How De’Andre Hunter nearing a return impacts the Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks are slowly getting their players back from injury. Bogdan Bogdanovic played in the final two games before the All-Star break which was a welcome relief for the Hawks given the injuries to their other potential wing pieces Kris Dunn, Cam Reddish, and De’Andre Hunter.

Well, they received the next piece of good news this week when Hunter progressed to unrestricted weight room work and some court work. This is good news for the Hawks as the recovery is certainly progressing as evidenced by the fact he is being reviewed on March 19 per the Hawks release.

Hunter has not played a game since the end of January where he left the court with knee discomfort. It was difficult to know just how serious Hunter’s injury was. The Hawks tried to rectify the issue with a non-surgical procedure which did not work. Hunter then had surgery on February 8th in an effort to have him back for the second half of the season.

What would having De’Andre Hunter back mean for the Atlanta Hawks.

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When Hunter comes back, he will be inserted very quickly back into the starting lineup. There is the possibility that he will come off the bench for a game or two but that will be to ease him back into playing.

He is the best wing the Hawks have given the leap he took in the offseason. He scores at all three levels as well as takes the toughest defensive assignment in most games. This is then going to give interim coach Nate McMillan some thinking to do, assuming that the Hawks will be fully healthy by then.

Reddish was the preferred starting two-guard at the start of the season meaning that Kevin Huerter was coming off the bench until Huerter won the starting spot due to Reddish’s knee issues.  When Reddish and Hunter returns, McMillan needs to decide which of these two, or Bogdanovic, starts alongside Trae Young in the backcourt.

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This is certainly a good problem to have as a franchise. It is a dynamic to look forward to for the second half of the season. Hopefully, all these players push each other to better things and that will benefit the Hawks.