The Hawks – again – turned to the trade market and not the free-agent market to adjust their roster this offseason. The team agreed to a trade that will send center Mile Plumlee and forward Solomon Hill to the Grizzlies in exchange for forward Chandler Parsons, according to a person familiar with the situation. ESPN first reported the deal.
All three players are on expiring contracts. Hill ($12.8 million) and Plumlee ($12.5 million) are due a combined $25.3 million. Parsons is due $25.1 million.
The move, which can not be official until on or after July 6, opens an important roster spot for the Hawks and clears about $200,000 in salary cap space. The roster spot was the most important part of the deal for the Hawks.
The Hawks had a roster with 14 players under contract, or soon to be under contract following the completion of several trades, plus a two-way player. The latest move frees up another roster spot should the Hawks elect to add a player in free agency.
General manager Travis Schlenk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on several occasions that he would be slow to move in free agency, opting to wait for many deals to be completed in a search for value.
Last week, the Hawks traded Kent Bazemore to the Trail Blazers in exchange for Evan Tuner. The move adjusted the roster by giving the Hawks a backup point guard and clearing the way for increased playing time for wing players Kevin Huerter and draft picks De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish.
The Hawks acquired Plumlee from the Hornets in the deal for Dwight Howard in 2017. In two seasons with the Hawks, the oft-injured Plumlee appeared in 73 games, making 35 starts, with averages of 4.3 points and 3.7 rebounds. He appeared in just 18 games last year due to a knee injury that eventually required season-ending surgery.
The Hawks acquired Hill in an agreed upon but yet to be completed deal with the Pelicans on draft night last month. The Hawks sent the Pelicans the Nos. 8, 17 and 35 picks for the No. 4 pick and Hill. The Hawks used the No. 4 pick to select Hunter.
Parsons, 30, has spent eight seasons in the NBA with the Rockets, Mavericks and Grizzlies. He also has been oft-injured with knee issues and was limited to 95 games in three seasons with the Grizzlies, including 25 last season. He has career averages of 7.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists. The Grizzlies tried to reach a buyout agreement with Parsons last season. He will be the highest-paid Hawks player.
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