Atlanta Hawks announce “non-surgical procedure” on 20-year-old forward

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks announced on Tuesday that forward Jalen Johnson had undergone a “non-surgical procedure” on his left knee. Johnson was drafted by the Hawks with the 20th-overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. This followed a shortened stint at Duke that saw him make just eight starts in 13 games.

Injuries played a part in his decision to forgo the remainder of his freshman season. But questions about his maturity and commitment pushed him out of the lottery and into the Hawks’ waiting arms.

His rookie season never really got untracked with the 6-foot-8 forward seeing fewer than six minutes per game in his 22 appearances.

He spent most of the season in the G-League. It appears he will have to miss Summer League.

Jalen Johnson likely to miss Summer League following “non-surgical procedure”

Johnson had his way statistically with the College Park Skyhawks. He averaged 20.1 points and 11.8 rebounds while starting all 12 of his appearances with the club. While Johnson shot just 44.8% from the floor and just 56.4% from the free-throw line, he also connected on 37.5% of his three-pointers.

During the season, head coach Nate McMillan praised the Wisconsin native for his maturity after Johnson asked to be sent down to get more playing time.

McMillan is notorious for making younger players earn their floor time.

It is hard to argue against the decision when looking at Johnson’s inefficiency and foul issues. Johnson racked up three fouls during both games during the regular season in which he saw over 15 minutes.

The hope was that he could get some extended run in summer league, an environment in which he thrived last summer.

Johnson opted out of Duke following a foot injury that sidelined him “indefinitely”. The injury concerns also played a part in his slide from being a potential lottery pick to the Hawks.

Training camps around the NBA do not begin until late September. Summer League play is just as it sounds and runs from July 5 through July 17. The timeline provided by the team would keep Johnson from suiting up in either Salt Lake City or Las Vegas.

What that means for his chances to crack the Hawks’ rotation is what remains to be seen.

Some loss of conditioning is to be expected. But will missing the entire summer while rehabbing stagnate his development? Or will he be able to pick up where he left off? The announcement comes along with confirmation by the team of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s surgery and recovery timeline.

Next. The Hawks should look to trade for this $51M wing. dark

Hopefully, this is the full extent of the Hawks’ offseason medical concerns, unlike last season. Several players battled through their recovery from procedures last summer during the season.