When the Atlanta Hawks drafted Jalen Johnson with the 20th pick in the 2021 NBA draft, they got themselves a very versatile, athletic player. Johnson showed that he was a force to be reckoned with when he was named to the All-Summer league 1st team.
His play in Las Vegas gave Hawks fans massive hope that he could contribute this season. However, given that the Hawks are a very deep team there was the very real possibility that Johnson was going to struggle to get minutes in the rotation this season.
However, when asked at training camp, head coach Nate McMillan said that he saw Johnson as a four on the court. However, according to Sarah K Spencer of AJC sports, McMillan sees Johnson as an incredibly versatile player who could play multiple positions.
The Atlanta Hawks have newfound versatility with Jalen Johnson
Last season when the Hawks had so many players out they relied heavily on Solomon Hill to fill the void. While he gives his all, Hill does not have the offense to worry many teams. Now, the Hawks have the rookie who is able to bang bodies in the five and also play at the wing as well.
McMillan seemed to be excited by the prospect of using Johnson all over the frontcourt. It also comes on the back of his comments of what he expects from Johnson this season. The Hawks have some exciting times ahead.
Most players on the squad have the ability to play multiple positions. Kevin Huerter can play anywhere from point guard to small forward. Cam Reddish has the ability to play anywhere to play from shooting guard to power forward.
By adding Johnson into this mix who has the ability to play the front three positions and you have a team who can respond in multiple ways to any challenge thrown their way. This is just another layer of excitement in the 2021-22 season.