to make the deal work. But in this scenario, a center swap is the most logical.

Ayton has played four seasons in the NBA and has proven quite consistent. He's averaged 16.3 points and 10.5 rebounds in 236 regular season games. Not to mention, he has NBA Finals experience after the Phoenix Suns represented the Western Conference against the Milwaukee Bucks last year. 

The 2022 NBA draft is June 23, and free agency begins on July 1. It's sure to be an eventful summer in Atlanta, so stay locked into for breaking news, highlights, and analysis.

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