De'Andre Hunter

Hawks Pick Up 2022/23 Options On Hunter, Reddish, Okongwu

The Hawks have exercised the fourth-year team options on the rookie scale contracts for De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, along with the third-year option for Onyeka Okongwu, the team announced today in a press release.

All three players were already under contract for the coming season. Picking up their options ensures they’re locked up for 2022/23 too. Their cap hits for that season will be $9,835,881 (Hunter), $5,954,454 (Reddish), and Okongwu ($6,395,160).

Hunter, Reddish, and Okongwu have all dealt with injuries this year, but have shown promise when healthy. Hunter, in particular, was off to a strong start last season, averaging 17.9 PPG and 5.6 RPG on .517/.375/.877 shooting with strong defense in his first 17 games (33.3 MPG) before sustaining a knee injury in his 18th game.

With their options exercised, Hunter and Reddish are now on track to become extension-eligible during the 2022 offseason and would be eligible for restricted free agency in 2023 if they don’t sign new deals before then. The Hawks will have to decide on Okongwu’s 2023/24 option next fall.

Our tracker of rookie scale option decisions for 2022/23 can be found right here.

Southeast Notes: Hunter, Ball, Oubre, Fultz

De’Andre Hunter is eager to show he can offer more to the Hawks this season, as he told Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Hunter was limited by a knee injury last season, appearing in just 23 regular-season games and five postseason games. “I just want to show people that I got better,” Hunter said. “I’ve been working on my game as much as I can given the surgery. I want to show everyone I’m better this year.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hornets coach James Borrego wants LaMelo Ball to becomes the team leader at both ends of the floor, Steve Reed of The Associated Press writes. “I want him to take the reins of this program,” Borrego said. “He’s the quarterback, the floor general and for us to take that next step he must run this team, not only on the offensive end but the defensive end as well.”
  • Forward Kelly Oubre was traded to Golden State last November and had to jump right into the rotation. He’s had more time to acclimate with the Hornets after signing a two-year, $26MM deal as a free agent in early August, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer notes. “It makes a big difference,” Oubre said. “Me being able to to adjust, I didn’t really have that adjustment period last year because once I got traded I was right to work. So I’ve been here before the season, before training camp. And I’ve been blessed enough to have sit downs with coach, bonding time with the guys and pretty much just everybody getting on the same wavelength.”
  • The Magic have plenty of guard options on the roster and Markelle Fultz said it will take awhile to sort out how the pieces fit together, Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel writes. “It’s still early and I’m still trying to get a feel for everybody’s strengths and weaknesses, but as far as talent I think all of the guards here have talent,” Fultz said. “We have guys who can really score the ball, are very athletic, can compete, so I think that it’s all going to be a little bit of trial and error … of throwing different guys out there and seeing what works best. As far as what I’ve seen and how I feel, I think that all of us can play together.”

Hawks Notes: Huerter, Okongwu, Bogdanovic, Hunter, Capela, Collins, Hill

The Hawks are engaged in extension talks with Kevin Huerter, and coach Nate McMillan hopes an agreement can be reached before next month’s deadline, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Speaking at Media Day, McMillan said the Hawks are “crossing their fingers” that a new deal will happen and the team is laying a foundation by signing core players to long-term contracts this offseason.

Huerter also expressed hope, telling Spencer, “We’re still working. It’s something we’ve kind of worked through throughout the summer. Mostly I let my agent and (general manager Travis Schlenk) handle (it). Obviously I hope to get something done, but there’s no guarantees.” (Twitter link).

Huerter continues to rehab from offseason ankle surgery, and said he’s “95% healthy” heading into the start of training camp (Twitter link).

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • Onyeka Okongwu tells Spencer that he hopes to be ready to play in December (Twitter link). The second-year center underwent surgery in July to fix a torn labrum in his right shoulder and was given a six-month timetable for recovery.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter and Clint Capela entered the offseason with health concerns, but McMillan expects them all to be ready for the October 21 season opener, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. However, McMillan doesn’t plan for them to see much playing time in the team’s four preseason games. Bogdanovic experienced soreness in his right knee during last season’s playoffs, but recently said he feels completely healthy. Hunter had surgery on his right knee in June, while Capela had to get a PRP injection in his Achilles tendon. He told reporters that he played through an Achilles injury last season (Twitter link).
  • Re-signing restricted free agent John Collins was an offseason priority in Atlanta, but he revealed today that he never talked with any other teams, Kirschner adds (Twitter link). Collins reached a five-year, $125MM deal to stay with the Hawks.
  • Veteran forward Solomon Hill said his close relationship with McMillan influenced his decision to re-sign with Atlanta (Twitter link). “I knew this is where I wanted to be,” Hill said.

Bogdan Bogdanovic Says He’s Completely Healthy

Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic says he’s completely recovered from the right knee soreness that hampered him during the postseason, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reports.

Bogdanovic appeared in 18 postseason games and averaged 14.1 PPG but shot a subpar 32.9% from long range after knocking down a career-best 43.8% of his 3-point attempts during 44 regular season games.

He received a PRP shot after the season and says he’s ready for training camp.

“I wanted to just make sure that I was 100 percent healthy at the beginning of this coming season,” he said. “It’s nothing serious where I had surgery or anything like that. I am good, and I am healthy now. That’s already behind me and was a long time ago. I have no problems now.”

He admitted the injury nagged him during the playoffs.

“You just don’t have time in the playoffs to recover how you would want,” he said. “It’s such a loss to get hurt in the playoffs because you feel like you can’t do anything that you want to do.”

Bogdanovic, who will be entering the second year of the four-year, $72MM contract he signed as a restricted free agent, addressed numerous other topics with Kirschner. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Bogdanovic says it’s imperative that the team doesn’t get complacent after its surprising postseason run: “Our heads should be on this is a new season and we need to scratch everything that we did last season,” he said. “It’s a new mentality. We have to find new motivation.”
  • He believes the team won’t gain greater respect around the league unless it continues to advance deep into the playoffs: “We can’t just do it one year and then the next season we get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs,” he said.
  • He sees De’Andre Hunter as a key to the team’s continued success. “He’s really one of those players I was talking about that just wants to be one of those great players,” Bogdanovic said. “He’s so good on both ends of the floor, and it’s just different when you have him on the court.”

Hawks Notes: Reddish, Collins, Huerter, Hunter

The Hawks have enough young players and future draft picks to facilitate a Ben Simmons trade, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes in a mailbag column. He uses the Timberwolves as an example of a team that wants Simmons, but may not have the assets to make an offer that would interest the Sixers. Kirschner suggests Cam Reddish could be appealing in that scenario, with Atlanta getting something of value for helping the deal get done.

The Hawks looked into trading Reddish around draft time, but sources tell Kirschner that no deal was ever imminent. There’s a decent chance Reddish will be eventually be moved, Kirschner adds, but there’s no urgency to deal him right away. Injuries limited Reddish to 26 games last season, but he averaged 12.8 PPG when he returned for the playoff series with the Bucks.

There’s more on the Hawks, all from Kirschner:

  • Atlanta didn’t receive any legitimate sign-and-trade offers for John Collins before re-signing him for five years at $125MM. Kirschner suggests that the Hawks may have been bidding against themselves by giving Collins that much, but they’re still happy to keep an important part of their starting lineup.
  • The Hawks are talking to Kevin Huerter about an extension, but Kirschner doesn’t expect anything to be resolved until closer to the start of the season. He believes it’s likely that the team will decide to let Huerter become a restricted free agent, just like it did with Collins, and hope to work out a new contract next summer.
  • Reddish and De’Andre Hunter will both be eligible for rookie scale extensions next offseason, which will affect the Hawks’ other financial decisions. Kirschner sees Hunter as an ideal backcourt partner for Trae Young, if he can recover from his second meniscus surgery, so he figures to be the Hawks’ priority. Danilo Gallinari only has a $5MM guarantee for 2022/23 in the final year of his contract, so Kirschner expects him to be on the trade market at some point.

Southeast Notes: Hunter, Young, Dragic, Thornwell, Adebayo

Hawks‘ second-year forward De’Andre Hunter underwent surgery today for a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee, according to a team press release. He is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of preseason.

Hunter had a breakout start to his second year in the NBA, but his season was derailed by knee injuries after just 18 games and several attempts at an early return went poorly. He looked to be rounding back into shape during the Hawks’ first-round series against the Knicks, but started experiencing swelling that caused him to miss the first two games of the team’s series against the Sixers before the injury was announced.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks guard Trae Young is being listed as probable for Game Five due to right shoulder soreness, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Young said that he injured the shoulder in Game Three but kept it to himself due to a desire to play in Game Four, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “I wasn’t gonna tell nobody anyways other than the training staff,” he said, which may explain why head coach Nate McMillan claimed to have not known about the injury prior to tip-off. Young finished the game with 25 points and 18 assists, tied for second-most in Hawks history, as he helped lead the team to a comeback victory to tie the series at two games apiece.
  • Heat guard Goran Dragiccoming off a magical Finals run, had a disappointing season by his own standards, much of which was due to a string of injuries that prevented him from getting any real rhythm. The Slovenian guard opened up about his struggles with injuries, as Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. “I think I opened the season pretty well. I played well,” Dragic said. “Then just nagging injuries, a couple of injuries, COVID protocols, players in and out of the lineup. Sometimes you’re starting, sometimes not. It’s tough to catch a rhythm like that when you play two or three games and then you’re out for nine.” He’s hoping that this offseason will give him time to get his body right and be ready for next season. Dragic has a $19.4MM team option this summer, which the Heat will have to make a decision on.
  • Sindarius Thornwell may not have had a huge impact on the Magic in his seven games with the team, but he proved himself a capable defender and physical player, writes Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel. But Orlando is going into the offseason with a roster filled with promising guards, and Thornwell is likely the odd man out. Parry writes that Thornwell could parlay his play with the Magic into a deal with another team.
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines whether it could be worth it for the Heat to explore trading Bam Adebayo in a package for a star such as Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal, and what the ramifications of such a move could look like.

Southeast Notes: Goodwin, Reddish, Hunter, Porter Jr., Magic

Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin and forward Cam Reddish won’t play in Game 3 against Philadelphia on Friday, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweets. Goodwin is dealing with a minor respiratory condition, while Reddish is still working his way back from right Achilles soreness. Reddish has played 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 in practices, but hasn’t progressed to 5-on-5 yet, Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. He hasn’t appeared in a game since February 21.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks have missed De’Andre Hunter‘s defensive versatility against the Sixers, Kirschner writes. Hunter, who is out for the season due to a knee injury, has the ability to guard four positions. Hunter would have been a major upgrade over Solomon Hill, who can’t defend as well and also doesn’t offer as much offensively as Hunter.
  • Otto Porter Jr. didn’t get much of a chance to show what he could do for the Magic due to injuries, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes. Porter was acquired by Orlando from Chicago at the trade deadline to make the salaries match up in the Nikola Vucevic blockbuster. Porter, an unrestricted free agent this summer, was limited to three games with the Magic due to a foot injury.
  • The first step in the Magic’s latest rebuild begins with the return of starters Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz from major knee injuries, Parry writes in a separate story. The draft is another key, since the Magic could have two top-10 picks, if the Bulls’ pick they own doesn’t move into the top four. They could also move Gary Harris or Terrence Ross for more cap flexibility or assets, Parry adds.

Hawks’ Hunter Out For Playoffs With Torn Lateral Meniscus

Hawks second-year wing De’Andre Hunter missed the first two games of the team’s round two series with the 76ers with right knee swelling. After an MRI, the initial review revealed a small tear of the lateral meniscus, according to a team press release. Hunter is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles for surgery on Tuesday. He will miss the remainder of the postseason.

This will be the second surgery on Hunter’s right knee this season, and marks the end of an injury-ravaged sophomore year in the NBA. Hunter had started the year playing the best basketball of his young career, but was injured just 19 games into the season. He finished the year having only played 23 games.

After a promising return during the Hawks’ first round series against the Knicks, Hunter was once again on the injury report, due to knee swelling. This diagnosis puts to rest any hope of Hunter returning during the playoffs.

With fellow second-year wing Cam Reddish still recovering from an injured Achilles, the Hawks will have to rely on more minutes from veteran wings Danilo Gallinari, Solomon Hill and Tony Snell.

Hawks Notes: Roster, Hunter, Bogdanovic, McMillan

The Hawks‘ decision to load up on players who excel at dribbling, passing and shooting has helped them turn into an instant contender, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Appearing in the playoffs for the first time since 2017, Atlanta had too much offense for the Knicks to handle in their first-round matchup, then surprised the Sixers in Game 1 of the conference semifinals.

The Hawks began their turnaround by drafting Trae Young in 2018. They have steadily built the offense around him, with deadly shooters like Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic among their offseason additions. Atlanta set a franchise record by making 20 three-pointers in Sunday’s win at Philadelphia.

“That’s something we do. We have a lot of guys who can shoot the ball,” Kevin Huerter said. “When we get the ball moving side-to-side and not take the first shot on possessions, we’re a team that is capable of hitting 20 a game. I hope we don’t need to hit 20 moving forward in the series, but anytime you shoot like that, you give yourself a really good chance to win.”

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • One of the impressive things about Sunday’s victory is that it came without De’Andre Hunter, the team’s best perimeter defender, Kirschner adds. Hunter was ruled out after experiencing pain in his right knee, which was operated on in February to fix a partially torn meniscus. Hunter has felt on-and-off soreness in the knee since the surgery. He was able to do some shooting Monday and is considered a game-time decision for Game 2, Kirschner tweets.
  • After three seasons in Sacramento, Bogdanovic is thrilled to finally be in the NBA playoff spotlight, notes Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer. Bogdanovic earned a reputation as a big-game player in Europe before coming to the United States. “Here, he had to perform under pressure all the time,” said Maurizio Gherardini, general manager of Bogdanovic’s former Fenerbahce team. “But he likes that sort of pressure. … He was not afraid of that kind of responsibility on his shoulders.”
  • Young said in a recent radio interview that he expects Nate McMillan to be installed as the team’s permanent head coach, but isn’t surprised an announcement hasn’t been made yet, relays Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report. Counting the playoffs, McMillan is 32-12 since becoming interim coach. “It’s just the timing. We’re in the playoffs, it’s the end of the season,” Young said. “I don’t think it’s something they want to take away from the team right now. I mean, obviously, he’s done a great job with helping us turn this around, so I’d be surprised if he’s not with us next year.”

Sixers Center Joel Embiid Will Play In Game 1; Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter Out

Joel Embiid will be in the Sixers‘ starting lineup for today’s opener of their second-round series with the Hawks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Embiid, who was diagnosed with a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, was considered a game-time decision. He went through warm-ups before the team determined he was ready to play.

He suffered the injury in Monday’s playoff game against the Wizards, and the medical staff has been doing treatments on the knee all week. Embiid was limited to individual workouts during practices the last two days.

The Hawks announced that De’Andre Hunter will miss today’s game with soreness in his right knee, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team’s top perimeter defender was able to play all five games in the first-round series with the Knicks, but he has been dealing with pain in his knee since having surgery in February.