Atlanta Hawks: Kevin Huerter’s price tag isn’t dropping anytime soon

As the Atlanta Hawks get set to take on the Memphis Grizzlies on the road health has been the focus. They gave veterans Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, and Solomon Hill the night off in their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Trae Young also missed the contest dealing with a quad contusion.

One player who entered the preseason with some questions is Kevin Huerter. Unbeknownst to the public, he underwent a procedure on his ankle in the offseason and it was unclear how much floor time he would get.

In two games, Huerter has only made one appearance. But, man, did he make it count.

The Atlanta Hawks could pay a hefty price if Kevin Huerter reaches restricted free agency

Cam Reddish led the team in scoring in the 99-96 loss to the Cavs with 20 points. But Huerter’s 15 points were second on the team. He went 6-for-10 from the floor and knocked down 3-of-4 triples. He did all of this while playing the third-most minutes on the team.

Not bad for a guy Hawks Head Coach Nate McMillan said would be worked in slowly.

It was just another reminder of what the 6-foot-7 forward out of Maryland, now entering his fourth season, can do.

During Atlanta’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals, Huerter broke out with a 27-point game to help eliminate the Philadelphia 76ers. What was so great about that particular outing was that the sweet-shooting Huerter only attempted four threes.

Throughout the postseason, Huerter was asked to take on different roles from being a facilitator to guarding the opposing team’s best player. He really proved to be an all-around player instead of just a spot-up shooter. At one point during the playoffs, he had seven assists in three straight games.

As he enters into his own contract season and having seen teammates secure the bag, pockets of the NBA world think Huerter could seek a deal in the range of what teammate Bogdan Bogdanovic signed for.

At around $18 million per season, that would be a steal if Huerter keeps on this trajectory.

It’s not that he can shoot the deep ball exceptionally well. In fact, he’s statistically an average one. But his blend of skills makes him a tough cover and his length makes him a better defender than most would imagine.

There has been plenty of discussion recently from the Hawks on their desire to get a deal done. They likely want to avoid going through what they did with John Collins this past offseason.

While Huerter won’t command nearly as much on the open market, a team could be intrigued enough by what he can do to make him an offer that would make the Hawks pause before beating it. As owner Tony Ressler said months ago, they’ll pay the luxury tax for a contender. It’s hard to see this Hawks team being that without Huerter.