The Atlanta Hawks’ rebranding as the Golden State Warriors East is Before schedule.
As unfair as those Stephen Curry comparisons could have seemed, Trae Young’s explosive post-All-Star stretch shows why they were created. The 20-year-old sharpshooter has rocketed up to 26.1 points and 9.0 assists per game since intermission while hitting 2.9 triples per night at a 41.4 per clip.
Afterward, there is fellow freshman Kevin Huerter performing a strikingly good impression of Curry’s sibling-in-splash, Klay Thompson. Since snagging a fulltime starting gig in late November, Huerter has tallied 11.2 points and 2.1 threes per game while shooting 39.6 percent out of distance. For comparison, the freshman version of Thompson went for 12.5 points and 1.7 long-range bombs while draining 41.4 percent out.
John Collins might not match the Warriors’ mould, however, the second-year big man may be the best player about whom nobody speaks. He’s one of only nine contributors averaging at least 19 points and nine rebounds, along with his leap as a three-point shooter (0.9 threes each night on a 37.7 percent clip) shows there is plenty of helium left his upside.
It is hard to say how many other keepers are on the roster, although Taurean Prince and Omari Spellman equally provide Golden State-style versatility at either ends. The financial books are mostly clean, save for Kent Bazemore’s $19.3 million player option and Miles Plumlee’s $12.5 million salary for next season. The Hawks may also amass as many as three additional first-rounders in the coming years.
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