About an hour before Monday’s deadline, Kevin Huerter‘s four-year contract extension worth $65 million became official, which locks him up through the 2025-2026 season. He is now the fourth Hawks player to receive an extension this offseason — Trae Young, John Collins, and Clint Capela had already inked contract extensions with the Hawks over the summer — and this is just another example of Travis Schlenk making the right move.
After a stellar performance in the playoffs, it would have been very easy for Huerter to push for money, but from the looks of it, this was a deal that both sides wanted to get done before the season. The Hawks lock up one of the key pieces to their young core at or below market value, and Huerter receives a life-changing payday to stay in a place that’s made him feel very comfortable.
However, with all of the money handed out this offseason, some might wonder how the team could possibly afford to keep others that are in line for contract extensions in the near future, like De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. To those people, I say relax. Nothing Schlenk has done to this point has handcuffed the Hawks in any way.
First and foremost, the Hawks can go over the salary cap and keep all of their players if they wanted. Tony Ressler and company would just have to be willing to pay a boatload of luxury tax. I agree extending everyone isn’t exactly plausible, especially when guys like Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu become eligible for extensions. However, all the moves that Schlenk has made thus far allow the team to be flexible.
There isn’t a contract on the Hawks roster that isn’t moveable. All of them should be considered team-friendly. If a superstar becomes available, Schlenk could use Collins, Capela, and Huerter as trade chips. Or, if the Hawks feel that they must shed salary in order to extend both Hunter and Reddish, all three of Collins, Capela, and Huerter can be moved to other teams for draft picks and other assets, shedding their salary.
Travis Schlenk joined the Hawks in May of 2017, and since then, pretty much everything he’s touched has turned to gold. He built this team the right way — through the draft — and because of that, Atlanta has limitless possibilities moving forward. All of these extensions should be viewed as positives, as the Hawks continue to keep their young core that got them to the Eastern Conference Finals together while maintaining the flexibility to go after any player that becomes available.
Thanks for reading about the offseason of Hawks contract extensions. If you liked this article, make sure to check out Christian Salvador’s latest piece on how the minutes will be allocated this season.