Why the Atlanta Hawks are waiting before they extend De’Andre Hunter

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks have had a very successful offseason to date. They drafted well, taking AJ Griffin with pick No. 16 and Tyrese Martin late in the second round. Both of these players will be able to play solid minutes at the wing spot with Griffin the most likely to break into the Hawks rotations.

They then added their second star when they traded Danilo Gallinari and three future first-round picks to the San Antonio Spurs. In return, they received Jock Landale and Dejounte Murray, the player who is going to transform the Hawks’ backcourt and potentially bring the team back into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

They then traded Landale to the Phoenix Suns and the Hawks signed Aaron Holiday to a minimum deal. On top of that, they sent Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings, receiving Justin Holiday and Maurice Harkless in return. All of these moves have improved the Hawks on paper, however, with names like Kevin Durant requesting a trade, the Hawks are keeping an eye on the future.

The Atlanta Hawks will probably not extend De’Andre Hunter until the trades are done.

The good news for everyone involved is that De’Andre Hunter and the Hawks have until the day prior to the season commences before the deadline for rookie extensions pass. It is expected that the Hawks are going to offer Hunter a deal worth around $100 million over four or five seasons.

However, in order for them to do this, they need to make sure that they are not going to have to squeeze a contract the size of Durant’s in as well. If they go too early on Hunter they may miss their chance at a generational talent.

If the Hawks sign Hunter to his extension now, then they will have to trade a couple of contracts to get Durant. Despite being early front runners in the Durant sweepstakes, the Murray trade is going to have a tremendous impact on the team meaning that they are less likely to be able to secure Durant but there is always hope.

There is no doubt that the Hawks are going to offer Hunter an extension on his rookie deal. He had a breakout playoff series against the Miami Heat, which gave the Hawks hope going forward. On top of that B/R named him one of the top performers in the early part of the playoffs.

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The Hawks are just going to see how the rest of free agency plays out because there is no point offering Hunter the bag if they need to make a major reshuffle of their roster. This is a good problem for the Atlanta Hawks to have.