Jalen Johnson appears to be only player Hawks won’t trade

NBA: APR 04 Hawks at Bulls

The Hawks are approaching an offseason littered with franchise-altering decisions. It begins on Wednesday with the No. 1 overall pick; then, attention will immediately shift to the looming choice of trading Trae Young or Dejounte Murray.

Those are the two biggest dominoes of the summer for Atlanta. I’d argue that the decision regarding their pair of All-Stars is more important than the NBA Draft, but they are 1A and 1B.

However, they’re hardly the only dominoes of the offseason. The Hawks will also be retooling the entire roster, with potential trades looming of Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, and really anyone other than Jalen Johnson, who appears to be the only player Atlanta won’t trade, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

The former 20th overall pick is up for a contract extension, another task for an inexperienced front office, which has more on its plate this offseason than most ever do. Landry Fields has a lot of different directions he can take this club, and all of them include Jalen Johnson.

Johnson is coming off a career campaign in which he averaged 16 points per game on 51% shooting and 35% from three, with 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 33 minutes per game.

He’s not the best player on the team, but I could argue that Johnson is the most important player on the Hawks because of his ability to impact the game in so many different ways — rebounding, facilitating, scoring, transition, defending, etc.

The Duke product possesses the kind of athleticism that few can match, giving him the ability to play multiple positions. I believe the Hawks could build a real championship contender around Trae Young, Jalen Johnson, and the No. 1 overall pick.

Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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