The Atlanta Hawks yesterday exercised the fourth-year (2024-25) contract option on forward Jalen Johnson and the third-year (2024-25) option on guard AJ Griffin.
Johnson, the 20th overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft by the Hawks, has appeared in 92 career games (six starts) tallying 4.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in 12.6 minutes (.496 FG%, .635 FT%). He has also appeared in eight playoff contests across two postseason runs with Atlanta, recording 3.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 8.1 minutes.
He saw action in 70 games (six starts) during the 2022-23 season, registering 5.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 14.9 minutes of play (.491 FG%, .628 FT%).
In his first career start on Dec. 2, 2022, against the Denver Nuggets, Johnson recorded his first career double-double, finishing with 10 points on 5-9 shooting from the field, 10 rebounds, four assists and one block in 33 minutes. He became the first Hawk to notch a point/rebound double-double in his first start with the club since John Collins did so on Nov. 22, 2017.
Griffin was selected by the Hawks with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The second-year guard saw action in 72 games (12 starts) during his rookie campaign, notching 8.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 19.5 minutes (.465 FG%, .390 3FG%, .894 FT%). Griffin’s .390 mark from three-point range marked the second-highest clip amongst his rookie class (using same qualifiers for regular season leaders).
Named a 2023 Jordan Rising Star, Griffin connected on 101 total three-pointers during the 2022-23 season, the fifth-most by a member of his rookie class and the fourth-most by a Hawks rookie since the adoption of the three-point line. Griffin knocked down his 100th career triple in a win against Washington on April 5, 2023. At 19 years, 223 days, he became the third-youngest player in NBA history to bury 100 three-pointers, trailing only Kobe Bryant (19 years, 176 days) and Kevin Knox II (19 years, 218 days).
Griffin knocked down two buzzer-beating, game-winning shots during the 2022-23 campaign: Nov. 19 vs. Toronto and Dec. 11 vs. Chicago. Per Elias Sports, the 6-6 guard became the first Hawk over the last 25 seasons to have multiple buzzer-beating, game-winning shots in the same season.