Don’t Develop: De’Andre Hunter
This is pushing it with De’Andre Hunter, 25, being one of those four returning starters since John Collins was traded to the Utah Jazz this offseason in a move that aimed to space under the luxury tax. Hunter has been a part of three playoff trips and has averaged over 30 minutes per game in each of them.
A former No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Hunter is the highest-drafted player on the Hawks’ roster. That is a lofty status on a team that also has Trae Young and Dejounte Murray among others.
Hunter averaged a career-high 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while shooting 35% on deep looks while making a career-high 67 appearances this past season.
He posted a 16.7/5.7/1.2 line on .459/.368/.800 efficiency in six playoff games.
The 6-foot-8 wing is starting a four-year, $90 million contract extension – which he received from former team president Travis Schlenk, not current general manager Landry Fields – next season which has sparked a slew of trade rumors. Hunter has essentially taken Collins’ place in that dubious regard.
The Hawks have already explored trading De’Andre Hunter
He is the player the Hawks were considering moving out to make way for Griffin hence Hunter’s spot on this list. Griffin might be the better shooter, a must with a pair of star guards that like to get into the painted area.
But Hunter – who has a 7-foot-2 wingspan – is the superior and, in theory, more versatile defender of the two.
Every decision comes with a consequence, though, and the Hawks may be ready for that one.