One year ago, there was legitimate uncertainty as to whether the Atlanta Hawks would exercise the fourth-year team option for 2016 first round pick DeAndre’ Bembry. Ultimately, Travis Schlenk and company elected to do so, locking Bembry in at approximately $2.6 million for the 2019-20 campaign. This time around, however, there was no real mystery in the decisions facing the front office and, in advance of Oct. 31 deadline, the Hawks announced the decision to exercise team options for John Collins, Trae Young and Kevin Huerter.
Collins was the only player on the current roster facing a fourth-year team option and, considering his level of performance, this is a no-brainer decision. The talented big man averaged nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds per game (with strong efficiency) last season and, with this move, Collins will earn approximately $4.1 million for the 2020-21 season. That is a clear and obvious bargain (to say the least) and the Hawks will have an intriguing decision next summer with regard to potential contract extension negotiations.
As for Young and Huerter, the Hawks are exercising third-year options and this is a comically simple decision on both fronts. Young performed excellently during his rookie campaign, averaging 19.1 points and 8.1 assists per game over 81 appearances, and he will earn approximately $6.57 million for the 2020-21 season. Huerter also stood out in a positive way (particularly when compared to his draft slot) and the former Maryland standout will earn approximately $2.76 million for the 2020-21 campaign.
The Hawks will face similar decisions for Young and Huerter after the 2019-20 season, similar to the fashion in which they did with Collins. In addition, Atlanta will be considering the third-year options for both De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish after their rookie campaigns. Barring something unforeseen, Atlanta will have easy choices to make on each fourth-year option ($8.3 million for Young and $4.25 million for Huerter) and, to put it plainly, this is an exercise in record-keeping.