Connect with us

NBA

NBA Free Agency: Retooling East Contender Re-Signing Key Role Player

Published

on

NBA Free Agency: Retooling East Contender Re-Signing Key Role Player

The Atlanta Hawks have agreed to a four-year, $10 million contract to keep young two-way guard Vit Krejci, a restricted free agent this summer, rostered through the 2027-28 NBA season, Krejci’s agents Alex Saratsis and Phillip Parun of Octagon Basketball inform Adrian Wojnarwoski of ESPN.

Vit Krejci
Nikola Jovic #5 of the Miami Heat lays in a basket against Vit Krejci #27, Clint Capela #15, De’Andre Hunter #12 and Dejounte Murray #5 of the Atlanta Hawks during the second overtime at State…


Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Krejci, 24, was selected with the No. 37 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-8 combo guard spent his first NBA season with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2021-22, averaging 6.2 points on .407/.327/.864 shooting splits, 3.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 0.6 steals a night.

In 2023-24 with the Hawks proper, Krejci appeared in 22 contests (14 starts) for the 36-46 Hawks, the Eastern Conference’s No. 10 seed. Across those 22 games, Krejci averaged 6.1 points while slashing .490/.412/.833 shooting splits, 2.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 0.6 steals a night in 24.6 minutes.

While playing for Atlanta’s G League affiliate squad, the College Park Skyhawks, this year, Krejci averaged 8.9 points on .402/.275/.786 shooting splits, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.6 rejections in 13 regular season G League games (12 starts).

Read More: Hawks, Pelicans Agree to Blockbuster Trade to Send Dejounte Murray to New Orleans

Krejci was flipped from the Thunder to the Hawks during the 2022 offseason, appearing in 29 contests with Atlanta in 2022-23. Krejci was on a non-guaranteed deal prior to the 2023-24 season, and Hawks team president Landry Fields ultimately opted to cut him last summer.

The Minnesota Timberwolves swooped in and inked him to an Exhibit 10 agreement ahead of the team’s training camp in 2023. He did not make the team’s final roster for the season, which would eventually reach the Western Conference Finals. The Hawks signed him to a two-way contract two months into the season.

Atlanta finished with the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference, and got blown out, 131-116, by the Chicago Bulls in its lone Play-In Tournament game. The Bulls would go on to get blown out by the Miami Heat in their next game.

Fields opted to pivot heavily in the postseason, moving off the contract of young one-time All-Star starting combo guard Dejounte Murray to re-focus his offense into more of a heliocentric attack behind three-time All-Star point guard Trae Young.

Murray was dealt to the New Orleans Pelicans, in exchange for power forward Larry Nance Jr., talented young point guard Dyson Daniels (still on his rookie-scale salary), forward E.J. Liddell, and two first-round picks. The Pelicans signed-and-traded reserve center Cody Zeller to the Hawks as part of the deal.

Krejci’s return helps shore up Atlanta’s depth, as it looks to revamp its roster, with Young now firmly in the driver’s seat once again, in a wide-open Eastern Conference below the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and aging Milwaukee Bucks.