What role will Maurice Harkless play for the Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks went into the offseason knowing that they needed to improve their defense which was a massive issue for the team last season. Fortunately, they were able to trade for one of the best defensive point guards in the league in the form of Dejounte Murray who is going to have a massive impact on the team.

However, it was the second trade that the Hawks made which displays how deeply they were thinking about their perimeter defense. They sent one of their better spare parts players in Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings, receiving Justin Holiday and Maurice Harkless in return.

Holiday has developed into a tremendous 3-and-D player but Harkless has made his career as a solid wing defender. He also brings a wealth of experience, having played for six different franchises in his ten-year career. He has shown the ability to start and come off the bench which will be beneficial for the Hawks if they have an injury crisis similar to that of the last two seasons.

The Atlanta Hawks will use Maurice Harkless as a bench stopper.

The Hawks have a reasonably strong defensive unit on the floor to start a game. While John Collins can struggle individually, he is a great weak side defender. Trae Young is starting to use his quickness to get into passing lanes. The other three players have the ability to be elite defenders in their own right.

When head coach Nate McMillan turns to the bench he will probably split the time at the backup wing position between Harkless and Holiday. Harkless also has the ability to play the power forward role so will split time between himself and Jalen Johnson depending on matchups.

While his 3-point shooting is solid, he is far more comfortable taking catch-and-shoot attempts from this distance with 95.5 percent of his attempts coming in this manner. However, it is likely that Harkless will not feature heavily on the offensive end for the Hawks.

Next. What role will Aaron Holiday play for the Hawks. dark

He has averaged 0.9 steals per game in his career and when he is on the floor he will be looking to play a Delon Wright-style defensive role when on the floor. Harkless will not have to worry about any ball-handling duties, he will just be a stopper for the Hawks.