The Atlanta Hawks’ rebranding as the Golden State Warriors East is Before schedule.
As unfair as those Stephen Curry comparisons may have seemed, Trae Young’s volatile post-All-Star stretch demonstrates why they were made. The 20-year-old sharpshooter has rocketed up to 26.1 points and 9.0 assists per game because intermission when hitting 2.9 triples each night at a 41.4 percent clip.
Then, there is fellow freshman Kevin Huerter doing a good impression of Curry’s sibling-in-splash, Klay Thompson. Since snagging a full-time beginning gig in late November, Huerter has tallied 11.2 points and 2.1 threes per game while shooting 39.6 percent from space. For comparison, the freshman version of Thompson went for 12.5 points and 1.7 long-range bombs while draining 41.4 percent outside.
John Collins may not match the Warriors’ mold, but the second-year big man may be the ideal player about whom no one talks. He’s one of just nine contributors averaging at least 19 points and nine rebounds, along with his jump as a three-point shooter (0.9 threes per night on a 37.7 percent clip) shows there’s plenty of helium left his upside.
It’s tough to say how many different keepers are on the roster, although Taurean Prince and Omari Spellman both provide Golden State-style versatility at either ends. The financial books are largely clean, save for Kent Bazemore’s $19.3 million player option and Miles Plumlee’s $12.5 million salary for next year. The Hawks may also amass as many as three additional first-rounders in the coming years.
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