The Atlanta Hawks and young forward De’Andre Hunter are reportedly at an impasse of some sort at the current stage of their extension negotiations. Hunter is eligible for a rookie extension as he heads into his fourth NBA season.
The Hawks failed to come to extension terms with John Collins ahead of the 2020-21 season, and Atlanta has faced similar hurdles with reaching an agreement with De’Andre Hunter. Early indications are that Atlanta and Hunter have not found much progress in extension talks, where both sides stand roughly $20 million apart on salary terms over a four-year deal, sources said.
Keldon Johnson’s $80 million extension now serves as the obvious comparison for Hunter’s representatives to use for their side of negotiations. Johnson has shown promising upside but among a rebuilding roster. When healthy, Hunter was arguably the Hawks’ second-best player behind Trae Young—only over 23 games in 2020-21, however. And then Hunter saw the floor in just 53 contests last season after missing time with a wrist injury.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported Tuesday morning that the Hawks and Hunter’s representatives “have not found much progress in extension talks,” adding that the two sides are about $20 million apart over a four-year deal, per source.
Injury concerns and inconsistency on the court when healthy are likely causing the Hawks some reservations before matching Hunter’s coveted asking price, which could be similar to the four-year, $80 million deal Keldon Johnson signed with the San Antonio Spurs earlier this offseason.
Hunter has shown flashes of greatness — particularly during the beginning of the 2020-21 season — but has not been able to maintain health or that level of play consistently since. Still, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft has a ton of potential as a 3-and-D wing, and the Hawks do seem motivated to hold onto him. Only time will tell if the sides can come to an agreement in the near future.