The Atlanta Hawks put together a strong, promising young core through the Draft over the past couple of years. But now that their young gunners have blossomed, they knew that they had to surround them with some veterans to try and get them over the hump.
The Hawks' front office promised Trae Young that they'd give him some help and it's safe to state that they've delivered thus far, improving their defense with Onyeka Okongwu, Kris Dunn, and Rajon Rondo, and adding a couple of big scoring threats on Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic.
With these impressive additions, Atlanta look poised to be a playoff team in the 2020-21 season. And even though it'll be a while before they're a legit contender, this offseason was definitely a huge step in the right direction. Here, we'll let you know about their projected starting lineup for the upcoming campaign:
Bench: Rajon Rondo, Brandon Goodwin, Kevin Huerter, Kris Dunn, Skylar Mays, De'Ander Hunter, Tony Snell, Solomon Hill, Danilo Gallinari, Skai Labissiere, Onyeka Okongwu, Bruno Fernando, Nathan Knight, Nathan Knight
Point Guard: Trae Young
Trae Young is already one of the deadliest scorers in the league and he's barely scratching the surface of his potential. He's an elite playmaker who's going to benefit a lot from Rondo's mentorship in terms of taking better care of the ball and as a help defender, even if he'll never become a true backcourt stopper.
Young is the building block of this franchise and will benefit a lot from being surrounded by other players capable of playing defense and running the offense. That'll allow him to do some damage off the ball and take his game a step forward. He's poised for yet another breakout campaign.
Shooting Guard: Bogdan Bogdanovic
The Atlanta Hawks had to slightly overpay Bogdan Bogdanovic to lure him away from the Sacramento Kings but it'll definitely be worth it. Bogdanovic is a versatile scorer on and off the ball and one of the smartest players you'll find on the court.
While Bogdanovic isn't exactly a solid man-to-man defender, he's great on help defense and has a high basketball IQ to pick apart opposing teams in real-time. His constant drives will open up a lot of space for Trae Young's limitless range.
Small Forward: Cam Reddish
Most insiders believe that the Hawks will give Cam Reddish the nod as their starting small forward, at least to begin the season. However, whether he'll end up logging enough minutes on the rotation with Danilo Gallinari coming off the bench is yet to be seen.
There's no denying Cam Reddish's freakish athleticism. Should he improve his abysmal efficiency as a scorer, he'd have the tools to be one of the most promising two-way players in the league. He's not likely to have many touches in the offense, though.
Power Forward: John Collins
People continue to sleep on John Collins and that's a blatant mistake. This young man has proven that he can perform at a high level on both ends of the floor, and he continues to improve as a spot-up shooter from beyond the arc as well.
Collins is strong, athletic, and quite skilled. He still needs to be in better control of his body when he's driving on fast-breaks to avoid commiting offensive fouls but he's got a sky-high upside. Also, he could serve as the team's small-ball center or even slide to the three if they need more size.
Center: Clint Capela
Clint Capela couldn't suit up for the Atlanta Hawks after being traded from the Houston Rockets but he's expected to be fully healthy for the start of the season, and that's great news for Trae Young, as he's one of the best rim-runners and roll-men in the league.
Capela's offense is limited, to say the least, but he already proved what he's capable of when he was catching lobs from Chris Paul and running pick-and-roll sets with James Harden. Moreover, his length and physical presence will definitely do wonders with the Hawks' subpar defense.