After consecutive seasons in which the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NBA into scheduling irregularities, the league is attempting to return to normalcy this upcoming season. Arenas will be filled, and an 82-game slate is in store for the 2021-22 season.
DK Nation will be examining all 30 teams ahead of October's tipoff, giving the outlook on each individual player and what we can expect. Here, we dive into the Atlanta Hawks, who are looking to build off of a stellar season behind a combination of young and veteran players.
Atlanta Hawks 2021-22 outlook
Key additions: Delon Wright, Gorgui Dieng, Sharife Cooper, Jalen Johnson
After making a deep playoff run, the Hawks entered the offseason with a clear goal: run it back. Clint Capela and John Collins were re-signed to long-term contracts, while Lou Williams and Solomon Hill were brought back on one-year deals. From there, the front office did a great job of hitting on the margins given their remaining roster spots and money. Gorgui Dieng isn’t a flashy name but is a quality second or third big that can soak up a larger role if needed. The Hawks swung a trade for Delon Wright, who will likely be an upgraded backup to Trae Young over the oft-injured Kris Dunn — something that will be key in keeping Young fresh throughout the season and the Hawks competitive while he’s on the bench.
Key departures: None
The ones that got away (Tony Snell, Kris Dunn, Bruno Fernando, Brandon Goodwin) were end-of-rotation players by the time the postseason rolled around. You can make the case for Snell being a key departure since he was the most impactful of the bunch during the regular season, but he hardly saw any important minutes throughout the playoff run. Atlanta kept its playoff rotation intact for another season without sacrificing any key players.
Perhaps no team surpassed expectations more last season than the Hawks. They fell just two games short of an NBA Finals appearance, knocking off the No. 1-seeded Philadelphia 76ers before ultimately bowing out to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in six games. Now, expectations are high entering the new season. The young core of Trae Young, John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Kevin Huerter should ride their postseason successes into another leap forward this upcoming season, as Trae Young has top-10 MVP odds. Expect for them to make another deep run this postseason.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Bogdan Bogdanovic
The five-year veteran battled injuries throughout last season and was never able to fully break out as a result. He certainly had his highs and lows throughout the playoffs but flashed second-option capabilities in some big games. If Bogdanovic can stay healthy, he should win the minutes competition on the wing, giving him the potential to fill the stat sheet on a nightly basis.