Hawks set to open Play-In Tournament at Chicago after Bulls’ victory Thursday

MINNEAPOLIS — The Hawks are all out of chances to secure home-court advantage in their coming NBA Play-In Tournament game. So, they’ll travel to Chicago to face the Bulls on Wednesday in hopes of extending a postseason run.

They’ve sat in 10th place since Jan. 16 and clinched their spot in the tournament when they beat the Bulls on April 1. They briefly tied the Bulls in the standings after downing the Pistons two games later. But in losing their past four games, the Hawks lost the ground they gained.

Any hope of the Hawks taking the ninth seed hinged on the Bulls losing games. Unfortunately for the Hawks, the Bulls split their past four games. The Bulls’ win over the Pistons on Thursday clinched their spot as the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference and set the venue for Wednesday’s game at the United Center.

The Hawks won’t have several key rotational players available, with long-term injuries to Saddiq Bey, Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu. Bey had surgery last month to repair a torn ACL in his left leg, while the team announced that Johnson (right ankle sprain) and Okongwu (left big toe sprain) were expected to miss at least three and four weeks, respectively.

The Hawks recently saw the return of guard Trae Young on Wednesday following his 22-game absence because of surgery to repair a torn UCL ligament in his left fifth finger.

Young’s return gives him time to ramp up ahead of next week.

The Hawks still have two more regular-season games remaining, including Friday’s game at the Timberwolves and a matinee meeting at the Pacers on Sunday.

With the standings all set for the final two Play-In Tournament spots in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks may rest some of their veterans and rotation players other than Young.

It could give their young players valuable playing time that can help the Hawks make some roster decisions heading into the postseason.

The Hawks have until tipoff Sunday afternoon to decide what to do regarding Vit Krejci’s status and whether they should convert his contract to make him eligible to play in the Play-In. They leaned heavily on Krejci while Johnson was out with injury.

At the moment, the Hawks do not have any open roster spots and will need to waive someone to make any conversions possible.

Though the Hawks still have roster moves to mull over heading into the Play-In Tournament, they now know where they stand in the Eastern Conference and where they’re set to play.