The Atlanta Hawks have a good level of security with their roster over the next two seasons. They have six of their main rotation players signed for at least this period. However, there is one exception to this and that is De’Andre Hunter.
The Hawks and Hunter still have a gap between what the Hawks want to pay and what Hunter is expecting. It was reportedly about a $20 million difference which is significant but not insurmountable. However, if they cannot bridge the gap, the Hawks could be faced with another John Collins situation.
This is not desirable given how the Hawks have made a number of off-season moves in an effort to get back into win-now mode. The problem is, how can the front office know what to pay Hunter, he is not seen as a really strong defender, nor has he shown that he is a true third option on offense.
The Atlanta Hawks do not need any distractions this season.
The thing is, the Hawks are looking at winning now due to the fact they went into the luxury tax for the right player and now they need to deliver. This is why the Hawks need to get all of their contract negotiations finished prior to the season starting.
What has complicated matters for the Hawks and Hunter is how he was so good at the end of last season. He was one of the few bright spots for the Hawks in their first-round loss to the Miami Heat. Even though the Hawks were eliminated early, Hunter was named one of the best players of the playoffs.
As would be expected on media day, Hawks general manager Landry Fields addressed this stating that it is still a work in progress and they are moving to get it done. Hopefully, it will happen soon as it must be in place before the season starts. Otherwise, the contract negotiations will have to take place next offseason and this will provide a level of distraction for this season.