One of the more intriguing names to emerge on the trade block in recent weeks is undoubtedly that of Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince.
Now in his third year, and currently working through a season that has been frequently disrupted by injury, Prince has emerged as a highly capable and talented NBA contributor since being selected with the 12th pick in the same 2016 Draft that saw the Bucks pick Maker at No. 10.
Of course, the majority of Prince’s NBA career to date came under the guidance of Mike Budenholzer and his corps of assistants prior to their move from Atlanta to Milwaukee. Indeed, Prince was often held up as one of the more recent examples of that staff’s success in developing young wings.
Arriving on the Hawks at a transitional juncture, Prince has undoubtedly received more freedom and the benefits that come from that during his time in Atlanta. The result has been the development of a well-rounded game, with Prince a much better scorer, facilitator and creator now than he was or necessarily projected to be in college.
In short, Prince is pretty good, and his problem may actually be that he’s too good for Atlanta’s current rebuilding timeline. Much like Maker with the Bucks, Prince would be eligible for an extension this summer, or potentially just one more season away from restricted free agency.
Writing prior to Portland’s acquisition of Rodney Hood, Zach Lowe suggested Prince as an option for the Trail Blazers, and provided a sense of what the Hawks are seeking in response for Prince.
"“Taurean Prince makes some sense; he’s up for an extension this summer, and the Hawks have made him available, sources say. … But the Hawks are asking a lot so far — a young player and a pick — and haven’t gotten much traction on Prince trades, sources say.”"
That lack of traction could lead to a fall in Atlanta’s asking price, and if they’ve decided they don’t want to offer Prince a more lucrative pay day just yet, a package of Maker and a second round pick could come close enough to their original demands to tempt them to make a deal.
Prince could certainly slot straight into Milwaukee’s second unit and offer a more direct threat from either forward position than that group currently boasts. Although it would be far from ideal, acquiring Prince would also provide some form of insurance ahead of Khris Middleton‘s free agency this summer.