2. De’Andre Hunter
The Hawks had Hunter on the trade block this summer and multiple teams expressed interest. Finding a 6’8 forward who can score 15 points per game with a versatile skill set is not easy. The 25-year-old is just entering his prime and should be a key rotation piece for the next decade.
The Hawks want to upgrade their roster by trading Hunter. He is just starting a four-year $90 million contract, which looks hefty, but will be a bargain in two years as the cap continues to rise. Hunter still must improve to live up to his deal.
His defense is below average with non-existent playmaking and an inconsistent jumper. Throw in that Hunter averages just 51.5 games per season over his first four, and there are plenty of concerns. He must stay healthy and prove he is a starter on a contender. Improving his defense, limiting his turnovers, and hitting 37 percent from 3-point range would drastically change his perception across the NBA and all of those gains are possible this season.
The Atlanta Hawks know the 25-year-old is key to them making a trade for a third star. Can they convince some team to agree to a deal? The franchise will keep trying and activity always picks up just before the final buzzer in February.