Hawks agree to $10 million contract with 'development success story': Report

The Atlanta Hawks remained active in what has already been an eventful offseason, inking one of their own with a feel-good story to a new deal.
Vit Krejci, Atlanta Hawks
Vit Krejci, Atlanta Hawks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks are facing a “roster crunch” according to General Manager Landry Fields in his first comments since the Dejounte Murray trade. 

Fields admitted that would lead to some difficult decisions, though he declined to say who would and would not be on the roster. Fields and Co. got to work in short order, only this decision was not difficult.

“Free agent guard Vit Krejci has agreed on a four-year, $10 million deal to return to the Atlanta Hawks, his agents Alex Saratsis and Phillip Parun of @octagonBsktball tell ESPN, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on X on July 10. “At 24, Krejci has been a player development success story for Quin Snyder, Landry Fields and Hawks.”

Krejci averaged 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and a career-high 2.3 assists last season. 

He also shot a career-high 41.2% from beyond the arc. Krejci posted the second-best on/off differential among the Hawks, trailing only veteran swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, per Cleaning The Glass.

The Hawks’ roster now sits at 14 guaranteed contracts with Bruno Fernando’s future among the many lingering questions.

Hawks push back guarantee date on big man’s contract

“The Hawks have extended Bruno Fernando’s contract trigger date to Aug 1,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Lauren L. Williams reported on X on July 10, following up on an earlier report after Fields suggested the possibility.

Fernando averaged 6.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists last season after a strong showing in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

He is back at it this offseason in preparation for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics

Fernando is in the final year of a four-year, $10.9 million contract that he signed while still a member of the Houston Rockets. This is the second time the trigger date on his contract has been pushed back.

The original trigger date was June 29. The two sides agreed to move it back to July 10 as the Hawks sorted through that roster crunch Fields noted.

With more work to do, especially in light of Kreji’s return, creating more time makes sense.

The Hawks frontcourt is especially crowded. Incumbent starter Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu remain despite trade rumors ensnaring both this offseason. Capela is on an expiring two-year, $45.8 million contract.

Okongwu is starting a four-year, $61.9 million pact. The duo will count a combined $36.2 million against the salary cap in 2024-25. 

The Hawks have the eighth most-expensive center group in the league, per Spotrac.

Hawks roster by the numbers

Factor in 2020 first-round pick Jalen Johnson and 31-year-old veteran Larry Nance Jr. – who was acquired in the Murray trade and got a hype video – and the Hawks have at least five players who can at least moonlight at center in 2024-25.

They have at least seven players who can play the 4, which could present a logjam at the top when trying to divvy minutes.

The Hawks could face a similar problem at small forward.

The only positions with a clear (or at least clearer) pecking order are at point guard, where Trae Young remains in place, and shooting guard. Bogdanovic offers the most experience and would be a seamless fit with the returning starters.

He has also dealt with injuries and has proven to be a vital part of the bench as well. Fields talked up 2022 top-10 pick Dyson Daniels, who was also acquired in the Murray deal. 

Second-year guard Kobe Bufkin is playing for the Hawks’ summer league squad.