Jake briefly talked about some of this in his piece regarding the Hawks rotation, but since then, Lou Williams has been added to the roster, and I have received some requests to allocate the minutes now that it looks like Travis Schlenk may be done this offseason. So, I’ll do just that, but first, this is how I see the depth chart.
PG: Trae Young, Delon Wright, Lou Williams, Sharife Cooper
SG: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter
SF: De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, Jalen Johnson
PF: John Collins, Danilo Gallinari, Solomon Hill,
C: Clint Capela, Onyeka Okongwu, Gorgui Dieng
The starting five is pretty set in stone. Perhaps Cam Reddish or Kevin Huerter take the next step and insert themselves into the starting lineup at some point in the season, but it won’t be to begin the year. The only thing I feel like I could be wrong on is Lou Williams being the third point guard; however, I believe the Hawks traded for Delon Wright for a reason. He’s a better playmaker and defender than Williams, which is why I have him as Young’s backup. I have Jalen Johnson listed as a small forward, but he will see time at the 3 and the 4. If he develops quickly, I could see him getting a lot of minutes over the course of the season; he’s oozing with talent. Onyeka Okongwu is injured, but when he returns, he will be Capela’s backup. Until then, Gorgui Dieng will be the center of the second unit. I liked the pickup by Schlenk, and he should provide just what the Hawks need until Okongwu heals up.
Now, to the allocation of the minutes. These are what I believe the players will average over the course of the season. Obviously, not everyone will play, and I even included some DNP’s because I don’t think a couple of these guys will see the floor much at all this season. However, with the injuries that take place every year, opportunities should arise for almost everybody.
Trae Young: 34 minutes
Bogdan Bogdanovic: 30 minutes
De’Andre Hunter: 33 minutes
John Collins: 30 minutes
Clint Capela: 31 minutes
Delon Wright: 18 minutes
Kevin Huerter: 28 minutes
Cam Reddish: 21 minutes
Danilo Gallinari: 23 minutes
Gorgui Dieng (while Okongwu is injured): 13 minutes
Lou Williams: 15 minutes
Jalen Johnson: 12 minutes
Onyeka Okongwu: 15 minutes
For obvious reasons, I expect Trae Young to lead the team in minutes. Just behind him is De’Andre Hunter, who I believe could be an All-Star next season if he’s 100% healthy — he’s that talented. With Okongwu out, Capela should get the bulk of the center minutes, and I have Collins and Bogdan as the only other Hawks to reach the 30-minute threshold.
Huerter is the Hawks sixth man, and I also expect him to start if any wing player misses time, which is why he is at 28 minutes. Reddish could eat into those minutes if he takes the next step, which I’m hoping. Again, I’m not sure who the Hawks will roll with as the backup point guard, but I imagine they will both get plenty of opportunities. I would have Okongwu’s minute much higher. I thought he flashed a ton of potential in the playoffs last season, but following a lengthy layoff, I expect the Hawks to take things slowly with him once he’s healthy. Johnson should get some opportunities, but I don’t expect Hill or Cooper to play unless there are injuries.
Obviously, it’s still early; we’ll know a lot more as we inch closer to the season, but this is about what I expect from the Hawks to begin the season. They have a ridiculous amount of depth that nobody else can match, which should lead to plenty of internal competition this offseason.
You must log in to post a comment.