Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter did not receive a second PRP injection in his right knee, which increases the possibility he could return to action this month, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Hunter was originally projected to return in late March or early April after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on February 8. With the decision that a second PRP injection wasn’t needed, his timeline could be accelerated 7-10 days.
Hunter has increased his rehabilitation activities to include unrestricted weight room work and progressive court reloading, according to a team press release. His status will be updated on March 19.
We have more on the Hawks:
- In response to reports that several players lobbied for a coaching change, former head coach Lloyd Pierce said it’s the nature of the business on a SiriusXM NBA Radio interview (hat tip to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore). “I understand as the head coach it’s always going to be on me to make sure I put my guys, my staff, in position to operate successfully. So the relationships aren’t great. They are never going to be great. I’m the guy who has to pull the guy out of the game when he doesn’t think he needs to come out. … My job is not to be best friends with these guys. My job is for them to understand me, to respect me, to know I have a plan and vision and I got to get them to try to execute that.
- In a separate piece, Kirschner opines that the Hawks shouldn’t trade John Collins, arguing that the young big has gotten better each year, and there’s still room for improvement. He also fits well with Trae Young, though the front office doesn’t view Collins as a team’s second-best player on a championship-level squad. Kirschner also argues against pursuing Victor Oladipo in a trade, noting the team has already invested heavily in wing players.
- Interim coach Nate McMillan and his potential successor will have to design an offense that empowers more than Young, Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer opines. The head coach will also have to get Young to buy in to a more balanced system.