Hawks send Kevin Huerter to Kings

Atlanta Hawks' guard Kevin Huerter (3) celebrating after scoring a 3-point basket during the second half in the NBA play-in tournament at State Farm Arena on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Atlanta Hawks won 132-103 over Charlotte Hornets. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

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Atlanta Hawks' guard Kevin Huerter (3) celebrating after scoring a 3-point basket during the second half in the NBA play-in tournament at State Farm Arena on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Atlanta Hawks won 132-103 over Charlotte Hornets. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

The Hawks are trading Kevin Huerter to the Kings in exchange for Justin Holiday, Moe Harkless and a future first-round pick, according to a person familiar with the situation. The trade was first reported by ESPN. The deal is pending NBA approval.

In exchange for Huerter, the Kings are sending a 2024 lottery-protected first-round pick to the Hawks. The pick becomes top-12 protected in 2025, and top-10 protected in 2026.

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The move to bring Justin Holiday, a former Hawk, back to Atlanta came hours after the team signed his brother, Aaron Holiday, as a free agent to a one-year deal.

Huerter, 23, was a first-round pick by the Hawks, No. 19 overall, in 2018 out of Maryland. The guard appeared in 274 games for the Hawks and averaged 11.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He shot 43.1% from the field, including 37.9% from 3-point range.

Last season, Huerter appeared in 74 games. He averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He shot 45.4% from the field, including 38.9% from 3-point range.

Huerter was part of the Hawks’ young core, along with Trae Young, John Collins and De’Andre Hunter. He helped the Hawks advance to the Eastern Conference finals in 2020-21 and through the play-in tournament and into the first round of the playoffs last season. He had many standout games for the Hawks, perhaps most notably a 27-point game against the 76ers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals in 2021.

“I’m still working on my game inside the 3-point line,” Huerter said in an exit interview following the season. “A goal of mine is to shoot 40% from 3. I got close to that. I got hot at the end of the year and almost got that bench mark. That will be a goal of mine going into next year.

“A lot for me is our team success. You think about the year we had two years ago and what we were able to do, and now it’s how can we get back to that and how can we have that feeling again, that juice, compete at a high level and compete against the best teams. The East got a lot better this year, and I think, as a team, we have to get a lot better, too.”

The Hawks traded for All-Star guard Dejounte Murray on Wednesday, which made for an even more crowded backcourt. Both owner Tony Ressler and vice president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said the Hawks made a mistake by keeping the roster largely intact before going into last season. After the disappointing finish, it’s clear they intend to remake the roster before next season.

When asked about the deals they executed Friday, the Hawks declined to comment on them until a later date.