Hawks: Kevin Huerter is proving that he deserves a new contract in 2022

dkf200122010 lac atl

A lot has been made of John Collins signing a new contract with the Hawks, and for good reason. This offseason, the Hawks will have to contend with John Collins hitting free agency, along with key depth players like Lou Williams and Tony Snell. Kris Dunn holds a player option, and guys like Nathan Knight, Brandon Goodwin, and Skylar Mays are solid enough to bring back as well. This free agency class isn’t super stacked, so I don’t expect any blockbuster signings or trades. 2022 is when Atlanta could run into trouble.

I jokingly dubbed Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the 76ers “The Kevin Huerter Game” pretty early on into the action, but it turns out I was just manifesting a superstar performance. Before these playoffs, you could make the argument that Kevin Huerter was replaceable enough to either trade or not re-sign after next season. I don’t think anybody can say that today; Red Velvet is here to stay in Atlanta.

Drafted 19th overall in the 2018 draft along with Trae Young, both guys are going to get massive extensions. Trae Young will receive a max contract, and Kevin Huerter is certainly in line for a healthy raise, especially if he keeps up his performance. Besides those two, Bruno Fernando is the only other free agent (unless Kris Dunn declines his player option this offseason, which is unlikely).

When I made my preseason bold predictions, I said that Kevin Huerter would shoot over 40% from 3 in the 2020-2021 regular season. It turns out, he was just waiting until crunch time to make my take come true:


Kevin Huerter (2021 Playoffs): 11.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 48% FG, 40% 3P

Kevin Huerter (Career Regular Season): 11.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 42% FG, 38% 3P


As you can see, Huerter has almost identical numbers to his career regular season, but he has been much more efficient in the playoffs. Against the Knicks alone, Huerter canned 46% of his 3s and was a very useful microwave scorer off the bench. The Hawks have thrived in these playoffs, and their depth is a big reason why. With (hopefully) a healthy De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and others in the fold — Huerter is the ideal player to bring off the bench when the Hawks need some buckets. He is playing with some supreme confidence, and if he keeps it up for these playoffs and into next season, the Hawks need to do everything in their power to keep him in Atlanta.

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