Atlanta Hawks give significant update on key contributor

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Reinforcements are on the way for the Atlanta Hawks (11-10). Things are looking up for the Hawks and they haven’t even snapped their losing streak – currently at three games – yet. It has been a rollercoaster for the Hawks who, at times, have looked every bit the Eastern Conference contender they could be while at others they look completely out of sorts.

That is a troubling thought considering they boast two of the games top playmakers in Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

Young led the league in total assists last season while Murray nearly averaged a triple-double.

But they don’t have the requisite outlets for their creativity, an issue that has prevented them from being able to stave off opposing rallies or make up large deficits as quickly as they would like – that is about to change.

Swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic nearing return to Atlanta Hawks lineup

Hawks general manager Landry Fields appeared on 92.9 The Game to discuss a variety of topics one of which was veteran swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic. Bogdanovic has not played this season as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. The only updates we had gotten to this point were that he was progressing and some practice videos.

What we had not gotten was a timeline nor a change in his “OUT” designation on the injury report.

Until now.

“He should be back pretty soon here,” Fields told John Fricke and Hugh Douglas on the ‘The Morning Show‘ on Tuesday. “I would imagine the next few games. He’s looking pretty good coming up. So we’ll see what the target date will be here and make sure he gets back because we definitely could use his shooting right now. It would be great.”

Last season, Bogdanovic posted the best net rating of any returning Hawks player last season, per Cleaning The Glass, bested only by Solomon Hill who was traded midseason. He averaged 15.1 points on 56.2% true shooting and hit 36.8% of his threes – 38.2% on catch-and-shoot looks.

“When we get Bogi back, obviously, threes will go down more,” Young told reporters in his media availability a day after the Hawks fell 104-101 to the Philadelphia 76ers. “He should be coming back soon. But we can’t just depend on Bogi to helo our three-point shooting out. So we got to be better as a team.”

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Young noted the 76ers and the Miami Heat both deployed zone defense to force them into taking shots from the perimeter.

He also mentioned some members of the team are still getting used to playing together.

Bogdanovic, who Young called “one of our best shooters”, will help the Hawks from deep. But his familiarity with some of the other Hawks as well as the ability to function as both a facilitator and a floor-spacer at the same time that will help the most.

The Hawks do not really have that in anyone else outside of Young who is shooting a career-worst 31.3% from deep and has hit 35.5% of his catch-and-shoot triples.

De’Andre Hunter can space the floor and drive the lane but playmaking is not his strong suit.

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At 6-foot-6, Bogdanovic also gives the Hawks some needed size in the backcourt with the 6-foot-4 Murray currently the only normal rotation player listed above 6-foot-1. But again, this is about helping to bring this offense – beyond Murray and Young – to life. He’s not back yet, but the Hawks have to be excited that he will be soon.