Eastern Notes: Hunter, Pistons’ Draft, Fournier, Suggs

The Hawks have won six of their last 11 games despite the absence of Trae Young and some other key players. De’Andre Hunter has played a major role in keeping the Hawks afloat while they’re shorthanded. In the last 11 games, Hunter is averaging 16.9 points on 50.4% shooting from the field and 43.9% from beyond the arc, The Athletic’s Law Murray notes.

“He’s playing really well,” Hawks head coach Quin Snyder said. “We just want him really on offense just to attack, to be in attack mode. And he’s embraced that. And he’s a fun guy to coach and a heck of a player.”

Hunter has been the subject of trade rumors for the past year, but the Hawks are in position to keep him long-term if they so choose — he’s under contract through the 2026/27 season on a deal that will pay him nearly $70MM over the next three years.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • There are no surefire stars in this year’s draft but Pistons fans need something to focus on besides the team’s poor record. The Athletic’s James Edwards III takes a look at seven prospects participating in the NCAA Tournament who might interest Detroit’s front office, including Colorado’s Cody Williams, UConn’s Stephon Castle and Duke’s Kyle Filipowski.
  • Pistons guard Evan Fournier has been fined $25K for kicking the game ball into the spectator stands on Sunday, the NBA announced (via Twitter). Fournier was frustrated when the Heat’s Bam Adebayo hit a game-winning 30-foot shot in the Pistons’ 104-101 loss.
  • Magic coach Jamahl Mosley believes Jalen Suggs should be heavily considered for the NBA’s All-Defensive Team, Jason Beede of the Orlando Sentinel tweets. “When Jalen is healthy and he’s good to go, he is a first-team All-Defensive player,”  Mosley said. “He cares and wants to defend.” Suggs will be eligible for a rookie scale extension after the season.
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