A look at the Hawks forwards ahead of training camp

The Hawks have a lot of depth in the backcourt, and they have plenty of versatility in the frontcourt.

Here’s a look at the Hawks forwards heading into training camp:

John Collins (16.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1 bpg, 52.6 FG%, 36.4 3FG%)

John Collins had a breakout year during the 2019-20 season, which earned him a five-year, $125 million rookie extension. Collins has been a consistent presence in trade rumors but has still worked to give the team his all.

The 24-year-old Collins is the presumptive starter at power forward and has shown some early chemistry with new point guard Dejounte Murray. The two participated in a pro-am game over the summer, and from the eye test, it looked as though the two, along with Trae Young, would benefit from each other’s skill set.

Collins’ athletic ability always has been a plus for the Hawks. Coupled with his leadership in the Hawks’ frontcourt, his ability as a solid rim protector and his steadiness on 3-point shots, the team has a solid player to round out its big three.

De’Andre Hunter (13.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 44.2 FG%, 37.9 3FG%)

De’Andre Hunter, 24, will look to make his case for a rookie-deal extension in training camp, but the Oct. 17 extension deadline is quickly approaching. Should Hunter and the Hawks fail to come to a deal, he will become a restricted free agent in July.

Hunter has been a solid presence for the Hawks for the past three seasons but has struggled to remain on the court because of injuries.

ExploreA look at the Hawks guards ahead of training camp

He has been one of the Hawks’ best defenders, and he can continue helping the team shape its defensive identity.

In addition to his defense, Hunter was one of the Hawks’ better 3-point scorers, knocking down nearly 38% of his 3.7 attempts. With several of the Hawks’ other top shooters calling other teams home this season, Hunter may be leaned on to get the team some power beyond the arc.

Hunter is a 36% career shooter and was a 42% shooter over his two seasons at Virginia.

Jalen Johnson (2.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.1 apg, 53.7 FG%, 23.1 3FG%)

A second-year forward, Jalen Johnson is due for a breakout season after appearing in only 22 games with the Hawks last season. He averaged only 5.5 minutes per game and spent much of his time with the Skyhawks of the G League, where he averaged 21.1 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks on 47% shooting from the floor.

In June, the team announced that Johnson had a nonsurgical procedure on his knee. So, his breakout season could be a little delayed, should he need more time to recover.

But Johnson has shown that he could fit alongside his teammates after taking advantage of minutes toward the end of last season. Plus, more minutes have opened up behind Collins after the Hawks opted not to re-sign Danilo Gallinari.

Justin Holiday (10.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 39.4 FG%, 36.7 3FG%)

Justin Holiday likely will come off the bench this season and will provide the Hawks with some depth at small forward. Holiday provides the Hawks with a solid defensive boost and has familiarity with coach Nate McMillan, as well as new assistant coach Mike Longabardi from their time with the Kings.

With Holiday, the Hawks get a solid 3-and-D player who brings leadership to a team looking to shift its defensive identity. He is a career 37% shooter and provides the team solid defense while committing few personal fouls.

Maurice Harkless (4.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.5 apg, 45.9 FG%, 30.7 3FG%)

The Hawks get some versatility from Maurice Harkless because they can shift him between small forward and power forward, depending upon their needs. The 29-year-old also brings some defensive presence to the Hawks, with a defensive rating of 108.7, according to StatMuse.

Over the course of his career, Harkless have been tasked with taking on an opponent’s top perimeter player because of his 7-foot-2 wingspan. He will give the Hawks another pesky defender who can guard positions one through four.

AJ Griffin (rookie)

With so many veterans on the team, rookie forward AJ Griffin will have plenty of competition heading into training camp. But his shooting will certainly give him an extra look to separate himself. Griffin, the team’s first-round draft pick this year, knocked down 45% of his shots from long range last season as a freshman at Duke. He also made nearly 50% of his overall shots from the floor.

Because the Hawks lost a number of their sharpshooters during the offseason, Griffin could provide them with that jolt when they need it. On average, Griffin took four 3-point shots per game, and he would certainly benefit from the accurate passing of Young, Murray and the rest of his veteran teammates.

He, of course, will have to prove that he can adjust accordingly to the speed of closeouts from NBA defenders. He also will have to show that he can adjust accordingly to the speed of NBA offenses.

The Hawks also signed Chris Silva to a training-camp deal. So, the 26-year-old will have to make the most of training camp. It is more likely, however, that the Hawks sign Silva to the Skyhawks following training camp.