The Atlanta Hawks’ rebranding as the Golden State Warriors East is ahead of schedule.
As unfair as these Stephen Curry comparisons may have appeared, Trae Young’s volatile 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 because intermission when hitting 2.9 triples per night at a 41.4 percent clip.
Then, there’s fellow freshman Kevin Huerter doing a good belief of Curry’s sibling-in-splash, Klay Thompson. Since snagging a fulltime beginning gig in late November, Huerter has tallied 11.2 points and 2.1 threes per game while shooting 39.6 percent out of space. For contrast, the freshman edition of Thompson went for 12.5 points and 1.7 long-lived bombs while draining 41.4 percent out.
John Collins might not match the Warriors’ mold, but the second-year major man may be the ideal player about whom nobody talks. He’s one of just nine contributors averaging at least 19 points and eight rebounds, and his jump since a three-point shooter (0.9 threes each night on a 37.7 percent clip) reveals there is lots of helium left in his upside.
It is tough to say how many other keepers are on the roster, though Taurean Prince and Omari Spellman equally offer Golden State-style flexibility at either ends. The fiscal 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 extra first-rounders in the coming years.
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