Hawks extend De’Andre Hunter

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward De’Andre Hunter to a contract extension, which begins with the 2023-24 season, the team announced Monday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year, $95 million deal.

Hunter, 24, has a lot of ability, and last season, the 6’7 forward averaged 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 29.8 minutes. He scored 10-or-more points in 41 of his 53 games, including 11 outings of 20-or-more. Hunter hit double digits in 14 straight games from 3/3-3/20, the second-longest such streak of his career.

He had solid moments in the playoffs, including Game 5 of the Hawks’ Eastern Conference First-Round series against Miami. In that game, Hunter poured in a career-best 35 points on 11-21 FGs, adding 11 rebounds, three steals, and two assists in 43 minutes. He became the sixth Hawk in playoff history to finish with at least 35 points and 11 rebounds in a postseason contest.

Acquired by the Hawks on July 7, 2019, from the New Orleans Pelicans, Hunter was originally selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2019 NBA Draft.

The key for Hunter is health. In 2020-21, he played in only 23 regular-season games due to a knee injury, and when he returned, he tore his lateral meniscus in the playoffs. Last season, he missed two months of action due to a wrist injury. Again, if he can stay healthy, Hunter definitely can be a key piece for the Hawks this season and beyond.

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