This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.
2022-23 Atlanta Hawks Team Preview
The Hawks made waves over the summer by trading picks and Danilo Gallinari for Dejounte Murray. The fit between Murray and Trae Young is odd since they're both point guards, but a defensive presence next to Young should help the team significantly. Atlanta also dealt Kevin Huerter to Sacramento for increased wing defense with Justin Holiday and Maurice Harkless.
2021-22 Record: 43-39; Lost NBA Eastern Conference First Round (1-4) to Heat
2022-23 NBA Win Total Odds: 45.5 wins (DraftKings)
2022-23 NBA Title Odds: +4500 (DraftKings)
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Check out our 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Rankings, which includes fantasy basketball projections for every player.
Atlanta Hawks Fantasy Basketball Preview
Young continued to shine as one of the league's top point guards last season, ranking fourth among qualified players with 27.2 points per game and third with 9.7 assists per contest. He enjoyed his most efficient shooting campaign to date, making 46.0 percent of his attempts from the field, 38.2 percent from three-point range and 90.4 percent from the charity stripe -- each of which was a career-best mark. The increased percentages and general good health -- Young played in 76 of 82 games -- pushed the fourth-year star into top-five territory in terms of overall fantasy production. However, it may be difficult for Young to replicate his numbers in the coming campaign now that Atlanta has added Dejounte Murray to its backcourt. The move was partially made to give the Hawks another ballhandler and playmaker, which sounds good from a team perspective but not so much from a fantasy angle. That's not to say that Young should be expected to experience a steep statistical drop -- he's too good for that. However, he probably isn't going to post a 33.3 percent usage rate (fourth-highest in the league) again now that he's sharing the backcourt with Murray, whose usage was at 26.8 percent last season. If Young can maintain his increased shooting efficiency and mesh well with Murray, he should still rank among the league's most productive point guards. Still, it's logical to anticipate a slight reduction from last season's gaudy stats.
The Spurs decided to take their franchise in another direction heading into the 2021-22 season, trading DeMar DeRozan to the Bulls. They were left with a stripped-down roster that clearly had an eye on the future. Murray became the team leader, logging 35 minutes per game and recording a 27.3 percent usage rate. With the ball in his hands so much, he was a fantasy force with averages of 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.4 three-pointers per game. While many teams would love to build around a young player like Murray, the Spurs decided to descend further into the basement of the Western Conference by shipping Murray to the Hawks for, essentially, a bevy of draft picks. Murray now finds himself not only on a team with championship aspirations, but playing alongside a usage rate monster in Trae Young. It's fair to expect Murray to see a significant decline in his usage rate, as well as a drop in assists without the ball in his hands as often. If fantasy managers draft him with the expectation that he can match the numbers that he produced with the Spurs, they will likely be disappointed.
Though rumors have swirled that Collins isn't happy in Atlanta, he remains on the team heading into 2022-23. His role has significantly decreased from 2019-20, when he was shockingly the 12th-best fantasy player on a per-game basis in eight-category leagues. Now, he's settled into a complementary role at power forward next to Clint Capela as the Hawks filled out the rest of the roster with playmakers and other scoring options. That's resulted in him ranking 62nd and 61st, respectively, over the past two seasons. Last year, he averaged 16.2 points on 53/36/79 shooting, 7.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 blocks in 30.8 minutes. His proficiency as a lob threat and three-point shooter keeps him constantly involved in the offense, though he's not often the first choice for either play. This season, his role isn't expected to change. The Hawks made a significant change in the offseason by acquiring Dejounte Murray to pair next to Trae Young, but the move shouldn't affect Collins. He's a high-floor option, but his ceiling is capped until he moves away from Atlanta.
Capela was one of the better traditional starting bigs in the NBA last season. However, his workload was slightly reduced as the Hawks tried Onyeka Okongwu out more at the position, while Danilo Gallinari and John Collins also got some small-ball minutes at the position. Even so, Capela averaged a double-double for the fifth straight season and shot over 60 percent (61.3%) for the fourth time during that stretch. Over 27.6 minutes, he averaged 11.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 assists. While it was a good season overall, a few things contributed to Capela losing fantasy value besides a reduced workload. First, his usage dropped a sharp 4.1 percent to a relatively low 13.2%. His blocks simultaneously fell from 2.0 to 1.3, and he shot 10 percent worse from the charity stripe (47.3%). That combination ranked him 97th in per-game fantasy production compared to his 2020-21 rank of 45. Capela's ranking in 2021-22 was his lowest since his second year in the NBA (2015-16). Not much is expected to change for Capela this season, though having another skilled passer in the backcourt with Dejounte Murray next to Trae Young should generate more easy buckets around the rim. That said, Atlanta seems interested in examining what it has in Okongwu - drafted No. 6 overall in 2020 - and Collins will presumably catch occasional minutes at center again. As a result, fantasy managers shouldn't necessarily expect a bounceback season for Capela. He may have a better year if he can improve his free-throw percentage, though, so drafting him sooner than his rank of 97 last season is justifiable.
Atlanta Hawks Depth Chart for 2022-23
Click here to take a look at the Hawks' full depth chart
- PG: Trae Young, Aaron Holiday
- SG: Dejounte Murray, Bogdan Bogdanovic
- SF: De'Andre Hunter, Justin Holiday
- PF: John Collins, Maurice Harkless
- C: Clint Capela, Onyeka Okongwu
Atlanta Hawks Predictions for 2022-23
The Hawks have renewed upside with Dejounte Murray in the fold and will be fighting the likes of Cleveland, Toronto and Chicago to avoid the play-in tournament. They showed their potential two years ago while making it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Another visit would be relatively surprising, but Trae Young taking a true leap into stardom wouldn't be shocking.
- Loses in first round
Onyeka Okongwu ends the season as the Hawks' starting center.
NBA Award Contenders
- Trae Young MVP (+3500, DraftKings)