Peachtree Hoops continues the offseason roundtable series with a look at whether the Atlanta Hawks and forward De’Andre Hunter, who is entering the final season of his rookie deal, will reach a contract extension agreement before the start of the 2022-23 NBA regular season.
Will De’Andre Hunter sign an extension ahead of the season? If so, what are the terms?
Zach Hood: I’m gonna side with no. The Hawks have plenty of reason to be cautious with Hunter, while De’Andre himself probably wants to prove he’s the high upside player that he’s shown at times throughout his career. Health has been maybe the biggest deterrent to consistent success for Hunter, so if he’s banking on health in his fourth season he may be in store for a bigger pay day compared to if he signs this summer.
Malik Brown: I don’t think so. If the rumors of Hunter and the team being $20M apart on a deal, then Hunter may just have to bet on himself and have a good season to get what he wants next offseason.
Graham Chapple: I lean towards no because if Hunter can show he can stay somewhat healthy for a season, I think he’ll likely receive a better offer than the extension the Hawks would offer prior to free agency. The Hawks should explore an extension because if he were to sign it now the Hawks would be getting a discount, I believe. I think Hunter has more to gain by turning down the Hawks’ offer and playing this one out than he would be accepting what the Hawks would likely offer.
Wes Morton: It seems that both sides are reportedly working towards an agreement, even if the sides are far apart at the moment. There is plenty of time to negotiate, however, and I think a deal can get done by the October deadline. With the exception of John Collins, this Hawks regime has generally found ways to extend their fourth year players before restricted free agency. I could see a Kevin Huerter-like deal for maybe 4 years and $64-70 million total.
Glen Willis: It seems the Hawks front office would like that to happen, even if we are just basing that on their (reported) reluctance to including him in trade conversation. But Hunter, to me, is a player that may be best served by betting on himself. If he can manage to have a fully healthy 2022-2023 season he could be in play for a really big raise, one bigger than a extension is likely to deliver. So, I lean towards a no on this one.
Rashad Milligan: Rolling with everyone else here, if the gap is as large as they say the gap is, then no. Earn your pay. The best availability is availability, so Hunter will need to remain healthy and stay consistent to prove he’s worth big money to the Hawks.