As Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter enters the final year of his rookie contract, the team has made his impending contract extension a priority. The deadline to extend players entering the final year of their rookie contract is Oct. 17.
Hawks, Hunter continuing contract negotiations ahead of extension deadline https://t.co/AgpN7GpDTF
— SB Nation NBA 🏀 (@SBNationNBA) September 24, 2022
According to Lauren Williams, Hawks general manager Landry Fields is currently working on an extension for Hunter.
The Hawks drafted Hunter 4th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft after a promising two seasons at the University of Virginia. His play during his sophomore year netted him Third-team All-American honors, First-team All-ACC honors, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and an NCAA championship.
When healthy, Hunter has proven to be a solid 3-and-D option for Atlanta. Unfortunately, he is rarely healthy. The 2019-2020 season was Hunter's best from a health standpoint and he only played in 63 games.
Last season, in 53 games, Hunter averaged 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. He also shot 44.2% from the field and 37.9% from three.
Forward Bogdan Bogdanovic will not be ready for training camp due to undergoing surgery on his right knee. If Bogdanovic cannot play his usual minutes in his initial return back from injury, Hunter has to take on a bigger role and more minutes. The question is can his body take on that additional workload?
This is what makes Hunter's looming contract extension so interesting. Hunter has the talent to be one of the top complimentary pieces in the NBA but his questionable health keeps holding him back.
As a team with a heavy emphasis on offense, there is no question that the Hawks need Hunter's defensive prowess but Atlanta needs to figure out if Hunter is worth the price.