Starting Hawks small forward De’Andre Hunter has injured a tendon in his right wrist that will require surgery, per a team press release. The 6’8″ wing will undergo a procedure on Monday. Hunter will be sidelined for at least eight weeks while he recuperates, according to the team.
Hunter suffered the injury in a November 8 loss to the Warriors and a subsequent MRI determined the severity. Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution adds (Twitter link) that this means Hunter will now be available, at the earliest, during the second week of January. The 5-9 Hawks need all the help they can get.
In the absence of Hunter today against the Bucks, the Hawks elevated recently-extended swingman Kevin Huerter to the starting small forward slot. Atlanta beat Milwaukee 120-100. Wing Cam Reddish and forward Danilo Gallinari should also play increased roles with Hunter on the shelf.
As our JD Shaw notes (via Twitter), the injury-prone Hunter was also limited to just 23 of 72 contests during the 2020/21 season, and missed most of the Hawks’ Eastern Conference Finals playoff run.
The fourth pick in the 2019 draft out of Virginia, Hunter is averaging 10.8 PPG and 2.7 RPG through 11 games this season, on .450/.395/.400 shooting. That free throw percentage is not a typo.
18 thoughts on “De’Andre Hunter Injures Right Wrist, Will Need Surgery”
40% FT shooting? Opponents should employ the Hack-a-Hunter strategy.
Hunter looked good prior to recent injuries and on the path to be ATL best player (yes, better than Trey). Now the string of injuries puts everything in doubt. Could last playoffs be the peak for this group.
Idk the answer to your last question, but one would have to think hopefully it won’t be this groups peak and their only peak.
I do know this Hawks team is built to be able to sustain any injuries to its wing players. With Huerter, Reddish, and Galinari they’ll have plenty of capable bodies that will be able to soak up minutes at the 3 spot for Atlanta.
Now, if this were Trey Young, then I’d be REALLY worried for the Hawks, as they really only have Delon Wright and Lou Williams as experienced PGs, along with rookie guard Shariffe Cooper, and some might argue that all three work best as combo guards. Collins would be a huge loss as well, due to his ability to allow them to play smaller and faster, but to still be able to play with size at the 5.
Even still, without Collins, they could still run a lineup/rotation of Trey, Bogdan, Huerter, D.Hunter, and Capela with Lou Will, Reddish, Galinari, and Dieng as backups, but they’re also currently without their other versatile 4/5 in the young and talented Okongwu. So, losing Collins ajd Okongwu would sting and limit their varsatility, but their depth of versatile wings and guys that could technically lineup as 3s or smallball 4s like Huerter, Reddish, Danilo, and even Solomon Hill, or their rookie forward Jaylen Johnson can all help fill in. Just like these same guys will all help fill in for the aforementioned injured Hunter.
At the same time though, I don’t want to diminish Hunter’s skills nor his growth he’s shown this season. He’s slowly but surely become one of the better defensive wings in the league, and he’s starting to show alot of growth offensively. Offensively, he’s hitting the 3 at a more consistent rate, and he’s starting to show more signs of being able to create for hisself ajd others off the dribble as well.
It is a really tough break for both the Hawks and for Hunter, but honestly they might actually function better as a team and rotation without Hunter. I fully realize that makes no sense after stating what a solid 3 and D player he’s becoming, but losing Hunter might allow their rotation of wings more consistent playing time, which could fix their issues with their inconsistent play from a few of their regulars.
With Bogdan, Huerter, Reddish, and Galinari all getting more consistent minutes, it very well could allow them to find their groove and get this Hawks team back on a roll…Then, once Hunter returns, maybe the Hawks will be better for it come their playoff push..
Idk, I’m just guessing, but from what I’ve seen so far this year, it could oddly enough be just what the Hawks need..
Well they did play at their peak w/ a shortened rotation so you might be right.
His name is Trae Young, boys.
At least this is a wrist injury and not his knee again. Could be a fluke thing. But certainly not reassuring
Alex that comment… that free throw percentage is not a typo… boy that was sooo funny, well done!
At least this injury will give extra playing time to Huerter & Reddish, which can only be a good thing, as both of them are better than Hunter!
Don’t know what is with ATL so far, but man they are not even in the play-in contention just now!
How can you go from a EC finalist to a lottery bound team?
I know is way too early in the season, but… still things ain’t peachy in ATL just now!
The “hawks are going to be the NBA’s next dynasty” guy has been quiet lately.
I miss his 3,000 words posts lecturing us that John Collins averaged 20 and 10 this one time…
If the Warriors continue to cool off after their spectacular start to the season, we can expect the same from Marty.
ATL needs Siakam as a legitimate midrange scorer for their spacing . Siakam & protected 1st for Collins & either Huerter or Reddish. Who says no.
I think it’s time to move on from Hunter. Can’t stay healthy. No reason to pay the man, let someone else take that risk on. If he could stay healthy he’d be a building piece. Shame.
The worst part is he was drafted as a 3&D guy who could supposedly man up against any position except traditional centers.
His defense hasn’t even been league average, and the excuses that Trae brings down everyone’s defenses stats are getting old. Shut down guys should be shut down. He looks almost mechanical out there and not fluid as most elite D’s are. Reddish for instance, looks quick and agile while Hunter moves more like a PF in a SF size.
Let’s also be real about this. The only reason he is in the starting five is because the Hawks needed Huerter in the second unit for scoring and wanted Hunter’s defense in the first five. His D rates below Huerter and he doesn’t even help to space the floor on offense he has been so bad.
I actually see the Hawks improving short term. Huerter will get more open looks on the first rotation which should help him get things going. It will also free up minutes for Reddish, who is quietly outplaying them both.
It will give the Hawks an idea if they want to extend Hunter or not, especially if than can get a better look at Reddish. I think someone will overpay for Hunter and the Hawks will be hitting cap decisions.
“His defense hasn’t even been league average”
How to say you don’t watch nor follow the Hawks without actually saying it. No point in reading your comment after that.
My guess is you’re one of those fantasy guys who looks at his low stocks (steals & blocks) total and goes “This guy sucks on defense”!
Hunter is a superior talent to any of ATL’s other wing players. He’s a legitimate 2 way player (rare for his age) with a combo F skill set (rare period). While last year’s meniscus odyssey doesn’t make a wrist injury anything more than that, he does need to get (and stay) on the court. For him, it would be good if 8 weeks really means 8 weeks, and not a Zion 8 weeks.
Reddish could give him a run for his money in the long run as far as top Hawks wings go. I believe it was just a year ago everyone was slurping Hunter, he has a couple injuries and everyone’s now down on him. I still believe! I agree with everything beyond your first sentence.
Reddish certainly has the measurables / athleticism, and still has his fans. But the guy’s stock has dropped every year since he enrolled at Duke (as the consensus #2 prospect). I’m not a buyer here.