Ten Biggest Takeaways from Atlanta Hawks Media Day
The 2022-23 NBA campaign began this morning for the Atlanta Hawks. The production studio which housed the Media Day was buzzing with busy workers trying to make the event as seamless as possible.
Thanks to a lot of hard work from employees of the Hawks organization, Media Day could not have gone any smoother. Of course, there is a lot to unpack from all of the news we received today. But below are the ten biggest takeaways from the 2022-23 NBA Media Day in Atlanta.
General manager Landry Fields was the first person to take the podium. Fields said the team's top priority this offseason was addressing defense. Fields was tight-lipped about De'Andre Hunter's contract extension negotiations. However, he did say that talks are ongoing, and they hoped to get something done.
Head coach Nate McMillan struck a positive tone when discussing his players, as he often does. However, McMillan did stress that he wanted his team to find an identity. He asked the rhetorical question, "Who are we?"
Additionally, McMillan was in contact with Trae Young a lot this summer. McMillan visited Young in Oklahoma after the season, and they communicated a lot leading up to the blockbuster trade for Dejounte Murray.
All-NBA point guard Trae Young expressed his excitement about playing alongside Dejounte Murray. As for his goals this season, Young said, "This year, I'm just so locked in on winning a championship and nothing else."
It was no surprise that De'Andre Hunter remainder quiet about his contract negotiations. However, Hunter did use his first healthy offseason in two years to work a lot on his ball handling.
Today was John Collins' 25th birthday, and everyone in the facility celebrated the effervescent big man. Even better, Collins assured the press that his finger and foot were both fully healed. Although, his finger "won't be too pretty."
Unfortunately, Bogdan Bogdanovic is still recovering from the knee surgery he had in late May. However, Bogdanovic said he is nearing the final phase of his recovery. The 30-year-old sharpshooter even hinted at playing some preseason games.
One year removed from being the NBA rebounding leader, Clint Capela said his goal this season was to be "one of the best defenders in the league." Capela mentioned the difficulties of missing last training camp and most of the preseason due to injuries but is healthy now.
Newly-acquired All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray does not seem worried at all about the fit with Trae Young. Murray pointed to the fact that he and Young both averaged 9 assists per game last season and will play off the ball a lot this year.
No one is more aware of the importance of this offseason than Onyeka Okongwu. This was Okongwu's first summer he was not rehabbing injuries since he was drafted in 2020. Okongwu assured us that his jump shot is and always has been good (going back to his California days).
During Justin Holiday's media availability, a solid amount of time was dedicated to discussing his new haircut (spoiler alert: it looks good.) Additionally, Holiday spoke about bringing a defensive identity to the Hawks. The veteran journeyman has played in Atlanta before, as well as for Nate McMillan and assistant coach Mike Longabardi.