Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter, limited to just 21 games this season due to a pesky right knee injury, has seen the knee responding well after returning to the court for Atlanta Monday, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.
Kirschner tweets that Hunter will miss Wednesday’s contest against the Wizards for scheduled maintenance on the knee, but will be available on the second night of the Hawks’ latest back-to-back, Thursday against the Magic.
Hunter had a nonsurgical procedure last month to treat remaining soreness in the knee. The 23-year-old forward out of Virginia, selected with the fourth pick in the 2019 NBA draft, has averaged career highs of 15.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.9 SPG and 0.5 BPG in his second NBA season with the Hawks.
There’s more out of the Southeast Division:
- Though the Magic have been eliminated from playoff contention and appear to be prioritizing high lottery picks in a packed draft, there are still plenty of intriguing chemistry elements the club can evaluate among its current young players down the stretch, writes Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel.
- Chris Kirschner and John Hollinger of The Athletic assess the offseason of the seemingly playoff-bound Hawks, including decisions facing the club on restricted free agent big man John Collins and disappointing 2019 lottery selection Cam Reddish. Kirschner and Hollinger wonder if Reddish should be flipped now should an improvement at the bench small forward position become available via trade, or if Atlanta should wait to see if he improves while still on his rookie deal. Collins has evolved into a valuable two-way contributor, and the speculation revolves more around the price point at which he will be re-signed rather than whether or not he’ll be brought back.
- The Heat have seen a performative uptick lately, despite several backcourt absences. Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald takes a look at how the in-season additions of veterans Trevor Ariza and Dewayne Dedmon, both 2021 unrestricted free agents, have benefited Miami. Ariza, 35, has started in 24 of the 27 games he has appeared in with the Heat, during which the team went 15-12. In a smaller but still crucial role as the team’s reserve big man willing to do the dirty work on defense, Dedmon has averaged 13.5 MPG across his 13 appearances with Miami — the club has gone 9-4 in those games.