Though the Atlanta Hawks picked up two victories to begin the 2020-21 regular season, several of the team’s key offseason acquisitions have yet to appear on the court. Much of the attention has been paid to Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, but the Hawks invested a two-year deal in defensive ace Kris Dunn, hoping to fortify the team’s perimeter defense. On Sunday afternoon, however, the Hawks announced that Dunn will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle on Dec. 30 the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York.
Dunn began experiencing discomfort in his right ankle and lower back as he began to ramp up activity following an absence related to his right knee. That knee issue forced Dunn to miss the end of the 2019-20 season, last appearing for the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 29, but after an MRI and a tele-visit with Dr. Martin O’Malley, Dunn was diagnosed with “loose cartilage inhibiting his range of motion in the ankle and creating compensations in his knees and low back.”
At this juncture, there is no definitive timeline for his return to the court, with the Hawks noting an update to come after the procedure takes place. In his absence, Atlanta will continue to rely supporting pieces like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish and Brandon Goodwin on the perimeter, with Rajon Rondo projected to join the rotation in the near future. At the same time, no other option mirrors the direct skill set of Dunn as a lights-out defender against guards, and it will be interesting to see how his recovery progresses.