ATLANTA (AP)The Atlanta Hawks have committed to De’Andre Hunter as one of the key players on a team looking to return to championship contention, signing the small forward to a $95 million, four-year extension.

The new deal begins with the 2023-24 season. Hunter could have become a restricted free agent following this season.

The Hawks confirmed the deal, first reported by ESPN, on Monday night.

The Hawks are looking for a return to their 2020-21 form, when they advanced to the Eastern Conference finals before losing to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 6-foot-7 Hunter averaged 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists last season, when the Hawks needed two wins in the play-in tournament to return to the playoffs. They lost to the Miami Heat in the first round.

Hunter has shown potential but has lacked consistency, especially as an outside shooter. He scored a career-high 35 points with 11 rebounds in Game 5 against the Heat, offering a reminder of his high upside.

Hunter averaged 15 points and 4.8 rebounds in the 2020-21 season and was selected to the NBA Rising Stars roster.

The extension solidifies Hunter’s status as an important part of the Hawks’ core, joining point guard Trae Young, forward John Collins and their big offseason addition, guard Dejounte Murray.

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