Since their exciting run in 2015, the Atlanta Hawks slowly started rebuilding as an exciting young team. The Hawks have historically been unsuccessful in their pursuits of an NBA Championship. But, could this change with their youthful core? Nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, but if the Hawks can get their act together, they could find themselves in contention very quickly.
While Luka Doncic received most of the rookie attention, Trae Young had an impressive second-half of the season, averaging 24.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 9.2 assists after the All-Star break. His ability to adapt not only as a playmaker but as a scorer made the Hawks a force to be reckoned with during the latter half of the season. With a new crop of youngsters, he has more weapons to work with during his sophomore year.
John Collins and Kevin Huerter
While Young was the Hawks’ breakout star, he wasn’t the only one. John Collins was a leader for Atlanta, putting up 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds during his second year in the NBA. Factor in his ability to shoot the three-ball, and he could be part of the next generation of superstar big men.
Kevin Huerter may not have the star potential of his teammates, but he still could be a vital role player. If Cam Reddish runs as Young’s two-guard, Huerter could be the anchor off the bench. He could take advantage of his shooting and additional touches that he wouldn’t get if he were starting.
Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter
While Young, Collins, and Huerter are a formidable trio of young talent, the Hawks added two promising young players through the draft in De’Andre Hunter and Reddish. Hunter adds a strong running mate to Collins who can help on defense.
Reddish was voted by his 2019 classmates as the player most likely to have the best career. Whether he emerges as a backcourt mate for Young or a small forward, his development could be the difference between the Hawks being a promising young team and a legitimate contender in the coming years.
All about that pace
The Hawks were the fastest team in the NBA last season. While they still have young legs, this could be a trend for years to come. Young, Collins, and Huerter ran across the floor with lightning speed. With Collins likely getting more run at the center position after Dewayne Dedmon left for Sacramento, they could get even quicker.
Since the team added Reddish and Hunter, they could be one of the fastest teams ever. But it would also be hard for anyone to keep up with despite having one teammate who is older than many of their young players put together.
Vince Carter’s legacy
This veteran teammate could prove to be a valuable asset to their potential dynasty. Although Vince Carter will presumably be gone before the Hawks’ best days, he has 22 years of NBA experience to draw upon. One thing that he does not have, however, is a championship ring.
Carter is, in some ways, a man who figured things out late. He was a superstar who became one of the league’s most sought-after teammates in the latter half of his career. If he’d had his current mindset when he was younger, he may have earned a ring or two by now. The Hawks could learn from Carter’s past mistakes and triumphs.