The Atlanta Hawks have slowly put together an interesting team for the future, stacking first-round picks and bringing some veterans on board to mentor them during the first few years of their careers.
They are still years away from being a legit playoff contender, but this team’s front office is taking the right steps towards building a solid squad. They’ll just need one of their youngsters to break out as a star.
For now, they still have some cap flexibility to absorb some bad deals pile first-round picks for their future, so it’ll be interesting to see how they build up their roster next season.
But how will they line up to start the year? Let’s break it down.
Bench: Evan Turner, Cam Reddish, Allen Crabbe, Vince Carter, Jabari Parker, DeAndre Bembry, Damian Jones
Point Guard: Trae Young
Trae Young’s rookie season got off to a slow and shaky start, but he made sure to put his doubters at ease after the All-Star Break, as he closed in on the race for the Rookie of the Year award.
Young has Stephen Curry’s range and is already an impressive playmaker. There is always going to be some concerns about his defense and proneness to turn the ball over, but he’s already a great entertainer and has all the tools to become a superstar.
Shooting Guard: Kevin Huerter
People don’t seem to be talking enough about Kevin Huerter, but the Hawks landed a very solid shooter with him last year. He’s not a volume scorer just yet, but his presence will open up the court for Atlanta going forward.
Huerter was also able to hold his own against some great scorers last season on the defensive end, and he is an efficient catch-and-shoot scorer with 1.8 three-pointers per game on almost 40% shooting. Still, Cam Reddish may end up starting for them as the season progresses.
Small Forward: De’Andre Hunter
De’Andre Hunter isn’t known for his scoring abilities, and he’s going to struggle mightily to create his own shot during his rookie season, but he makes up for it with his top-tier defensive instincts and abilities.
Hunter has the skills and physical tools to become one of the best defenders in the league. He can finish below the rim at a high rate and is a good rebounder, but he needs to put in a lot of work on his jump shot this offseason.
Power Forward: John Collins
John Collins had a bit of a breakout season last year, especially after the All-Star break, and he’s showing glimpses of becoming one of the best young power forwards in the league thanks to his scoring and rebounding ability.
Collins can play both forward spots (even some center) and is a much-improved three-point shooter. He’s a solid rim-runner who can finish with both hands in the paint and is yet to scratch the ceiling of his potential.
Center: Alex Len
We all thought Alex Len was poised for stardom during his tenure at Maryland, but he has struggled to make the transition to the NBA and establish himself as a dominant presence in the paint. Luckily for him, he’ll have plenty of chances to prove his worth with the Hawks.
Len has a strong frame and long wingspan and his defensive instincts as a shot-blocker are obviously there. Still, he needs to do a better job at boxing out and sprint down the court in the fast break.
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