Atlanta Hawks make $8 million decision on Saddiq Bey: Report

The Atlanta Hawks made a significant decision about the future of injured small forward Saddiq Bey.
Atlanta Hawks forward Saddiq Bey
Atlanta Hawks forward Saddiq Bey / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks will allow forward Saddiq Bey to hit unrestricted free agency, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojanrowski.

Bey is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in March and figures to miss the early portion of the regular season. Today was the deadline for the Hawks to extend a qualifying offer to Bey, which would have made him a restricted free agent.

Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer said Atlanta might not fight to keep Bey on the "Hawks Report" podcast.

Instead, Bey will hit the open market at an interesting time both for him and teams as the CBA becomes more restrictive to high-spending teams.

“ESPN Sources: The Atlanta Hawks will not deliver a qualifying offer to forward Saddiq Bey, clearing the way for him to become an unrestricted free agent,” Wojnarowski reported on X on June 29.

Hawks to let Saddiq Bey hit unrestricted free agency

The Hawks acquired Bey from the Pistons in a three-way trade with the Golden State Warriors for a handful of second round picks in 2022. The 25-year-old Bey averaged 13.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists this past season.

He worked his way into an unexpectedly key component to the starting lineup, providing solid rebounding on both ends of the floor. 

His three-point shooting betrayed him, though. A career 35.2% shooter from beyond the arc, Bey shot 31.6% from deep this past season. He had shot 40% in the smaller sample size of 27 games after the Hawks acquired him at the trade deadline from the Detroit Pistons in 2023.

“He’s expected to make a full recovery,” Wojnarowski posted. “He’s averaged 14 points with Pistons and Hawks since arriving as 19th pick in 2020 Draft.”

Bey’s qualifying offer would have been worth $8.5 million.

Qualifying Offers count against the apron,” ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks – who spent 20 years in the Brooklyn Nets front office – posted about the decision. “The Bey QO would have pushed Atlanta against the first apron.”

The Hawks sat roughly $12 million under the first apron after their trades sending Dejounte Murray to the New Orleans Pelicans and AJ Griffin to the Houston Rockets, per Marks.

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Hawks extend QO to Seth Lundy

Bey’s presumed exit – he could always re-sign with the Hawks in free agency – comes on the heels of the 2024 NBA Draft. It also comes on the heels of the Hawks extending a qualifying two-way offer to 2023 second-round pick Seth Lundy.

Lundy is smaller than Bey. But he could provide more consistent three-point shooting in time.

Perhaps most importantly to the Hawks as they go through this roster transition: Lundy is far cheaper than Bey, who would also have to contend with No. 1 pick Zaccharie Risacher.

Neither decision clarifies the statuses of De’Andre Hunter or even Bogdan Bogdanovic amid reports that Risacher and Jalen Johnson are the only Hawks off-limits in trade talks this offseason.