The Hawks made a splash this offseason before free agency even began by trading for Dejounte Murray. Then, they quickly signed Aaron Holiday to seemingly replace Delon Wright, who was a defensive maestro in the backcourt behind Trae Young. Not resting on their laurels, the front office took appropriate measures to improve the team’s defense even more by acquiring Maurice Harkless and Justin Holiday from the Kings in exchange for Kevin Huerter. So let’s take a look at how the roster stands today:
PG: Trae Young, Aaron Holiday
SG: Dejounte Murray, Bogdan Bogdanovic, AJ Griffin
SF: De’Andre Hunter, Justin Holiday, Maurice Harkless
Barring any other trades, this is what your 2022-23 Atlanta Hawks starting lineup will look like: Young, Murray, Hunter, Collins, Capela. That’s a very similar unit as last year’s starting five, except for the addition of Murray and subtraction of Huerter.
Murray should be able to give the Hawks minutes at both guard positions, which is something Red Velvet was unable to do. The former Spur is also head and shoulders above Huerter defensively. The decision to move Danilo Gallinari for Murray also clears a path for second-year forward Jalen Johnson to garner considerable minutes.
The roster possesses extreme positional flexibility. Young can play both guard spots, despite some believing he can’t play off-ball. Aaron Holiday and Murray can also play point and shooting guard. AJ Griffin and Justin Holiday can play the 2 in bigger lineups and the 3 in smaller ones. At the same time, Maurice Harkless and Jalen Johnson can play either the 3 or 4.
The Hawks should be much-improved defensively with these additions, but the roster isn’t complete. The team still needs to add two players before the season starts, so we could be in for another splash this offseason if Tony Ressler is willing to cross the tax threshold, which he’s said to be open to.
Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire