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 power forward: De'Andre Hunter

The Hawks selected De'Andre Hunter with the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He hasn't exactly lived up to that billing, but Hunter continues to tantalize the fanbase when he's healthy. That is the key phrase, however: when he's healthy. Hunter played 23 games in his second season and 53 games in year three. He bumped that number up to 67 games in 2022-23, but there's always a measure of doubt about Hunter's availabiltiy over the course of an 82-game season.

Hunter was an older lottery pick out of Virginia, where he starred on a perinially competitive team. Pitched as the perfect 3-and-D complement to Trae Young, that is the essence of Hunter's skill set. He's a bulky wing defender who can stonewall the point of attack at 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds. He's the Hawks' top answer to the elite wing scorers of the world.

That said, Hunter's offense has developed well beyond simple spot-up 3s. If anything, the 3-point shot has been a solid but unremarkable part of his repertoire (35.6 percent for his career). Hunter really thrives in the mid-range and as a driver, using his strength to carve out space and a high release point to pepper the defense with pull-up jumpers.

Hunter will probably never be a true go-to scorer, but he can punish errant closeouts on the perimeter and supply Atlanta with a useful dose of self-creation when the offense stagnates. He benefits as much as anyone from the Young-Murray playmaking mechanism, but Hunter flashes upside beyond the confines of his current role. He will continue to operate as Atlanta's primary wing.

Primary backup power forward: Jalen Johnson

Jalen Johnson is another Hawks first-round pick due for expanded minutes. He saw his court time increase exponentially in year two, going from 22 to 70 games played and averaging 5.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in 14.9 minutes. With Collins out the picture, however, the path to a stable role with the second unit is crystal clear. One could argue Johnson is the primary beneficiary of -- and maybe even the primary motivation behind -- the Collins trade.

A spritely 6-foot-10 athlete who loves to push the tempo and run in the open court, Johnson was a frequent target of Ben Simmons comparisons before the draft. Those were ultimately off base, of course, but Johnson does provide intriguing flashes of passing in the frontcourt.

He's slowly developing into a workable 3-point shooter (28.8 percent last season) and Trae Young will set him up in his favorite spots. Johnson can screen and play above the rim as a lob threat, or he can face up and playmake a bit from the elbow. The Hawks would be wise to explore the breadth of his skill set in the new season.

Other players who could receive minutes at power forward: Saddiq Bey, A.J. Griffin