On Thursday, the Atlanta Hawks sent Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill and a 2025 2nd round pick to the New York Knicks in exchange for Kevin Knox and a 2022 first-round pick. The first-round pick initially belonged to the Charlotte Hornets, so it appears to be a mid-round pick at best. The Hornets are playing very well this season.

Meanwhile, the Hawks have struggled for much of the year. They are 17-23 and three games behind the Boston Celtics for the last spot in the play-in tournament. Atlanta's struggles probably had a lot to do with the trade.

Reddish was drafted by Atlanta with the 10th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. After showing some early promise his first two seasons, he failed to take that next step in his career. That prompted the team to cut his minutes, as he was logging a career-low 23 minutes per game this season. That is despite the fact that his scoring and efficiency were both up this season.

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There had been a lot of talk about the depth and there being too many mouths to feed in Atlanta. Bogdan Bogdanovic and De'Andre Hunter both returned from injuries. One would assume another reason for the trade would be to open space and playing time specifically for De'Andre Hunter.

Hunter was also drafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, but #4 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Prior to the draft, Atlanta completed a trade for the #4 pick, giving up the #8, #17 and #35 picks to get Hunter.

Hunter being drafted 4th overall is the 2nd highest in Virginia Cavaliers history behind only Ralph Sampson who went #1 in 1981.

Regarded as one of the better two-way NBA ready players in a long time, Hunter did not take long to show promise. He had a successful rookie season. But his sophomore campaign is where he really began to shine. He began the season hot, shooting better than 48% from the floor, averaging over 15 points per game, with five boards, two assists, a steal and a block per game.

Sadly, Hunter suffered a devastating knee injury that required surgery. He only played in 23 games, starting 19 of them. He was back at full strength this season until the injury bug struck again. This time he injured his elbow and missed two months after elbow surgery.

On Wednesday, Hunter made his long-awaited return after missing 26 games.

He looked like he did not miss a beat. Hunter scored 15 points, including three triples. He should slot right back in as the starting small forward with Reddish in New York.

The Hawks are young and very talented, but injury prone. NBA and Atlanta Hawks fans got a taste of how good this team can be last season when they went on a surprising run to the Eastern Conference finals. With stars Trae Young and John Collins leading the way, role players like Clint Capela, De'Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic, when fully healthy, this team could have a very bright future after all.