Hawks projected lineup and rotations heading into 2023-24 season

A comprehensive look at the Atlanta Hawks' projected lineup and rotations for the 2023-24 season.
Trae Young, Onyeka Okongwu, Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young, Onyeka Okongwu, Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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Atlanta Hawks starting small forward: A.J. Griffin

The Hawks have multiple options here, including the more experienced Saddiq Bey. Griffin, who is a few days shy of his 20th birthday as of this writing, entered the NBA ultra-young as the No. 16 pick last season. That made his immediate effectiveness a pleasant surprise for the Hawks, who found more and more playing time for Griffin as the season progressed.

Part of the logic behind the John Collins trade was to open up more minutes for Atlanta's younger forwards. Maybe Bey is still better than Griffin right now, maybe not. But it's a slim gap either way and Griffin is a key piece of Atlanta's future. Bey is a solid but flawed rotation piece. Griffin is a potential future All-Star at his current trajectory.

That being said, Griffin gets the nod here. Quin Snyder has already displayed faith in the Duke product. His numbers are rock solid: 8.9 points and 2.1 rebounds on .465/.390/.894 splits in 19.5 minutes as a rookie. Griffin was efficient at all three levels last season. His craft as a mid-range scorer and rim finisher were prominent in college, but his immediate proficiency from long-range was a promising early sign in the NBA. Plus, Griffin defends well for such a young player -- especially on the wing, where difficult assignments come naturally.

Atlanta has several quality young players, but Griffin is a true gem. He could feasibly develop into the third star the Hawks desperately lack. Will it happen next season? Probably not. The clashing timelines in Atlanta will be hard to manage, but Griffin has the juice. He's going to be very good next season and there's plenty of time for him to become more than a very good role player by the time his prime arrives.

Primary backup small forward: Saddiq Bey

Saddiq Bey arrived in Atlanta to little fanfare and did his thing. He averaged 11.6 points and 4.8 rebounds on .470/.400/.862 splits in 25 games (seven starts) after the trade deadline. Those shooting percentages are inflated relative to his career averages, so the Hawks should expect some regression. But, in general, yeah: Bey can fill it up, grab a few boards, and defend a few positions. That's the baseline appeal.

Bey has never been the most efficient scorer, but a lot of his poor shot selection and iffy metrics can probably be attributed to a losing situation in Detroit. With the Hawks, he has Trae Young and/or Dejounte Murray feeding him at all times. That definitely contributed to his soaring percentages last season. Rather than isos and contested pull-ups, Bey is getting clean looks from deep and making strong moves to the rim.

He's not a great defender, but Bey is a bursty 6-foot-7, 215-pound athlete on the wing. He can guard two through four without a second thought. The Hawks should lean more into potentially switchable groups with Collins out of the equation and Onyeka Okongwu on the rise at center.

Other players who could receive minutes at small forward: De'Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Wesley Matthews